Our society is experiencing a growing population of individuals who experience mental health challenges. With the National Alliance on Mental Illness reporting that one in four adults in the US, approximately 61.5 million, experience mental illness each year there is an increasingly critical need for qualified mental health professionals.
The Mental Health Profession
Increase of Mental Health Disorders
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 26.2 percent of American adults experience mental illness–that’s one in every four adults or around 60 million people. This number is predicted to rise, and scholars have formed their own conclusions about the causes behind the growing number of those who suffer from these symptoms.. Many agree that the combination of biological predispositions and ever-changing environmental stressors are increasing distress among Americans. The result is a growing population of individuals who are suffering.
There are more than 200 recognized forms of mental illness; some of the most common types of mental health issues affecting Americans today are:
• Mood Disorders –20.9 million Americans
• Major Depressive Disorders – 14.8 million Americans
• Bipolar Disorder – 5.7 million Americans
• Anxiety – 40 million Americans
• Panic disorder – 6 million Americans
• Obsessive-Compulsive–Disorder 2.2 million Americans
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – 7.7 million Americans
• Agoraphobia – 1.8 million Americans
Lack of Treatment
More disturbing than the rising cases of mental illness, is the fact that less than half seek help or treatment. Sadly, research has revealed that the largest percentage of individuals who do not seek treatment simply felt they could not afford the cost. More disheartening is that many decided they could handle their mental illness on their own. The need for dedicated professionals in the mental health field is more prominent now than ever before, not only for the well being of the affected individuals, but for the well being of our population as a whole.
The Need for Mental Health Providers
With an expanding necessity for mental health care, there will be a growing number of positions for mental health counselors. By 2020, the mental health industry is expected to grow 37% by 2020, an expansion that far surpasses the national average. In addition to positions working with the more severe mental illnesses, the need for qualified family and marriage therapists is also increasing. Positions in this field are:
• Mental health counselors – Trained in offering therapy for a wide variety of mental health problems.
• Substance abuse disorder counselor – Assists the individual and their families to overcome substance addictions.
• School counselors –In many cases, mental illnesses become apparent during childhood or adolescent years; these professionals work in the school environment with children to play a crucial role in their development.
• Group counselor – Offers guidance to small groups who suffer from similar mental health issues, such as addiction or anxiety.
The mental health industry is growing at a rapid pace, and qualified mental health care providers are in demand for a nation that is clearly in need of care. Regardless of the position, working with individuals to overcome mental illness is crucial to our society.
The First Step to Your Mental Health Career
If you are ready to find your place in the mental healthcare sector, Antioch University offers a Clinical Mental Health Graduate program to fit your individual learning needs (either online or face-to-face).. With a supportive environment, the school challenges students to achieve their full potential to serve others. The world needs you now!