Currently I'm offline!

Online Help Pro

When In Need…Here For You 365/24/7

    You are here: Home > Abuse > Agoraphobia Therapy > Anger > Anger Management > Anxiety / Stress > Anxiety Therapy > Bereavement-Grief > Bipolar Therapy > BPD Therapy > CBT > Depression > Depression Therapy > Difficult Emotions > Family Treatment > Group Treatment > Identity Issues > Individual Treatment > Insomnia Therapy > Low Self Esteem > Marriage & Relationship > Marriage and Family Therapist > Mood Fluctuation > OCD Therapy > Panic Attack Therapy > Parenting > Pre-Marital Counseling > Professional Counselor > Psychiatry > Psychology > PTSD / Trauma > Reality > REBT > Relationship Problems > Social Phobia Treatment > Social Work > Speech Anxiety > Treatment modality > Trust Issues > Unresolved Childhood Issues > Violence > Work Related Issues > Why is there a shortage of qualified government mental health professionals?

Sep

17

Why is there a shortage of qualified government mental health professionals?

Posted By: wbhazel1 on September 17, 2011 at 10:44 pm

There are many articles on the internet, message boards and throughout public service agencies decrying the need for more qualified mental health professionals in the Department of Veterans Affairs and military services. The Army, Navy (to include The Marine Corps) Air Force, Coast Guard and Public Health Service not to mention other federal agencies like The Department of Interior,Federal Bureau of Prisons and many others all appear to be looking for the same professionals both on active duty, reserve component, civilians and contractor workforce. A cursory review of USA Jobs, and professional publications all advertise for that ever dwindling pool of state licensed or certified workforce.

The federal government, most states and their political subdivisions (counties, cities, towns and villages) require that their mental health staff graduate from an American Psychological Association (APA) , Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Program (CACREP), Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited institutions. What does that really mean? I will provide a brief understanding of the professionals included in the category of mental health and try (big try) to differentiate among them in the fairest way. In order to prevent bias I have taken the liberty to copy the definition provided by The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) as published on their website:


Mental Health Professionals: Who They Are and How to Find One

Mental health services are provided by several different professions, each of which has its own training and areas of expertise. Finding the right professional(s) for you or a loved one can be a critical ingredient in the process of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery when faced with serious mental illness.

Types of Mental Health Professionals:

Psychiatrist – a psychiatrist is a physician with a doctor of medicine (M.D.) degree or osteopathic (D.O.) degree, with at least four more years of specialized study and training in psychiatry. Psychiatrists are licensed as physicians to practice medicine by individual states. “Board certified” psychiatrists have passed the national examination administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Psychiatrists provide medical and psychiatric evaluations, treat psychiatric disorders, provide psychotherapy, and prescribe and monitor medications.

Psychologist – some psychologists have a master’s degree (M.A. or M.S.) in psychology while others have a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D.) in clinical, educational, counseling, or research psychology. Most states license psychologists to practice psychology. They can provide psychological testing, evaluations, treat emotional and behavioral problems and mental disorders, and provide psychotherapy.

Social Worker- Social workers have either a bachelor’s degree (B.A., B.S., or B.S.W.), a master’s degree (M.A., M.S., M.S.W., or M.S.S.W), or doctoral degree (D.S.W. or Ph.D.). In most states, social workers take an examination to be licensed to practice social work (L.C.S.W. or L.I.C.S.W.), and the type of license depends on their level of education and practice experience. Social workers provide various services including assessment and treatment of psychiatric illnesses, case management, hospital discharge planning, and psychotherapy.

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse – Psychiatric/mental health nurses may have various degrees ranging from associate’s to bachelor’s (B.S.N.) to master’s (M.S.N. or A.P.R.N) to doctoral (D.N.Sc., Ph.D.). Depending on their level of education and licensing, they provide a broad range of psychiatric and medical services, including the assessment and treatment of psychiatric illnesses, case management, and psychotherapy. In some states, some psychiatric nurses may prescribe and monitor medication.

Licensed Professional Counselors – Licensed Professional Counselors have a master’s degree (M.A.) in psychology, counseling or a similar discipline and typically have two years of post-graduate experience. They may provide services that include diagnosis and counseling (individual, family/group or both). They have a license issued in their state and may be certified by the National Academy of Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselors

Resources for Locating a Mental Health Professional

The following sources may help you locate a mental health professional or treatment facility to meet your needs:

NAMI local affiliates and support groups – Speaking with NAMI members (consumers and family members) can be a good way to exchange information about mental health professionals in your local community.

Primary Care Physician (PCP) – If you are part of an HMO or other managed care insurance plan, your primary physician can refer you to a specialist or therapist.

Your insurance provider – Contact your insurance company or “behavioral health care organization” for a list of mental health care providers included in your insurance plan.

District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association – The APA can give you names of APA members in your area.  Find your district branch online or consult your local phone book under the headings “district branch” or “psychiatric society.”

Psychiatry department at local teaching hospital or medical school.

National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has an online directory of clinical social workers.  Visit www.socialworkers.org and click on Resources.

American Psychological Association can refer to local psychologists by calling 1-800-964-2000.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services has an online database of mental health services and facilities in each state. Visit www.mentalhealth.org and click on Services Locator.

Resources for more information about mental health providers

The Mayo Clinic: Mental Health Providers: Making the Right Choice

SAMHSA’s publication: Choosing the right Mental Health Therapist

This concludes NAMI’s definition and resource guide.

Wow, an impressive bunch huh? I think this is a good listing and description with a few minor exceptions. The only groups they appear to have omitted are Marriage and Family Therapist who earns a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, generally work under clinical supervision for between two to three years and take a national examination. They specialize in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. They specialize in “systems work” of which the family is a system which effect the individual. Every state licenses this professional group. Some states have other designations such as Licensed Mental Health Counselor who also earn a masters degree, work under supervision and pass an examination.

The final group I would be remiss to neglect mentioning are Alcohol and Drug Counselors who are licensed by most states to provided skilled counseling services to those with addictive disorders. These professionals specialize in educating, motivating and treating substance use disorders. They generally are required to have college level education, substance abuse training, work experience and clinical supervision prior to taking an international examination.

Of these groups generally speaking the Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification or licensure are not considered to be Independent Health Care Providers but must usually work under the referral and supervision of one of the aforementioned professionals

Why then  is there such a shortage or IS there really a shortage or is the government just not doing a good enough job of recruiting qualified helping professionals? As many consumers, clients, patients, hiring officials,administrators, recruiters and related healthcare providers realize these professionals have worked really hard to earn their credentials and can often choose where they will serve. These professionals deserve appropriate compensation and respect as valued members of the behavioral healthcare team.

The following article speaks to a military installation which is arguably the largest in the world. The Military Treatment Facility Commander details the problems inherent with meeting the ever growing need for mental health services and a qualified workforce. To me this article which was published by USA Today on August 23, 2010 could have been written yesterday or tomorrow. Let’s do better………..

Thousands strain Fort Hood’s mental health system

    Filed Under: Abuse , Agoraphobia Therapy , Anger , Anger Management , Anxiety / Stress , Anxiety Therapy , Bereavement-Grief , Bipolar Therapy , BPD Therapy , CBT , Depression , Depression Therapy , Difficult Emotions , Family Treatment , Group Treatment , Identity Issues , Individual Treatment , Insomnia Therapy , Low Self Esteem , Marriage & Relationship , Marriage and Family Therapist , Mood Fluctuation , OCD Therapy , Panic Attack Therapy , Parenting , Pre-Marital Counseling , Professional Counselor , Psychiatry , Psychology , PTSD / Trauma , Reality , REBT , Relationship Problems , Social Phobia Treatment , Social Work , Speech Anxiety , Treatment modality , Trust Issues , Unresolved Childhood Issues , Violence , Work Related Issues
Digg it       Save to Del.icio.us       Subscribe to My RSS feed      
Add this to:

No comments yet.

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
URI
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree

Trackback responses to this post



RSS Feed RSS Feed RSS Feed

Intro-OnlineHelpPro-Contact Me!

Lean On Me

Call Me Via My MagicJack Phone

Call Me Via Skype

Share This!

Yahoo Messenger

Chat With Me In A Chat Room

Addiction-OnlineHelpPro

Free Downloads

LinkedIn

Anger-Management-OnlineHelpPro

Mood-Disorders-OnlineHelpPro

Calendar

PTSD-OnlineHelpPro

Welcome To OnlineHelpPro-Here For YOU!

Fees

Links

Spammers: Beware of the Dog.