A health counselor works through issues, mostly psychological, and provide help to people undergoing mental issues due to trauma, stress, or anxiety. They help people determine the primary cause of such problems. For example, they assist people dealing with drug addiction and behavioral issues and focus on their mental well being. They guide what to do in various situations and help individuals focus on what matters the most in their lives.
Due to such a crucial role they perform, the counseling field continues to grow exponentially. As stated by the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), there aren’t enough people taking up this field of study despite the growth. Counseling, as a career choice, is not for the weak or faint-hearted. It takes years of hard work to obtain a masters degree in counseling. You will then have to get the proper credentials like an LMFT degree to practice the trade legally, and then throw in the specialization. You are bound to spend the better years of your life training on becoming a professional counselor. That said, the benefits that you can gain and provide the community are endless. Let us take a look at some of the roles of health counselors in supporting humanity.
PROVIDE PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT TO WAR-TORN INDIVIDUALS
The army has its counselor on board who helps veterans tackle mental issues that occur while they are on tour. While these soldiers visit other countries to protect us, they will see numerous things that ordinary people shouldn’t experience. It leaves an ever-lasting wrong psychological impression on them, which they have to deal with once they return home.
For example, an American soldier on tour to Somalia has to deal with a child soldier waiting to pull the trigger on them. While some people do not fire back, some do. The mental trauma that ensues afterward is like the worst feeling. Imagine pulling the trigger of a gun on a child and taking their life away. Counselors help out such soldiers with battling such post-traumatic stress and try to bring them back to life. Most of these army-based health counselors carry a license and an education, such as a masters counseling online degree. The government requires them to work in the army and protect the interests of its soldiers.
- PROVIDE MENTAL SUPPORT FOR BEDRIDDEN INDIVIDUALS
Imagine spending the remaining years of your life lying on a bed and being able to do nothing on your own. It leaves a mark on your mental health. You cannot get up; you cannot eat food by yourself, you cannot go to the bathroom alone. Such a life is bound to make you mentally sick. Although various home healthcare services accommodate people with such health issues, counselors’ roles are far more vital than theirs.
They provide counseling to such individuals and try to explain to them that it is OK if someone helps them out. Asking for help for something that you cannot physically do due to an illness is justifiable in any situation. Counselors explain to such bedridden individuals a way to cope with such circumstances.
- THEY HELP CANCER SURVIVORS AND CANCER PATIENTS
Cancer is an illness that has no cure. If someone has cancer, there will come a time they will die, no matter how much treatment they get. Although, there have been numerous cases where patients recovered from this sickness and are still alive. The entire treatment process is a lot more painful than what your doctor might tell you. It is a sensitive situation to get treatments such as chemotherapy.
Patients who undergo such a treatment regularly face its side effects. These side effects include loss of hair, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Regularly experiencing these side effects leads to mental stress and anxiety. Sometimes these cancer patients want to die and get it over with, avoiding the pain they have. It is where a health counselor can step in and help out. They provide counseling to such patients that it is OK for them to feel this way. There are many rehab centers for these patients. A health counselor urges them to participate in group therapy sessions where other patients share their horror stories and how they recovered from the worst sickness imaginable. After all, they are not the only ones battling cancer and facing its treatments’ side effects. Countless other people suffer from them daily. Hearing out other people’s stories will ease their minds and relate to what others have to say.
- THEY HELP OUT INDIVIDUALS WITH DRUG ADDICTION ISSUES
Drug addiction is something that plagues not only the USA but also all other countries. It is an ongoing issue, and the opioid crisis makes it far worse. There are thousands of drug overdose-related deaths in the USA alone, and the number grows by the millions if you take into account figures from other countries as well. Although rehabs and drug abuse centers exist in all countries, it is a counselor who helps drug addicts to come back to their routine.
A medical counselor at a rehabilitation center may guide drug addicts and explain the disadvantages of using drugs. These disadvantages can range from health issues to plain old social injustice. Being a social outcast due to drug abuse is far worse than any other social problem. People don’t consider drug addicts as normal human beings and deprive them of everyday activities. Health counselors inside a rehab center explain to the drug addicts all these disadvantages and make strides to help them avoid drug abuse in the future. They conduct regular checks and drug screenings to ensure the person is drug-free.
The counseling field is vast and continues to grow at a fast pace. Healthcare professionals can choose from various sub-field of counseling such as group therapy, individual therapy, or work at a local community aid center. However, the role that counselors play in helping and supporting humanity is a vital one. Not only do they help out mentally-stressed people, but they also help the community as a whole. So, if you are an aspiring counseling student, this field will allow you a platform to help out people in need.