Mental Health Clinician

Mental Health Clinicians in Telehealth

What Makes a Mental Health Clinician

Telehealth lets medical specialists reach a wider client base than ever before. And patients who were once restricted to local caregivers now have more options thanks to virtual care. As a result, certain approaches to care have become the most popular on remote platforms. Chief among them: mental health clinicians have become some of the most desired providers. 

The stigma around mental illness has lasted for decades. All the while, people who struggle with mental health issues don’t seek treatment. But thanks to telehealth’s convenience, privacy, and accessibility, care can reach those who need it the most. All psychological providers need to do is use the tools at their disposal. 

Few medical jobs take as much training and expertise as a mental health clinician. So, to make the position more approachable, Beam is here to help. By explaining the basics of becoming and working as a clinician, we want to bring more providers into a field that needs them. In the long run, telehealth will ensure that mental healthcare is a human right. 

Education and Certification 

Becoming a mental health clinician takes time, dedication, and investment. And like with in-person care, a clinician’s career starts with their education. Mental health clinicians must earn a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, or a similar field. During this stage, they should volunteer or work at a mental health clinic. 

This classroom and practical experience will prepare them to earn a Master’s Degree [1]. Master’s programs in psychology and counseling teach students the skills telehealth asks for. Classes will teach diagnostic criteria, behavioral approaches, and the foundations of therapy. Most degree programs also involve internship opportunities that include supervised clinical experience. 

Finally, a mental health clinician needs to get the right licensure. To do this, providers must pass an exam that allows them to practice within their state of choice. On top of that, many states require extra certifications to offer telehealth treatment. With this in mind, clinicians are experts on psychology and telehealth regulations. 

What a Mental Health Clinician Does

Mental health clinicians offer a broad skillset used in many different settings. While many go on to work as counselors who specialize in talk therapy, that’s only the tip of the iceberg [2]. Some go on to provide specialized forms of behavioral therapy. These approaches can help everyone from the general public to clients with conditions like Autism or PTSD. 

Other clinicians go on to become or work with psychiatrists. Not only do they diagnose patients’ conditions, but they offer medication to manage symptoms. Monitoring progress and adjusting doses does take careful attention to detail. But when the right prescription can change lives, psychiatry is well worth the effort.

A subset of mental health clinicians works in addiction and recovery services. Right now, drug addiction and overdose rates are at an all-time high [3]. As such, clinicians who can help people struggling with addiction are highly-valued. Since a patient’s mental wellbeing ties into substance abuse, psychology experts are best equipped to offer treatment. 

Even outside of these fields, mental health clinicians are in high demand. Social workers for abused and neglected children make the most of their clinical experience. The same is true for counselors that work with military veterans. Some providers go on to teach, sharing their skills with educators and other companies’ medical staff. 

How Telehealth Improves Care 

Telehealth does more than moving in-person interactions to a video chat. Virtual care offers a variety of tools that improves the quality of treatment on offer. Clinics that make the most of their telehealth platforms deliver on once impossible medical promises. So, the best mental health clinicians understand the strengths of their remote platform. 

First, telehealth has even more appeal to patients with tech literacy. Younger clients and patients with tech backgrounds show more comfort with virtual healthcare [4]. These groups use video chat, email, and texting features to the point where they are second nature. As such, telehealth lets providers meet these patients for treatment they would pass up on in person. 

But even for patients without tech expertise, the benefits of telehealth still shine through. Virtual healthcare saves time that would go to transport and sitting in a waiting room. What’s more, some practices speak to patients with tools they are most comfortable with. Virtual care affords the freedom to speak with a provider through video chat, telephone, or email. 

Mental health clinicians argue this emphasis on convenience, freedom, and comfort can improve care. Counselors’ offices feel like an unfamiliar territory to some patients. But clients are better able to open up with a specialist from the comfort of their own home. This home turf advantage changes the way telehealth users approach treatment for the better. 

The path to becoming a mental health clinician is long and difficult. But with the right tools, it’s only a matter of time until providers can offer the care patients need. And to simplify the process, Beam is here to help. We offer qualifying mental health clinics one year of free access to our platform. Click here to learn more.