Tough Economic Times Call for More Mental Health Professionals

For those seeking a career in mental health, the opportunities to help others are abundant. The number of stressed, depressed, and suicidal people rises considerably during a recession, according to a recent study published by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. It is easy for depression over a job loss to spin out of control, causing feelings of hopelessness and despair, and tripling the risk of suicide.

This means caring and qualified mental health professionals are needed now more than ever. Social workers and mental health counselors are among the most in-demand professions today, according to a recent study by jobfox.com. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) backs up these findings, reporting that counselors and social workers are expected to see employment rises of 21-22 percent during the 2006-2016 period.

The Recession and Depression

Tough economic times have more of an impact than most realize, affecting individuals both mentally and financially following job loss or job shortage. In 2007, one-third of Americans cited excessive stress, with money and work being key factors. 2008 saw the number of calls to support hot lines around the country increase, as the financial crisis soared. Credit collapse, mortgage foreclosure, and high cost of living are all factors in the current economic crisis; though their specific impacts on depression and suicide have not been studied, the overall impact seems clear: Unemployment is linked to an increased risk of suicide.

The demand for psychologists, counselors, and social workers is rising along with the economic crisis. According to BLS statistics, growth of as much as 34 percent is expected in areas such as mental health and substance abuse counseling.

Online Schools Offer Stress-Free Alternatives

Earning your psychology degree online can reduce your own mental stress as you prepare for your career helping others. The cost of online education can be a fraction of the cost of traditional schools, and when you take classes can work around your schedule--much of your studying can be done from home, on your own time.

The current recession has made careers such as a psychologist, counselor, and social worker particularly in demand. Online schools offer affordable and practical alternatives to traditional schooling, making it easier than ever before to pursue your dreams of helping others and helping yourself with a rewarding, lasting career.