5 Signs That You Belong in the Mental Healthcare Field

5 Signs That You Belong in the Mental Healthcare Field

Are you facing a transition? As the economic downturn catalyzed by COVID-19 progresses, many who have found themselves unexpectedly unemployed are considering a career change. While the loss of a job is never welcome, one silver lining can be the opportunity to explore a field that offers the potential for greater satisfaction and fulfillment in your work.

Mental healthcare in particular is an arena that people choose to enter for one simple reason: They’re passionate about it. And while some roles in the field require a degree in mental health, many do not. Direct care staff, medical staff, admissions experts, teachers, and human resources professionals—among many other roles—are integral to the mission and success of treatment programs, and just as essential as psychiatrists and therapist roles that require higher education in the mental health field.

Not sure that mental healthcare is a good fit for you, or afraid you don’t have what it takes? If you possess one or more of the following five qualities, you might want to consider a career in the mental health field.

1. Compassion

If compassion is one of your top strengths, you’ve already got a natural advantage in the mental health industry. (If you’re not sure what your top strengths are, take the free survey at ViaCharacter.org. The Newport Healthcare approach is based in compassion and unconditional love. We believe that every teen and young adult deserves the chance for a thriving, fulfilling life, and we see the beauty and strength in each of our clients. Rather than viewing our patients as broken or “less than,” we recognize their bright and sensitive spirits, and nurture the unique positive qualities of each and every young person who comes to us. Seeing themselves through our eyes as whole and strong helps them come to see themselves that way—as founder Jamison Monroe says, “We love our kids until they can love themselves.”

2. The Desire to Make a Difference

Ask Newport Healthcare staff what motivates them to work in mental health and keeps them going even on the tough days, and you’ll hear a version of the same answer: seeing kids and families heal and transform during their time with us. When young people come to us, they’ve typically been struggling for some time, and their families are feeling helpless and hopeless. As teens and young adults advance through treatment, we have the privilege of seeing the light return to their eyes, harmony restored to the family, and a sense of limitless possibilities open up before them. And we have the satisfaction of knowing that we’ve been a part of that life-changing process. Whether they work with teens at Newport Academy or young adults at Newport Institute, our staff members make a difference in the lives of young people and their families each and every day.

3. Your Own Healing Journey

At Newport Healthcare, many of our team members have their own stories of recovery—including Jamison. Having walked this path themselves gives them a deeper understanding of the struggle, as well as what it takes to create change. Jamison’s experience as a teenager in treatment programs that addressed symptoms rather than underlying causes catalyzed his decision to start a center that focused on the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—in order to effect sustainable recovery. Carter Barnhart, Newport Healthcare’s Chief Experience Officer (CXO), first joined us more than a dozen years ago as a client in residential treatment. After graduating from the program, she returned to high school and then went on to college and internships in venture capital funds and retail. But she spent most of her free time “playing therapist and life coach to my friends,” Carter recalls. “I was the go-to person for advice when anyone was struggling, and I began to realize that my true calling was helping people. In 2011, my sophomore year, I reached out to Jamison and asked him if I could come back, this time as part of the team.” Today, as CXO, Carter is instrumental in ensuring that Newport Healthcare continues to deliver the best patient satisfaction in the mental health industry.

4. An Emotional Connection to Those You’d Serve

Most people in the mental healthcare field choose to work with a specific population, whether that’s seniors, veterans, victims of trauma, couples, children, or, as at Newport Healthcare, teens and young adults. Almost always, they make that choice because they feel drawn to work with a specific demographic. Often that’s a result of their own personal and family history; many Newport Healthcare staff remember adolescence as a time of both great challenge and enormous growth, and they entered the field in order to support young people as they wish they had been supported at that age. You don’t need to be an expert in a particular stage of life or a particular life experience to work with a specific group—you just need a heart connection that inspires you to be part of their healing journey.

5. A Calling to This Work

What is a calling? It’s the voice you hear inside when you get quiet and listen to your deepest intuition and longings. It’s the voice that tells you that this is the right path, even if it doesn’t seem practical or “make sense.” In the words of author and activist Parker Palmer, “Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.” If your life is telling you that you’re meant to be in the mental health field, learn more about opportunities to join the Newport Healthcare team on our Careers page.