Ensuring the welfare of those with mental health problems involves elements of both social and clinical care, meaning that jobs within this sector can be hugely varied in terms of skills, qualifications and salaries. But regardless of the position, a career in mental health care is both a valuable and rewarding one.
Employment can range from qualified RMN mental health nurses through to support worker roles and jobs as care assistants. Given the complex nature of some conditions, medical specialists such as doctors, psychiatrists and psychotherapists also play an integral role in helping those with conditions. Depending on the type of mental health problem, employees in this field might specialise in areas such as dementia, alcohol induced mental disorders or drug-based conditions.
Bearing in mind the large variation in skills and education required to work in mental health, salaries can vary from £20,000 to £50,000 for qualified roles with London and the South East paying significantly more than elsewhere. On average pay in Scotland is among the lowest in the country. Support worker roles and those not requiring specialist qualifications, applicants can will find adverts through recruitment agencies more typically found between the £15k and £20k bracket.
Mental care career opportunities are often found in both private and public sector – be it in nursing homes, through GP practices or in hospitals and clinics. With an ageing population the demand for jobs is relatively constant, but qualifications are usually required for staff to progress in this sector. Universities now offer degrees in areas of mental health, whilst there are also opportunities to complete qualifications on the job.