Globally, an estimated 264 million people suffer from depression, one of the leading causes of disability, with many of these people also suffering from symptoms of anxiety.(Source: WHO)
The average number of mental health workers per 100,000 people around the world has gone up slightly from nine in 2014 to thirteen in 2020. Nonetheless, there was a significant difference in the number of mental health professionals between nations with different wealth levels, with high-income countries having more than 40 times as many mental health professionals as low-income countries.(Source: WHO)
In the US, compared to 74% a year ago, more than 8 in 10 (84%) psychologists who treat anxiety disorders indicated they have noticed an increase in demand for anxiety treatment. Demand for treatment of depression is also on the higher side, with 72% of psychologists who treat depressive disorders saying they have seen an increase, compared to 60% in 2020. (Source: American Psychological Association)
In the context of Australia
The shortage of mental health professionals has long been a problem worldwide, and specifically for the Australian mental health industry. Millions of Australians were experiencing increasing levels of anxiety, psychological discomfort, and depression by 2019, (Source: ABS National Health Survey)
Rising Demand for Mental Health Workers
With 1 in 5 Australians expressing high or extremely high levels of psychological discomfort as of mid-2021, the mental health problem had gotten worse and was now directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The most vulnerable groups to poor mental health have been children, women, and individuals with disabilities.
Australian mental health professionals have, to put it mildly, had their hands full in terms of accommodating patients due to the steadily rising number of mental health concerns. Many mental health professionals are concerned about their ability to provide all patients with proper care as a result of this difficulty. As a result of the Australian mental health industry’s vigorous efforts to address the labour shortage, the workforce is expected to grow by 6.5% annually as of 2021.
The positions that are now in demand in the field of mental health are:
- Psychology: The science that aids individuals in comprehending a wider, frequently more complex, and more enduring spectrum of mental health difficulties. To practise, psychologists must be registered with the accrediting authority, the Australian Psychological Accreditation Council.
- Youth Work: Providing numerous programmes to assist underprivileged or special-needs young people in a community, such as children with behavioural problems and impairments.
- Social Work: Is the process of assisting people in resolving conflicts and enhancing the rights of people of all ages.
- Counseling: Supporting healthy decisions, managing disputes, developing interpersonal and communication skills, or changing unproductive attitudes and behaviours while assisting people in understanding and overcoming a variety of issues, such as depression, bereavement, and anxiety.
- Nursing: The provision of expert care for the overall health and welfare of patients. It is possible for nurses to specialise in mental health.
Way Forward: If you possess the appropriate blend of skills, intelligence, and compassion for helping or improving lives you should absolutely consider specialising in Mental Health. Since there is a definite need for more workers in this area of healthcare, those who are interested in the subject have more employment options. You can talk to our counselor today to enquire more about the Diploma of Mental Health course.
Related Blog: How to Become a Mental Health Worker in Australia