How to Become a Mental Health Worker in Australia
Mental Health workers, also sometimes called support workers, are integral to the social service sector in providing assistance, care and other therapy services to clients with mental health conditions as well as other social issues. They play a vital role in the rehabilitation of individuals, families, communities and other groups.
A mental health worker is expected to have the following skills and attributes:
- A comprehensive understanding of mental health issues, treatment options & best practices
- Excellent people skills such as patience, tact & the ability to relate to people from a range of backgrounds
- Strong problem-solving skills
- Able to work well under pressure, including making sound decisions even when under pressure
- Possesses good judgment
- Has a good understanding of the roles and functions of the health and social services sector as a whole
Mental health workers in Australia are in increasing demand as the mental health sector faces an acute shortage of qualified workers. Thus, there are many vacancies available for all levels of position in most parts of Australia, including rural and urban locations. With mental health being at the forefront of health issues, especially since the Covid19 pandemic hit in 2020, a predicted 15.2% growth is expected in the health industry within the next five years, offering even more job opportunities for those qualified for mental health work.
Mental Health workers also enjoy competitive salaries. Entry-level salaries for community mental health workers are around $55k per year, while more experienced mental health workers can earn up to $1500 per week. On average, workers in Australia can enjoy earnings close to $60,000 annually, or nearly $31.50/hr.
What are the Daily Duties of a Mental Health Worker?
To give you a clearer picture of how you would be spending your time as a Mental Health worker, below are the duties performed by the average worker on a daily basis:
- Engaging with clients on a personal level, monitoring their progress & assessing their needs
- Providing a range of early intervention strategies that coax clients into participating within their community
- Delivering counselling & group programs
- Developing a variety of mental health programs and community services such as residential rehabilitation programs, respite care, home-based outreach and centre-based programs
- Liaising with other community and social services
- Assisting clients in finding employment within the community
- Maintaining client records
Being a mental health worker is a dynamic & challenging profession as you deal with clients of various needs and backgrounds. But it is also a deeply fulfilling career filled with job opportunities, financial rewards and the daily opportunity to help alleviate mental illness & issues in society.
If this sounds like a career you would enjoy and excel at, you can start building your pathways by completing a CHC43315 Certificate IV in Mental Health course at Education Training and Employment Australia (ETEA) for the professional skills and qualifications you will need. Get in touch with us to help you start building your dream career today!