HOW TO BECOME A MENTAL HEALTH COACH
In the wake of the pandemic, living in The New Normal has further opened the conversation on mental health concerns and the need to assist those who are struggling with it. Mental health coaching is helping to reduce the stigma of mental illness and make it easier for people to reach out.
We’ll share an overview about the purpose of mental health coaching, the role of a mental health coach, and what it takes to become one.
What is Mental Health Coaching all about?
Mental health coaching is a powerful tool that can provide the appropriate strategies to develop healthy and productive coping mechanisms for those who have mental health issues. Their practices are rooted in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that deals with the client’s present problems in daily situations. It also applies strengths-based methods that uses the client’s particular abilities to help improve their behaviour.
Difference between coaching and counselling
It’s important to note that mental health coaching is different from counselling in therapy. Counselling addresses clinical symptoms that are apparent in the client’s mental state due to past traumatic experiences.
Practitioners are licensed providers in clinical psychology or in related fields such as education or social work. Psychiatrists, for example, have a doctoral degree and are licensed in clinical psychology which allows them to prescribe medical treatment for mental disorders.
The purpose of mental health coaching is focussed on helping people to maintain the stability of their mental wellbeing, especially during stressful situations that they may encounter daily.
Coaches are not licensed practitioners – they cannot prescribe medical treatments – but they are highly skilled professionals with vetted credentials such as certified training from coaching organisations that are recognised and highly regarded in the industry.
What does a Mental Health Coach do?
A mental health coach should provide a goal-oriented support system for the client to help them manage their issues. The coach should be able to assess their client’s mental health concerns, strengths, and capabilities. This will be the basis to create a customised behavioural action plan for the client.
The plan includes concrete, self-assessment steps such as writing a journal to track their progress, reading self-help materials, or performing self-improvement assignments. The mental health coach will guide the client to empower themselves and achieve mental health goals such as:
- Gaining insights that will promote personal development
- Finding ways to resolve mental challenges that inhibit them in their personal and professional lives
- Managing their emotions when they feel anxious or depressed
- Re-establishing connections in strained relationships
- Clarifying their values and realising their purpose in life
Mental health coaches provide valuable assistance for those in the mild spectrum. But for severe cases, these coaches should also have a clear understanding on whether the client should seek medical counselling from a licensed practitioner instead.
How does one become a Mental Health Coach?
A key characteristic among mental health coaches is that they must be empathetic to the client’s condition. They must also remain non-judgmental and leave their personal biases behind. Having excellent listening skills is also crucial. This will create comfortable conditions for the client to freely discuss sensitive mental health matters.
If these qualities are inherent to you, you may want to further develop professional-level skills and pursue a career in the field of mental health. Courses4Me offers a Community Mental Health Course with modules that tackle topics such as:
- Nature and Scope of Mental Health
- Anxiety Disorders
- Environmental Problems (Abuse & Neglect; Relationship problems)
- Helping Yourself in Mental Health Issues
- Depression in Men and Women
Through our extensive training, you’ll be equipped with the necessary tools and skills to become a professional mental health coach. You’ll receive official accreditation upon completion of the course which will enable you to seek fulfilling work in the mental health coaching sector.