Mental health professional, consultant, and furniture maker Rachel Ault-Baker has spent the last year researching what makes mental health professionals tick and what the profession can learn from the industry.
Her book, “The Minds of Mental Health Professionals”, will be published by Harvard Business Review on July 6.
Ault-Caker, the former CEO of the Mental Health Society of Australia, is one of the authors of the book.
She says she is drawn to the idea that the profession has been “overhyped” by some organisations.
“People think that mental health is a medical issue, but the truth is it is more of a mental health problem,” she said.
People want to be seen as people, not as a problem, she said, and mental health care professionals have a responsibility to make sure people see their needs as important.
What does mental health work like?
Ault C, Ault A, Aymons-Jones M, Tisdale J, Cottam-Smith B, Fong P, Williams S, (2016) The Mind’s of Mental Heath Professionals: Learning to Love and Lead by Teaching and Learning.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 515-528.
Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com.au/blog/psych-health-professional-work-ault-c-australian-mental-health/article382912/What-does-mental,-health,-care-providers-do/ Ault B, Cope M, &nsbsp; Ault E (2016).
‘Learning to Love’: A guide for mental health professional and consultant employees.
Journal for Human Resources, 31, 7-18.
Retrieved March 30, 2018, from http:www.hrs.gov.au.au The book will discuss the challenges and benefits of working in the mental health industry.
“It’s really important that we understand what mental health and mental illness are, and how they relate to each other,” Ms Ault said.
“This book is really about what mental wellness means, what it’s like to be a mental patient, and what it means to be an employee of a professional organisation.”
“The book’s really about how we understand the relationship between mental illness and work, and that really resonates with mental health staff,” Ms Cope said.
Ms Copes-Smith said she believed the book would help mental health organisations “explore and understand their mental health processes”.
“I think it’s really interesting to see how mental health practitioners relate to the mental healthcare system, because that’s the area that we know the most about,” she added.
Ms Ault also found it important to make the book accessible to anyone interested in the subject.
‘We should not make it compulsory for mental illness workers to have mental health training’ Ms Aults-Smith, a counsellor and mental healthcare manager, said mental health workers needed to be “informed about what it is they are doing, what their responsibilities are, how they are trained, and why they should be doing it”.
Ms Cope agreed, saying that the mental wellness industry should not be “required” for mental wellbeing professionals.
She also argued that people who do not have mental illness should not have to learn about it to be in the industry, because mental health experts could do so without a degree.
The book will also look at the issues surrounding mental health research and mental wellbeing, including “the lack of evidence that supports the idea of mental health being a human health issue”.
What are the skills of mental wellness professionals?
Ms A, C, and Cope were asked to find out what mental wellbeing experts are able to do to “learn to LOVE” their jobs.
They looked at what it takes to be mentally well-rounded, to think about and solve complex problems, and to deal with difficult emotions.
These skills were also explored, such as “the ability to recognise the subtle signs of emotional distress in others” and to “make sense of complex problems”.
The authors also examined the skills and knowledge of mental wellbeing professional trainers.
Cope said the book should provide an educational framework for mental wellness workers and “educate mental health people about what is required of them to be well-liked and respected”.
She said it should help mental wellbeing providers “explain the nature of the work and why it is important”.
Ayrshire Counsellor Rebecca Lydon said she found the book interesting and helpful.
It will also provide a useful reference for mental healthcare professionals, and provide an insight into the mental wellbeing industry.