Statistics from a paper published by the Black Dog Institute of Australia show that 45% of Australians will require some form of mental therapy at some point in their life. Depression and anxiety cases are rising and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
When the Covid-19 pandemic is finally over, the population will need years to overcome the ill effects of the mental stress they had to put up with since the beginning of 2020. If you’re looking for a career as a mental therapist, you’ll have plenty of work for many years to come.
What do you have to do to become a mental health therapist in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia?
Here’s what you need to know.
What qualifications do I need?
That depends on the position you’re looking for. For some types of jobs you need at least six years of college education, but if you want to become a mental health nurse or community worker you can achieve that by taking a course in mental health.
According to the Australian Psychological Society, to become a clinical psychologist you’ll first have to study a 3-year course and get a bachelor degree. After that, you’ll need to take a post-graduate course and complete a clinical placement as an intern.
If you are a nurse and would like to dedicate yourself to helping people with mental issues you should take a course and obtain a Certificate IV in Mental Health. This would allow you to work as a counsellor in Community Services, Nursing or Aged Care.
Do I have to take a background check?
Most definitely. No matter what capacity you’re going to work in, this job is associated with healthcare. If you did not know that before, under Australian law, all people working in the healthcare system need to submit to a background check.
People with a criminal record are not allowed to work with vulnerable people. Obviously, people who need counselling or mental therapy are extremely vulnerable and they need to be protected from any type of abuse.
When you start looking for a job in mental health it’s best to be prepared and have all your documents in order, including your national police check NT for persons that are based in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia.
You can order a background check on yourself using the services of an online service provider. No need to bother yourself with going down to the police station. Once you access the portal of an online agency you only have to fill in your basic identity information and upload a photo. They work way quicker than the national police and you’ll get the results back via email in a couple of days.
How do I find a job as a mental health therapist?
Start by checking job boards, where you can find all the open positions in both public and private institutions. You can also ask around for associations or local charities interested in employing mental health therapists.
However, before looking for an actual job you should consider what type of setting would suit you best – dealing with young people, offering counselling to drug or alcohol addicts or helping people in nursing homes. To be able to help others you need to be in a good place yourself, psychologically speaking, and job satisfaction is very important for that.