A Master of Mental Health prepares you to professionally help with people with psychological issues. Graduates work in healthcare fields such as health services, social work and nursing.
A Master of Mental Health is a postgraduate degree program providing advanced training in mental health practice and leadership. Programs are designed for allied health clinicians and other professionals seeking to specialise in this field.
Students examine evidence-based interventions and theoretical principles. They develop practical skills and specialised knowledge to extend or enhance their healthcare roles, learning to respond effectively to patients experiencing mild, moderate, or severe psychological challenges.
The degree enables health professionals from different backgrounds to specialise in mental wellness practice and leadership. Depending on your undergraduate studies, you may specialise in fields such as community health, child psychotherapy, and mental health nursing.
Is a Masters in Mental Health worth it? The answer is likely to be yes if you (a) already work with clients who have psychological issues and (b) feel there are gaps in your training or level of qualifications.
Earning the degree can be highly beneficial. It should improve your professional aptitude and job satisfaction, and open up new career opportunities. A postgraduate degree is especially advantageous when applying for senior roles, such as leadership and management positions.
The average salaries of mental health professionals usually range from $80k to $100k in Australia. A postgraduate qualification increases your chances of earning towards the higher end of this range or beyond. Online study options are also available, allowing you to study part-time without time off work.
SCU Online Master of Mental Health
The accelerated, 100% online Master of Mental Health from Southern Cross University provides a well-rounded education. You learn to appreciate psychological challenges and are given tools to respond to client needs. Topics include mental well-being at different ages, physical healthcare, supporting behaviour change, and developing psychotherapy skills. SCU Online has a student-first approach and offers this course at an affordable price. Flexible learning allows you to work while studying and you can start the program with a 4-subject graduate certificate course.
What you will study is program-dependent. But expect to cover a lot of ground as you explore psychological and stress issues, clinical assessment and treatment methods, and practice issues such as leadership, ethics and safety.
Masters programs typically consists of 12 subjects. As well as core subjects, some electives may be available.
- Acute Mental Health
- Applied Leadership in Clinical Practice
- Appraising Evidence
- Contemporary Mental Health
- Developing Skills in Psychotherapies
- Healthcare Professional Portfolio A
- Mental Health Across the Lifespan
- Physical Healthcare in Mental Health
By studying for a master's degree, you learn a professional, evidence-based approach to managing clients. You'll gain insight into common psychological conditions and develop strategies for managing cases and providing treatment.
Here's a small sample of specific learning outcomes.
- Apply and integrate evidence-based knowledge into clinical practice settings
- Connect developmental theories to individual well-being and social roles
- Create strategies to support the psychological wellness of people with eating disorders
- Design nutrition and exercise based interventions for inclusion in treatment plans
- Design, in partnership with consumers, helpful interventions to common conditions
- Draw up a program of mindfulness-based interventions in response to consumer needs
- Identify and search the most appropriate data sources for clinical evidence
- Reflect critically on your own professional practice and learning
A masters degree can open opportunities for more senior or specialised roles along your current career path, as well as creating new pathways. Graduates are commonly employed by public and private healthcare providers, psychological service providers, government bodies, advocacy groups, and research institutions.
Jobs the degree supports or enables include: Social Worker, Mental Health Worker, Child Protection Officer, Counsellor, Mental Health Clinician, and Case Manager.
Mental wellness is a growing field that is generating strong demand for skilled professionals. Employment of Social and Welfare Professionals is projected to grow by 17% to 204,000 over the 5 years to 2027. The group includes welfare workers, social workers, psychologists, counsellors and ministers of religion.
Programs are open to university graduates with a relevant background. At a minimum, you should have a bachelor degree in a health, psychology or social science-related discipline and be proficient in English.
Note that some masters are exclusively for clinical professionals already working in the field. For such programs, you may need a university qualification in a health discipline and, as part of your current job, be in regular contact with people who have psychological problems.