Do you believe in yourself

Personally I don’t. People do say, with my experience of mental illness (depression and schizophrenia), I should work in mental health, but I just don’t believe in myself.

Do you believe you have the ability to work in mental health?

Yeah I’m being persuaded to go in a similar direction by the director and staff generalist of my clubhouse. They really want me to work in the clubhouse field rather than be a member as I am now. They are always saying that I will be a director myself someday and are encouraging me to apply as staff to the clubhouse that I will be helping to open in my new (or old) location.

Before that it was being pushed towards the peer support field by people who worked at a dual diagnosis rehab I went to. I don’t know, I think they are being far too optimistic thinking that I could just step right in as staff and do great things. I mean they chose me out of a hundred and eighty members to fly out and represent them at the international conference some time ago and again for a six month rep seat on the BOD and all, so I know they see something in me.

But I don’t know, perhaps this could be more of a long, long term goal rather than the short term goal they’d like to see it is. I don’t want to sell myself short, I know I possess what they see in me, I just, possess other traits as well that have always overtaken and sabotaged me in the past.


I have had depression, schizophrenia and generalized anxiety disorder, and I am currently working on a BA in psychology. I hope to go on to graduate school and get either a master’s degree or a PhD in clinical psychology. From there I hope to either go on to become a counseling psychologist, or a university professor. But it is all just a dream as of now. I have to, first of all, finish two and a half years more of college to get my BA. Who knows? Maybe I will just give up on school (and all of the loans I would have to take out), and just do something with my BA in psychology. I already have an associate degree from a community college, so I’m better off than I was before I did that.

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Go for it Caroline. You’ve got the experience necessary. We’re “Experts by experience”. My CPN told me that one “Experts by Experience”, the advantage we have over others working in the field.

yes i do. the only thing i lack is discipline. i have the imagination, just not the discipline to see it through. that pains me. it’s something i have to work on…

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Being a psychiatric nurse, as well as someone who’s suffered from mental illness since adolescence, my best advice for anyone wishing to enter the mental health field should be:

Take care of yourself first. Make sure that you’re stable under pressure and in the presence of a depressing environment.

Working in mental health is very triggering, depressing, and stressful. You must be in control of yourself before you can attempt to help others.

Otherwise, the field can eat you alive. And it’s not only stressful and taxing to the mentally ill. Even many, many healthy individuals gets burnt out by the stress and depression. Mental health has one of the highest staff turnover rates of any specialty.

But it can also be extremely rewarding. I wouldn’t trade the 5 years that I worked in the field for anything. Even though it was partially responsible for my break.

You can really touch and change people’s lives. And see them grow, stabilize, and recover.

If you’re interested in the field of mental health, I would encourage you to try to volunteer in the field first, to see how it’s going to affect you. You might find you can’t tolerate it. But you also might find that it’s your calling :slight_smile:




I do genuinely like and care about people. But I know that I wouldn’t last in this field. I do know it would eat me alive.

It would be nice to be able to be able to help people in this capacity. But I don’t think I would have the strength for how intense this field is.

I find I have an easier time working with the homeless. “Your hungry? Heres a food bank… you need shelter? We found a place for you…”

In my odd opinion it would be more immediate. I do know there are a lot of homeless who are suffering mental illness, I can relate to being unmedicated and homeless. When I do get stronger and I do have some of my inner core a little more figured out… I have completely thought about how hard/ do-able it would be to volunteer for some of the homeless out reach centers here in the city.

I still have a bit to go… this is my first year completely stable in my opinion. I’d like to get a little more stability under my belt. But I can see with in the next 3 to 5 years… giving back some time to the services that got me off the streets. Or… maybe this winter when I have a slower schedule… volunteer with a food bank again.

Our Community gardens have a food bank drive 4 times a year, Northwest Harvest works with a lot of food bank and since I work with community gardens… I’ve already got a foot in the door so to speak.

Something to think about more seriously when summer amps back down.