The COVID-19 pandemic has had a hugely detrimental effect on the mental health of many Australians. There has been an exponential increase in reports of issues that would normally prompt people to seek counselling, including isolation, bereavement, fear, stress, insomnia, substance abuse, and depression resulting from lost jobs.
Increasing numbers of children have been suffering from child abuse, suicidal thoughts, negative emotions and other adverse effects resulting from the circumstances surrounding the pandemic. You could take on a role in mental health and community services.
Currently, job opportunities for counsellors are growing.
On Find.com a list of Australia’ s 20 most-demanded careers, psychologist – counselling & social workers sit number 15. At the same time in 2012, it climbed 24 positions, demonstrating increasing demand.
Counsellor positions are available in schools, mental health institutions, prisons, and other industry sectors and organisations. In the process, governments have aimed to expand employment opportunities for counsellors. The states will add a few school counselling jobs.
Australian Health & Welfare says there were around 1,200 specialist mental hospitals across Australian Australia. In 2018, 4.2 million individuals took prescription medications related to mental health. Those who have a bachelor’s degree in counselling are often sought out as associates in the helping and mental healthcare industries. These roles include case managers, NDIS support, Carers, Mentors, housing support and suicide prevention.
Who goes to Counsellors?
Lifeline and other crisis support services have received record numbers of calls from Australians of varying ages, including many calls from children. University students have also been adversely affected by the virus, experiencing greater levels of anxiety and depression as a result of lockdowns and isolation during the pandemic. Researchers have also identified a corresponding decrease in tertiary students’ levels of physical activity, which isn’t just bad for mental health but also detrimental to physical health.
Many of Australia’s war veterans had already been grappling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health problems before COVID-19 became an issue. COVID-19 has created additional stress for veterans, contributing to a recent 50 per cent rise in demand for mental health services from this group.
What Impact has COVID had on Mental Health?
It’s important to pause and consider the global pandemic’s impact on the Australian population’s mental health over the past two years. When combined with extreme weather conditions, catastrophic bushfires, and extensive flooding, the substantial periods of lockdowns that much of the Australian population has experienced, along with the presence of the COVID viruses, have provided an unprecedented impact on the mental health of every citizen in the country.
It hasn’t just been the physical, mental and emotional isolation from extended periods of lockdowns that have impacted mental health, it’s the subsequent disruption to activities of daily living, the shift to working from home, the changes in lifestyle – the decreased ability to participate in physical movement and exercise, the halt to socialisation, interruption to family connections and support, the increase in reliance on tech gadgets for connection, and the financial stress resulting from underemployment or unemployment that has boosted the levels of anxiety, fear and worry throughout all levels of the population.
What role do counsellors have in recovery from the pandemic?
Mental health counsellors are more in demand now than ever. And this demand is not going to ease in the near future.
Companies and individuals looking to find a path beyond the pandemic, and the mental, emotional, and financial pressures of recovery are demanding a new way of working and living. As communities learn new ways of dealing with the rise of hybrid working arrangements (with more people than ever working from home), mental health resources are stretched to breaking point with the rise of the associated isolationism.
Even how we complete even the most mundane tasks, like shopping for groceries or going to the doctor, has changed. And people are still struggling with adapting to these changes, especially the aged and the economically disadvantaged. This is just one area where the role of counsellors can expand exponentially.
Snapshot of the recent Mental Health service provision in Australia:
During the 4 week period from 4 April 2022 to 1 May 2022, the following services were provided through the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) in Australia:
- 929,884 MBS mental health support services were processed
- 29% of those services were delivered by Telehealth
- 3,400,326 mental health-related perceptions were dispensed
- 83,652 contacts were made to Lifeline for assistance.[Ref: www.aihw.gov.au/mhsa]
Counselling Trends in the Post-Pandemic Era:
One of the most significant rising trends in the post-pandemic era is the increasing use of telemedicine and teletherapy to deliver needed health consultations. It is still possible for mental health counselling sessions to take place face to face or via telephone, however, with the rise of popular conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Go2Meeting, it is now becoming increasingly common for counsellors to use these technologies.
Even before COVID-19, the Australian government’s National Skills Commission had already been predicting a favourable employment outlook for the country’s counsellors, along with strong future growth opportunities.
What are the benefits of virtual Counselling Services?
There are multiple benefits of switching to telemedicine and increasing the number of virtual services available to clients. Increasing accessibility during lockdown periods is essential to making services accessible to remote clients, improving patient and practitioner safety, and allowing for more practical and ease of use for all parties.
It’s also often a cheaper method of service delivery and captures a broader spectrum of applications clients.
Counselling as a rewarding vocation
Considering that many facets of the Australian economy have been contracting, counselling might seem to be an appealing vocation for would-be career changers to transition into. In general, the healthcare and social assistance sectors have proven to be amongst the more resilient Australian industries in the wake of COVID-19.
Mental health counselling offers a means for suitably trained individuals to help other vulnerable Australians with combating some of the despair and loneliness wrought by the pandemic, and this is the ideal time for counsellors to provide a huge and beneficial impact on the mental health and well-being of the nation, as it searches to recover its resilience and find its feet again in the post-lock-down world.
Could you take on a role in Mental Health or Community Services?
Australian Health & Welfare says there were around 1,200 specialist mental hospitals across Australian Australia. In 2018, 4.2 million individuals took prescription medications related to mental health issues.
Those who have a bachelor’s degree in counselling are often sought out as associates in the helping and mental healthcare industries. These roles include case managers, NDIS support, Carers, Mentors, housing support and suicide prevention.
Alternative to Study Options
Diploma of Mental Health
TrainSmart Australia runs a range of courses that might be more suited to your future employment plans, including a Diploma in Mental Health. One in five Australians experience mental health issues in their lifetime, creating more demand than ever for mental health workers. The decline in mental health is a huge issue that affects many people, but there are not enough qualified people to help those who need it. The CHC53315 Diploma of Mental Health qualification will equip students with specialised knowledge and skills to lead and deliver support services to people experiencing mental health struggles.
If you want to work towards a team leader or management position within a Mental Health Organisation or looking for an entryway into further bachelor’s degree studies, the CHC53315 Diploma of Mental Health may just be the course for you.
Diploma of Community Services
Yet another alternative course offered by TrainSmart Australia is The Diploma of Community Services. Every year there is an increasing need for people to work in community services. Working in this industry means providing essential services which give back to disadvantaged groups and individuals within a community.
If you want to enter a rewarding career where you actively make a difference in the lives of others, the CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services is the course for you. You will learn the skills, knowledge, and practises essential for providing individuals and groups with personal, social, physical and mental support services within their community. You will also learn how to assess the goals of clients in order to provide them with the right services to improve their well-being. Studying this course can open opportunities within the health sector, including caseworker, care team leader, and community services coordinator positions.
Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs
And another slightly different option is to study for a Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs. The impact of alcohol and drug addiction is a rippling effect, which causes harm not only to the individual affected by addiction but also to their families and communities around them.
With the CHC53215 Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs, you will learn all the skills of the trade required to assist and counsel clients affected by substance abuse. You will learn how to provide rehabilitation services and effectively communicate with clients to assess and fulfil their needs.
Students who study this course can become counsellors and support workers for individuals and groups affected by a dependency on alcohol and other drugs.
Try applying counselling skills in your current industry
There are an infinite number of ways that counselling skills can be applied to other industries. For example, Dan Auerbach began his career as a counsellor for individuals and couples. Auerbach also consults organisations in relation to mental illness at work. It is possible to work in your normal job and add counselling as an additional layer of expertise. Businesses in the corporate sector are now much more open to the utilisation of counsellors to manage workplace well-being, reduce stress and build the resilience of their employees.
From Human Resources to Healthcare, knowledge of Counselling can be a useful contribution in many fields, and as the corporate sector looks to create a greater sense of resilience within the workplace, the role of Counsellors within the workplace will continue to expand.
How do I become a counsellor?
Obtaining some relevant tertiary qualifications is typically necessary to become a counsellor.
TrainSmart Australia currently offers a nationally recognised Diploma of Counselling over a 12-month period that you can study fully online and face to face. In this course, you learn to respond to crisis situations, develop and facilitate positive counselling relationships, apply core counselling skills to assist clients, develop interpersonal and interviewing skills and learn to provide support for people suffering from mental health, alcohol and other drug issues.
This form of training provides students with numerous opportunities to practice and enhance their skills before entering the mental health workforce. A Diploma of Counselling is a valuable qualification to add on to your resume that you may or may not use directly, but the skills are extremely valuable to nearly every employment position.
What Careers are Possible with a Diploma of Counselling?
The CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling qualification can lead to an array of career opportunities with job titles such as;
- School Counsellor
- Drug and Alcohol Counsellor
- Case Worker
- Youth Worker
- Guidance Officer
- Disability Respite Worker
TrainSmart Australia has a number of standing agreements in place with universities across Australia, which guarantees student entry and credit transfers upon completion of this Diploma.
Now Is The Perfect Time to Start Studying
There has never been a better time to start studying online for a Counselling qualification. There are a number of course providers in Australia that are offering substantial discounts on courses, including VET Student loans and local subsidies, however, you need to act quickly while these opportunities are still accessible.
Is now the time for you to launch into your new career?
Contact Us Now
For all the information you need to choose the course that works for you, check out the TrainSmart Australia website today at https://tsa.edu.au/