Should You Pursue a Career in Behavioral Health? Learn More About This Growing Career Path

Behavioral health is becoming an increasingly popular field. There has been a major spotlight on mental health due to the pandemic, a rise in working from home, and children attending virtual school. The increase of people seeking services to get through these challenging times has caused a demand for workers in this space. 

If you are a person that has a passion for helping others you will enjoy a career in this field. 

What Is Behavioral Health?

Behavioral health is defined as the way your habits impact your mental and physical wellbeing. That includes factors like eating and drinking habits, exercise, and addictive behavior patterns. 

Substance abuse, eating disorders, gambling, and sex addiction are all examples of behavioral health disorders. These conditions stem from maladaptive behaviors and may require behavioral health services to overcome. 

In some circumstances, behavioral health may be considered a subset of mental health. However, behavioral health is also a part of physical health. For example, a behavioral health professional may help an individual address the habits that lead to obesity, which is a physical issue.

Behavioral Health Careers

One of the most impactful roles in the behavioral health field is the caregiver or home care aide. This person is responsible for the day to day needs of their patient. Multiple duties including supervising treatment and providing emotional support are the responsibility of the caregiver. 

Additional duties include: 

  • medical advocacy
  • prescription medication management
  • help with personal hygiene and care
  • assisting with meals and nutrition 

Caregivers can work with a wide range of the population or focus primarily on children or the elderly. In Washington State, caregivers can become certified after taking 75 hours of training, passing a background check, and taking an exam.

Substance abuse counselors are also in high demand. The stress of the pandemic has caused many people to become depressed due to many effects such as sickness, working from home, and managing children out of school with little to no childcare assistance. People have turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with feelings of isolation and sadness. 

Substance abuse counselors can help people explore other ways to get through whatever is troubling them. In Washington State, you can become a professional substance abuse counselor by getting an appropriate bachelor’s degree, passing a background check, getting supervised work experience, and taking an exam.

There are several other career choices in the behavioral health field such as psychiatrist or registered nurse that require much more school and training than a caregiver. The caregiver is a great introductory role in the behavioral health field.  

Interested in Starting Your Care Career?

If a career in behavioral health sounds appealing to you, Sunrise Services offers a home care aide training program. The 75 hour program will provide you with the necessary skills for the job, including safety training, as well as assistance with passing the required certification. 

Our program includes training that is specific to the Sunrise Services population, including Dementia, Mental Health, Stroke, TBI, and Heart Disease. Students may choose to do all hours on-location or complete a hybrid of online and on-location training. After completion of the training, students need to pass their State exam (written & skills testing) to achieve their Home Care Aide Certified (HCA-C) credential.

Where to Begin

Head to Sunrise Services website and review our monthly training calendars either on our website or in person to decide which class sessions work best for your schedule. Once you pay for classes you can enroll and begin the training. After the 75 hours of training is completed you will receive a certificate, and once you pass the state exam you will be an HCA-C! 

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