Diploma of Counselling vs Diploma of Mental Health: What Is The Difference?

The demand for skilled practitioners to work in the mental health field in Australia is increasing. This article looks at the difference between two of the most popular mental health career pathways and compares the Diploma of Counselling versus the Diploma of Mental Health to help you decide which is the right fit for you.


What is a Diploma of Counselling?

Studying the CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling will equip you with the knowledge and understanding to provide professional help to diverse groups and individuals as a counsellor. The CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling course can lead you to work in various settings providing counselling services to others.

In the TrainSmart Australia CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling course, you will learn how to recognise and respond to crisis situations, develop and facilitate positive counselling relationships, apply core counselling methodologies to assist clients, and much more.

Diploma of Counselling at a Glance:

Course Outline for CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Learning method: Online
  • Units to complete for graduation: 17
  • Simulated Practicals are included in this course


What can I do with a Diploma in Counselling?

By achieving this qualification, you will be well qualified to work as a school counsellor, pastoral care worker, trainee for a counselling organisation or in the community services field. This may also be a qualification that is an addition to your existing qualifications to demonstrate a specialisation in counselling skills.    


Career Opportunities for a Diploma of Counselling:

A Diploma of Counselling can lead to a wide variety of different career opportunities, such as:

  • Drug and alcohol counsellor
  • Family and marriage counsellor
  • Student Counsellor
  • Telephone counsellor
  • Case Manager 
  • Youth counsellor
  • Refugee counsellor
  • Suicide and grief counsellor

Possible organisations to work with a Diploma of Counselling:

  • Community services organisations
  • Possibility to start own practice – further study is needed to be able to register with a regulatory body
  • Private practice (as a trainee)
  • Mental health organisations 
  • Employment services 

What is a Diploma in Mental Health?

A Diploma in Mental Health is a qualification that provides you with the skills and knowledge to work as a mental health professional. This qualification explores a range of topics relevant to the mental health industry and teaches students to work with other health or community service providers to meet a client’s needs.

The mental health course offers a range of training to help students develop a professional career that is driven by positive progress. The mental health industry is worth over $2 billion. But mental health careers involve more than just money. Australians value psychological well-being, especially after COVID-19 and other recent attacks on their health.

This Diploma in Mental Health course will equip you with knowledge and practical skills to support people with mental health struggles in the community or residential services. You will learn about mental health frameworks and services and recovery-oriented ways of working. 

In addition, you will gain skills in supporting, communicating and working with individuals experiencing mental health issues, learn how to respond to critical situations, make support plans, refer to services and much more.

Diploma of Mental Health at a glance:

Course Outline for CHC53315 Diploma of Mental Health:

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Learning Method: Online
  • Units to graduate: 20
  • Work placement: 160 hours


What can I do with a Diploma of Mental Health?

A Diploma of Mental Health teaches skills that enable you to support individuals experiencing mental illness as a Mental Health Support Worker. You will learn how to deal with co-existing mental illnesses, homelessness, and domestic violence, understand addiction and develop the skills necessary to facilitate counselling.

This course sets you up well if you are interested in moving into a team leader, coordinator or management position. 


Career Opportunities for a Diploma of Mental Health:

Following graduation, you may apply for roles such as:

  • Welfare Support Worker
  • Community Rehabilitation and Support Worker
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Community Worker
  • Community Mental Health Support Worker
  • Residential mental health support Worker
  • Recovery Support Worker
  • Recovery Coach 
  • Mental health advocate
  • Peer worker


Possible organisations to work with a Diploma of Mental Health:

  • Mental health organisations
  • NDIS providers
  • Domestic Violence Centres
  • Advocacy Services
  • Community Centres
  • Specialist employment services
  • Family Support services

The Difference Between Counselling and Mental Health

Mental health and counselling are equally important topics in today’s society, and understanding the difference between the two is essential if you are looking to study and work in either field. Mental health tends to be a broader and more encompassing field than counselling. It looks at an individual’s overall physical, emotional and psychological well-being, whereas counselling focuses on specific issues or problems and addresses each one individually.

Mental health includes our ability to cope with stress, our level of resilience, and how we relate to others. It is important to maintain good mental health in order to live a happy and fulfilling life. There are many different ways to do this, but one way is through counselling.

Counselling can help us work through our problems so that we can better understand them and find solutions. It can also provide support and guidance during difficult times. Mental health professionals such as counsellors can help us learn more about ourselves and how to cope with the challenges we face in life.

Still Not Sure Which Course Suits You?

For more information on the CHC53315 Diploma of Mental Health and CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling course, visit our course pages or contact our career advisry team. 


In today’s digital age, education has transformed dramatically, with online learning becoming integral to our personal and professional development. The shift from …

As young individuals navigate the complex journey of growth and development, the presence of a mentor can be transformative. It is a …

Technology has profoundly transformed various industries in recent years, with mental health care being one of the most significantly impacted sectors. Integrating …

Counselling represents a profound and multifaceted professional field where the intricacies of human emotion, psychology, and behaviour converge. Inherently rich in complexity …

Alcohol, a staple in many cultures and societies, offers a dichotomy of experiences ranging from social lubrication to severe health and legal …

Empowering the next generation through community service equips young individuals with practical skills, a profound sense of purpose, and the knowledge that …

Ready to learn more?

If you liked this blog post, you’ll love our courses.

Ready to learn more?

If you liked this blog post, you’ll love our courses.