The area of mental health involves supporting people at a challenging time in their lives when they are affected by a mental health issue. If you work in mental health you may work in settings like government, public, private or community services. You might work in the community with individuals, families and groups.
Jobs in mental health support include being a mental health support worker. Becoming a mental health support worker gives you the opportunity to work with people who have a mental illness to help them direct their recovery. You might work in people’s homes, in respite care, or in clinics under the guidance of other professionals. This role involves expertise, experience and skills that you could develop after you finish school.
Community Services is an area that you could study in high school if you want to get started in improving people’s lives and move on to specialised mental health study when you finish school. Starting out in community services will enable you to support people in the community either one on one or with groups in community-based programs. At the Certificate III level you can choose elective units that give an introduction to mental health. As a community services support worker you would be working under supervision. You might work in an agency and help people with issues they’re having with recreation, health, housing, employment or welfare.
Below is an example of a pathway that gives you some options you might want to look at if you are either want to explore mental health by getting a taste, or get started in a job. Everyone has their own journey. You don’t need to go from one course to the next. Where you start and where you end is up to you!
To support the mental health and wellbeing of young Australians, there are over 100 headspace centres around Australia. Young people aged 12 to 25 can go to headspace for help with mental health, physical health and support for work and study.
Thinking about starting your journey in health and not sure if you'll like it?
Potential Certificate III qualification for health support roles
There are career options in mental health that can be pursued after high school and require study at the Certificate IV level. You could work with people who have a lived experience of alcohol and other drugs and support them on their wellness and recovery journey. If you have your own experiences of mental health you could become a mental health peer worker and support others in their journey, sharing the lived experience and providing hope.
There are also qualifications in the area of mental health that can be completed at a Diploma level.