In the mental health field, there are a variety of different professions. Counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, nurses, and psychoanalysts all work together as a team in an attempt to support their clients. But, these professionals face many challenges each day. From poor infrastructure to obtaining cultural compliance, these professionals work hard to create safe spaces that are judgment-free and promote growth.
Lack of Support
One of the most prominent issues mental health professionals face today is a lack of support. These professionals still face the same challenges as the rest of us. Mental health professionals still need to maintain their relationships and have their own lives. Like everyone else, they experience marital discord and the loss of loved ones. These common issues affect our mental health.
These professionals often spend so much time trying to take care of their clients’ mental health that they fail to take care of their own. There is no system in place to gauge these professional’s mental state. Often, the first ones to realize these mental health professionals are suffering is the clients themselves.
But, aside from the lack of support received by the mental health professionals, there is a lack of support for mental health itself. Though 70% of Americans believe that our mental health is just as important as our physical health, we fail to encourage each other to seek care. In fact, we attach a stigma to those receiving care for their mental health.
Lack of Funding
Across the nation, there is a serious lack of funding for mental health. In the vast majority of rural counties, there is not even a single institute that serves those suffering from a mental health issue. The county’s population has very few options other than driving to a more urban setting for mental health care.
However, there is a lack of funding in cities as well. Most cities have a larger population than the mental health facilities can serve. In addition to the lack of options, many American’s seeking help can not afford it. Most insurance plans do not cover treatment for mental illness. Those that do, often feature incredibly high copays and deductibles.
Frequent Policy Changes
The biggest issue mental health professionals face today is a lack of structure. Policies are constantly changing and communication does not flow easily from one institution to the next. Many clients begin receiving services at one institution, then they transition to another. When those two institutions lack communication, the client is the only one who suffers.
This is especially true when the client receives services from the justice system before transitioning to a mental health institution. There is simply no organization and no minimum standards of caring for people’s mental health.
Cultural competence is yet another issue that professionals in mental health must face. Primarily an issue in larger cities, mental health professionals must fight to assist individuals of certain cultures and pay attention to their unique needs. Our culture shapes the person we become.
In some cultures, mental health is not a priority. Studies have shown that this is the case in Asian and Hispanic cultures. Culture plays a huge role in our attitude towards mental health. It can be difficult to encourage an individual to participate in something that they have been taught is not important. However, it is vital to take care of our mental health.
Mental health professionals must tread carefully to ensure that they respect their clients’ values and feelings. That is a difficult thing to do if you do not understand the individual’s culture.
As you can see, being a mental health professional in America today is not the easiest job, but it is a vital one. It is a difficult job and the field changes every day, but the men and women who are working to protect and improve our nation’s mental health are doing the best that they can.
When faced with so many challenges it can be easy to give up, but your mental health should be a priority. There are institutions that can help you with payment. They offer income-based copays and financial assistance. Find a therapist or counselor near you.