Did you know there are almost 50 million Americans who deal with mental health issues and many more who are still undiagnosed? That’s a significant portion of the population, and the problem isn’t just limited to the U.S. either, as the prevalence of depression and other mental illness is increasing worldwide right along with the population growth. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for this growing crisis, as mental illness can stem from a variety of factors and can be treated an untold number of ways. If you want to help chip away at the problem instead of just reading or talking about it, consider pursuing one of the following four professions:

1. Mental Health Counselor

Of course, if you’d like to take the most direct approach to fight the scourge of mental illness, becoming a mental health counselor would be the most appropriate route. In this job, you’ll be exposed to a wide range of psychiatric and behavioral conditions including eating disorders, drug addiction, depression, anxiety, and many others. By treating each patient to the best of your ability on a case-by-case basis, you really can begin to make a tangible difference in your area. Furthermore, you can find many online mental health counseling jobs that will allow you to work from home.

2. Behavioral Counselor

Behavioral counselors perform similar jobs to mental health counselors, except they deal mostly with issues related to behavioral problems. You’ll specialize in helping peoples of all ages treat disorders like oppositional defiant (ODD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and conduct disorder (CD). By helping people stop these negative behaviors, you can contribute to a reduction and resolution of their mental health symptoms.

3. Psychiatric Nurse

There’s a growing shortage of nurses worldwide right now, and that includes psychiatric nurses. While this might not seem like a position that is as prestigious as becoming a psychiatrist, nurses in this field are desperately needed, so you’ll be helping to fill a very important gap. As an added bonus, an experienced psychiatric nurse can make up to $130,000 per year or more in certain areas.

4. Substance Abuse Counsellor

Drug addiction is one of the leading causes of mental health problems in America. By helping people overcome their addictions, you’ll be helping them heal from associated mental illnesses that are being exacerbated by their drug usage. With new clinics, hospitals, rehab centers, and other facilities in desperate need of qualified substance abuse counselors.

Become a Part of the Solution

With so many negative influences in society that are only serving to promote mental illness, it’s important that we have the next generation of mental health professionals who work hard to solve the problem. There’s no guarantee that even the most concerted effort will eliminate or even reduce the rate of mental illness, but it’s still imperative that we try to work on each issue and condition as much as possible. By working one of the jobs listed above, you can be part of the elite group of professionals who are actually taking steps to effect positive change in their communities.

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