Mental health is valued in our society as how well a person functions through their day-to-day tasks. People are viewed as mentally healthy if they have an emotional sense of well-being, the capacity to live a full and creative life and the flexibility to deal with life’s inevitable challenges.

So it may be daunting for the mental healthcare professional to administer professional help and advice while tackling challenges of their own. That is to say, the mental healthcare provider is called on to provide a high measure of care at the same time he or she deals with the challenges of their personal lives and their industry, which can, at times, be a struggle.

3 Struggles Every Mental Health Care Provider Faces:

1. Isolation: Mental healthcare professionals often administer care isolated from a group of practitioners. Unlike other types of healthcare providers that practice in a group, who are able to stick their heads out of their offices to talk to others, take a walk down the hall or lunchroom or take a break together, the mental healthcare provider is often isolated, in a single office, which means the camaraderie of fellow professionals is something that is sorely lacking. Providers who work in isolation ought to make it a point to gather on a regular basis with their peers for support and the sharing of information.

2. Continuing Education: Continuing education in the mental healthcare industry represents challenges because of the shifting landscape of diagnosis and treatment. No longer is it about simply reducing symptoms, it is also about promoting long-term recovery. There is also a growing emphasis on technology, i.e., use of the internet and social media. Many of these changes in the field facilitate the need for continuing education, which can also be problematic for the mental healthcare provider already pressed for time and energy. It is important to enroll in continuing education classes to stay up to date on business trends and changing “best practices” within the industry.

3. Demands on Time. Often, mental healthcare providers are called to do their jobs 24/7, as we increasingly move toward a society that, in essence, never sleeps. Workloads increase as information becomes more accessible, via phones, emails and Twitter accounts. People become more prone to contacting their trusted providers “after hours.” Setting a schedule is important to keeping yourself not glued to work. Giving yourself time off and away from the desk, paperwork and fixing problems is crucial to using the time given wisely, without getting burnt out.

The key to all is to never let the problems and challenges become insurmountable. A mountain of worries seems inescapable. Reducing the mountain into smaller mounds – in essence, breaking down the challenges into manageable tasks – can help alleviate the stress and give mental healthcare providers some measure of control. This is important in a modern world that expects us all to be brilliant at everything, every minute of the day.

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