Mental health professionals learned a vital lesson when pandemic lockdowns were prevalent: mental health is essential and must be delivered to individuals wherever they are. Without the necessary support and work of the mental health industry, people may be left to struggle on their own, further aggravating their condition, especially in times of worldwide stress.
The latest mental health industry trends tell us the profession is growing to meet modern demands. This is a positive outcome of the stressors brought about by the pandemic. Mental health care services have never been more vibrant and capable of providing the behavioral health care that people need.
Latest Mental Health Industry Trends
Reviewing the latest mental health industry trends can provide those working in the industry with an understanding and context for dealing with potential changes. These five mental health industry trends represent the face of 2023 and beyond.
1. Mental Health Prioritized in the Workplace
Employers are learning that a healthy workspace is essential to not only productivity, but also mental and physical health. An unhealthy workspace is detrimental to employees and can negatively affect retention and productivity. With greater wellness, employers realize they will reap more benefits for the company, making it profitable to invest in employee mental health.
With reports that more than 30% of working adults suffer from anxiety and/or depression, employers are taking action to ensure employees have access to mental health services. Organizations are discovering that the payoff for investing in employees’ mental health is worth it.
2. Efforts Made to Reduce Stigma
Stigma revolving around mental illness has always been an obstacle to individuals seeking treatment. However, strides are being made to reduce the stigma. More celebrities, athletes, and other big names are talking about their mental health struggles to show that there is no shame in it. The more people talk openly about the issue of mental illness, the less rare it seems. Fewer people will feel the inclination to hide their own mental health problems because there won’t’ be shame attached to doing so.
Other big names are starting foundations to promote mental health awareness. The greater awareness and discussions among pop culture icons there are, the fewer people will feel the stigma of seeking treatment.
3. Greater Need for Children’s Mental Health Services
Another issue that has taken center stage in the mental health industry is the rise of children’s mental health needs. Studies show that even before the pandemic, approximately one in five children was dealing with a mental health disorder. COVID-19 severely affected the mental health of children and young people.
After the pandemic, the number of children with mental health needs soared, leading to more crises and emergency room visits. The shortage of school psychologists and child psychologists/clinicians is exacerbating the problem. However, the focus is on the need for children’s mental health services, which will open doors for mental health careers in this area of expertise.
4. Rise of Open Science
Open science platforms have been used by scientists and researchers in the medical community for some time, especially with the rise of COVID-19. Now the mental health industry is taking advantage of its benefits.
In the behavioral health field, psychologists and clinicians are using free, open platforms that allow the sharing of scientific research and data. This puts everything out in the open for verification, transparency, and better accuracy, which helps the mental health community. Another side benefit of open science is greater transparency helps reduce stigma also.
5. Increase in the Use of Technology
It should come as no surprise that the mental health industry is implementing technology to aid them in doing their work. The rise of telehealth was a welcome convenience for many in mental health careers. As we continue to use all forms of technology, its use in the behavioral health industry will only continue to increase. It offers many benefits for both the provider and the user.
What Is the Mental Health Job Outlook?
Individuals that work in behavioral health may wonder about the future of the industry. However, they can be assured that the job growth is stable and growing, as noted below.
Present Job Outlook for Behavioral Health
Those working in the behavioral health industry may have sensed a shift in their job and their clients’ needs. This is not surprising considering all the abovementioned trends implicate the various mental health needs nationwide.
Job growth for healthcare grew in the third quarter of 2022 and going into the new year. The healthcare sector includes all behavioral health jobs.
Future of Mental Health Careers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports solid job growth among all mental health positions. Several different types of behavioral health careers exist, with some experiencing higher growth than others. The following is a list of the top mental health careers experiencing predicted job growth. The projected growth is from 2021 to 2031:
- Substance Abuse Counselor (projected growth= 22%)
- Clinical Social Workers (projected growth= 11.1%)
- Marriage and Family Therapists (projected growth= 14%)
- Psychiatrists (projected growth= 8.7%)
- Clinical Psychologists/Mental Health Therapists (projected growth= 6%)
These mental health jobs have higher projected growth rates than the average growth rate for all U.S. jobs, which is 5.3%.
How Technology Is Shaping the Mental Health World
According to the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) Office of Health Policy, the use of telehealth experienced a dramatic rise recently. Medical professionals across the country are engaging in the use of digital ways to evaluate patients, prescribe medicine, and provide care.
With the pandemic pushing many people into isolation and shutting down several businesses, technology was a lifesaver for the mental health industry. Since more people were feeling the strain of mental health issues, mental health professionals needed to continue to meet the needs of their patients. This was accomplished through telehealth and telemedicine.
The CDC reports 37% of adults used telemedicine to connect with their medical provider in 2021, which is the most recent data. This is a big increase from years prior. This percentage will probably only get higher as more providers continue providing telemedicine access.
Through telemedicine, patients can meet with their mental health provider for the following:
Assessment and evaluation
Creation of a treatment plan
Evidence-based therapy sessions
Benefits of Using Technology in Behavioral Health Jobs
Technology in any industry offers a wealth of benefits. The same can be said for the mental health industry. Using telehealth in mental health provides advantages for both the provider and the patient. Mental health providers can gain the following benefits:
- Allowing a more flexible schedule
- Meeting with more patients due to a less restrictive environment
- Saving money because of no commuting to work
- Offering more convenience since the providers work out of their own home
The patient also gains similar advantages. For example, they also can be more relaxed meeting with a therapist while in their own home. People struggling with a depressive disorder may find telehealth a way to get started with therapy. In addition, patients will have a reduction in costs, too, because they won’t need to drive to the appointment. In some situations, insurance companies may have reduced copays for telehealth versus in-person meetings.
When a person faces an urgent situation and wants to meet with someone immediately, the wait time may be reduced.
Overcoming Barriers to Mental Health
Telemedicine merges technology with behavioral health experts. The technology platform can help overcome the various barriers that exist to seeking mental health treatment. Some of these barriers are as follows:
- Stigma: Although stigma has significantly decreased, it’s not gone. Some people are more vulnerable to it and don’t want to seek treatment publicly. Telemedicine allows people to get the help they need while keeping a low profile.
- Accessibility: Accessibility to mental health services is limited in many areas. Some people live in rural areas and don’t have nearby mental health facilities. Others may not have access because of their socioeconomic status and inability to get transportation to appointments. Whatever the case might be, telehealth removes that barrier, allowing access to people affected by this issue.
- Cost: People often do not seek care because of the expense. The issue of cost hinders them from taking care of their mental health. Telehealth provides a cost-effective way to bring mental health care to those in need.
Learn More About Expanding Your Mental Health Career
Mental health providers can explore more options for expanding their careers with Telemynd. Join the many professional mental health experts delivering outstanding care and services to their patients through the Telemynd platform.
Telemynd offers a comprehensive mental health solution for providers and patients. The company delivers personalized behavioral health services that increase care and improve outcomes. By combining technology and the expertise of trained mental health professionals, Telemynd is equipped to meet the mental health demands of 2023 and beyond. Apply to Telemynd’s team today!