CPR First Aid

How to Become a Mental Health Support Worker?

According to Seek, an online employment marketplace, you need to complete a certificate and possess a tertiary qualification to become a Mental Health Support Worker in Australia. Other requirements may also apply depending on your specific pathway, one of these is registration with a professional association. The job allows you to help people deal with their psychological issues and improve their quality of life. Aside from a fulfilling role, it also pays well and is in demand throughout the country. Read more about this job below and see if it fits your goals.

How to Become a Mental Health Support Worker?

Below are the basic requirements for mental health support workers in Australia. However, specific pathways in the mental health industry may require additional skills and certifications. 

Basic requirements for mental health support workers in Australia. Specific pathways may need extra skills and certifications.

Acquire a Certificate in Mental Health

Certificate IV in Mental Health (CHC43315) is a VET training for mental health support workers. It covers a wide range of core units including recovery relationships, workplace safety, mental health services, and others. Other electives for first aid, intoxication, grief support, disability empowerment, and different topics are also available.

A completion of 80 hours of work according to the course’s Assessment Requirements is required to acquire the certificate. The website of the national register for VET, training.gov.au, provides the list of registered training organisations that qualify to deliver this course.

Complete a Relevant Tertiary Qualification

Aside from the mental health and first aid certificate, a bachelor’s degree is essential for a specific pathway. So, it’s important to decide which career in the industry you are taking right from the start.

For instance, if you plan to be a Mental Health Nurse, you must obtain a Bachelor of Nursing. If you would like to do social work in the future, then you need to complete a Bachelor of Social Work.

Apply to the Professional Representative Body

Being a member of your career’s professional representative body boosts your development, networking, access to resources, and accreditation. Visit the website of the respective organisations to find out the details for the application. The Australian Association of Social Workers and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia are a few of them.

Consider Completing a Further Study in Mental Health

Completing any of the below may help advance your skills. 

  • Diploma of Mental Health (CHC53315)
  • Undergraduate or postgraduate study in mental health or psychology

These studies are available in registered training organisations and universities in Australia.

What is the Job Description of a Mental Health Support Worker?

Performing the above steps may help you become a mental health support worker which has the following functions.

  • Assessment of client’s needs, track their progress, and maintain their records
  • Provide counseling in groups or individuals
  • Coordinate with community groups and social services
  • Conduct referrals to other mental health experts and services

Mental health support workers also create new services and programs. 

Becoming a mental health support worker involves functions such as providing support and assistance.

Where do Mental Health Support Workers Work?

Work location may be in one or more of the following sites.

  • A client’s home
  • A community or mental health support centre
  • Residential or respite facilities
  • Rehabilitation programs
  • Clinical settings
  • Community-based non-government organisations 

Most mental health support workers are also under a nursing team that works in hospitals.

How Much is the Salary of a Mental Health Support Worker?

The average annual salary of mental health supporters in Australia is $65,000 to $80,000 while the hourly rate ranges from $30 to $40.

What are the Statistics for Opportunities Available as a Mental Health Support Worker in Australia?

The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care released a mental health support workers labour analysis. It contains a strategy to meet the rising demands of the mental health system in Australia. It also states that GPs, Clinical and Registered Psychologists, and Psychiatrists operate most of the private practices and hire mental health nurses.

Seek’s data reflects this showing thousands of job opportunities, increasing job growth, and a good rating for job satisfaction.

What Other Qualifications and Skills Are Essential as a Mental Health Support Worker?

Sources across the web identify the following abilities a mental health support worker must have.

  • Active listening skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Compassion
  • Psychosocial skills
  • Communication
  • Computer literacy
  • Excellent people skills
  • High patience and empathy

The training and education you acquire may help hone the above qualities. 

What are the Career Pathways for Mental Health Support Workers?

Mental health support workers may advance to the following careers.

  • Counsellor
  • Psychologist
  • Social workers
  • Rehabilitation Worker
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Nurse
  • Psychiatrist

Most of these professions set up their clinics.

Conclusion

There are different steps to becoming a mental health support worker in Australia. You need to complete Certificate IV in Mental Health (CHC43315), acquire a tertiary qualification, apply to a representative body, and take a further study. This job involves different tasks to assess a client’s needs, provide counseling, make referrals, and offer mental health services.

Job location may be in a client’s home, support centre, respite facilities, rehabilitation programs, clinical settings, or a hospital. The average annual salary ranges from $65,000 to $80,000 with thousands of job opportunities available and continuous job growth. Aside from the skills and knowledge, it is helpful to possess active listening skills, problem-solving, compassion, and other abilities. Mental health support workers may advance into a counselor, psychologist, social worker, nurse, or psychiatrist.

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