How to become a qualified mental health professional?

qualified mental health professional

Becoming a mental health professional is a challenge that not many people dare to take on. Studying careers such as Human Medicine, Nursing or Dentistry requires commitment and dedication, an effort that in the long run is rewarded with moments of great satisfaction that you do not receive or experience in any other situation. Can you imagine the look of gratitude of a mother after having saved her son? A unique feeling envelops and enhances these health professionals.

How to become a qualified mental health professional?

mental health professional

If you want to become one, consider these qualities that identify you as a future and successful health professional:

Be friends with humanity: It means that compassion, friendship, good treatment, and your kindness are very necessary to connect with people. In a hospital, patients are not only people with diseases but human beings who need to feel safe and understood.

Be respectful: A future health professional respects people for who they are. With good words, gestures, and attitudes.

Dedicated: Professionals in this field usually have emergency calls, unexpected situations, etc. It is necessary to be dedicated to your work: live healthily and helping people.

Humble: Able to ask for help when you need it. In human health, there are thousands of details, diseases, and treatments. You can not know everything.


Communicative: Your ability to communicate and be social must be something that identifies you. For example, in a clinic, you will have mandatory contact with many professionals, including technicians, therapists, nurses, etc.

Worried about others: Are you worried about the health of your family or your friends? Do you want to be part of the solution when someone tells you a problem? That’s a good sign.

Handle difficult situations: If you can handle stress and not despair in complicated situations, this is for you. There are many complex cases in a hospital, but you are the first to maintain calm and control.

Emotional strength: Maybe it’s not a surprise for you. You will see innumerable cases that any other person would refuse to see. Your mental and emotional strength will serve you in this, in addition to your professionalism.

Empathic: You always put yourself in the place of others. You try to understand the pain and discomfort of someone who tells you a problem. This is essential to understand the physical and psychological ills of a patient.

Updated: Science and health go hand in hand with technology and the great advances of humanity. A health professional is always up to date.

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What are the mental health professional’s tasks?

mental health professional's tasks

As I briefly mentioned in the mental health crisis, the mental health professional’s work is often mistakenly confused with that of the psychologist or the psychotherapist.

So, before going to see together what is the training and what are the basic requirements to become a good mental health professional, it would be appropriate to understand well what this work consists of.

The psychiatrist is a full-fledged physician, who has a specific specialization in the field of mental illness and disorders. One of the main differences between the mental health professional and the psychologist concerns the fact that the former has a medical-pharmacological approach to mental illness.

In practice, this specialist, in addition to being able to play the role of the psychotherapist, and that of carrying out a therapy aimed at the specific situation, can give his patients drugs if deemed necessary.

This does not exclude the fact that, in certain particular situations, it may also decide to entrust its patients to external consultants.

The mental health professional is a job that can be done both in public facilities and in private facilities and, as you can easily guess, in the first case you will have to rely on public competitions.

Finally, the psychiatrist can also work as a freelancer, opening a private practice, or working in mental health centers, rehabilitation communities and so on.

What are the requirements?


If you have decided to take the path to become a mental health professional you will surely be aware of the fact that you will have to possess the requisites, especially personal ones, among which we remember above all the following:

  • ability to listen and understand others;
  • identify lies as often patients (especially drug addicts) may lie;
  • organization skills;
  • ability to problem-solving;
  • patience;
  • determination, especially to study.

As we have already said before, the psychiatrist is a full-fledged physician and, as such, must study at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, but we will take care of this in the next paragraph.

What is the course of study to follow?

course of study

To gain access to the Medicine and Surgery degree program and, therefore, to start your career towards a psychiatrist career, you will have to prepare yourself to pass the entrance exam.

The entry test is famous for its heterogeneity and its difficulty, but I assure you that if you study in depth, it will not be impossible to overcome it. In principle the subjects that are treated in the entry test for medicine are those mentioned below:

  1. Maths;
  2. Biology;
  3. Logic;
  4. General culture;
  5. Physics;
  6. Chemistry.

To take the admission test for Medicine and Surgery, you must deliver all the necessary documentation at the faculty where you decided to try the test, usually during the summer.

The test consists of as many as 60 questions. To overcome, it is necessary to respond correctly to at least 20 of them. On the market, you will find many manuals to prepare you to pass this exam. There are private schools that organize special training courses.

Once you have passed the entrance test for the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. Then you can access the courses. Usually, this degree course lasts 6 years, and during this period various subjects such as the following will be discussed and analyzed:

  • Emergency medicine;
  • Obstetrics;
  • Surgery;
  • Pediatrics;
  • Neurology.

During the six years of university, especially during the last year, you will also have to do an internship to graduate. At the end of the course, after discussing your thesis, you can proceed with the registration to the specialization that you prefer, in this case, psychiatry.

Which graduate school to choose?

graduate school

The specialization in Psychiatry also has a very long duration, which is around 5 to 6 years of studies. In this long period, you will have the opportunity to know and deepen different subjects. It falls within the psychiatry sector, such as those below:

  • Geriatric psychiatry;
  • Forensic psychiatry that is the field of psychiatry that is applied to criminology;
  • The psychiatry of addictions that, as you can understand from the name, deals with individuals who are suffering from addiction;
  • Neuropsychiatry which includes the study of diseases that affect the nervous system of our body;
  • Child and adolescent neuropsychiatry;
  • Emergency psychiatry deals with the study of an urgent situation. In which people’s lives could be at risk. For example, attempted suicide.

In this case, you have to do a mandatory internship where you will have the opportunity to put all your knowledge into practice, entering the industry.

How does registration on the Professional Register work?


After graduating in Medicine and Surgery, before entering the specialist psychiatry, you must register with the Order of Physicians of the province in which you belong.

As a result, as with any other profession where registration is required for the Professional Order. You will have to pass the appropriate State Exam which is usually held twice a year.

After having graduated in medicine and surgery, after enrolling in the Register and having graduated in the specialization in Psychiatry, then you can start working as a mental health professional. It gives you the opportunity to work in different structures, both private and public.