Mental health administration is a subspecialty of psychology and a hybrid with business management that covers the clinical, advisory and business aspects of working in the mental health care industry. Mental health administrators are considered highly valuable to their employers, but as such, they are tasked with a great deal of responsibility. A mental health administrator must demonstrate competence at theoretical principles of mental health care. They must also be able to manage employees and business matters and make decisions that are in the best interests of the organization as a whole.
What Does a Mental Health Administrator Do?
Managing treatment plans for patients, serving as a support unit to the clinical practitioner and the patient and working within the legal and ethical guidelines of health care as a whole are major responsibilities of the mental health administrator. While an administrator may not engage as directly with patients, they will have a direct impact on the care received through delegation and oversight.
It’s worth mentioning that if you value the patient interaction above all else, you may not wish to get involved with this avenue of the psychology profession. However, it is important not to lose sight that you are still making a major impact in the lives of those with mental health disorders.
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Careers in Mental Health Administration
Careers in the field are can be incredibly competitive. There are far fewer administrative openings than there are for clinical practitioners. You can set yourself apart from others in your field by taking business management courses with a specific focus on health care as you pursue a doctorate degree.
Most professionals within this field earn an annual salary of $100,000 or more. A career in mental health administration is time consuming, but it does a fine job of compensating the professional for their time and management skills. Just be prepared to fight for jobs with other health care administrative professionals.
Obtaining a Mental Health Administration Degree
As previously mentioned, to have a chance at a job in this field you’ll need a mental health administration degree and several years experience in the field. The doctorate degree path has a focus on mental health services, but you can’t neglect the business aspects during your training.