ICHARS Suppport Foundation

Problems faced by mental health professionals

Mental health in India; especially Psychology is not a regulated field. Awareness among people with regards to mental health is also limited and often clouded with pre conceived notions. On top of it, professionals face different kinds of challenges in their work lives and find it difficult to hold on to qualitative contribution.

Here is a list of some issues faced by mental health professionals.

  1. Lack of clarity in job profile: in many cases even after a person gets a job at a certain institute, there is lack of clarity in their work role. Guidelines for their role may differ from place to place, yet in most cases there is a lack of clarity. E.g. Many a times school psychologists are made to take proxy lectures for value education or moral science classes assuming they would be good at it anyway
  2. Job engines do not help the mental health experts as much: The word ‘counsellor’ is highly misunderstood. Even a receptionist guiding students regarding courses is termed as a counsellor at many places. Thus, individuals who apply for a counsellor’s position end up receiving information of a very different nature of work.
  3. Lack of jobs: even though the government mentions that we need mental health experts, the truth is that not many slots are available. People after their education in mental health find it extremely difficult to get jobs.
  4. Underpaid professionals: Mental health experts especially psychologists are highly underpaid. Most of the non-teaching staff members also get a better salary compared to school/college counsellor. The salary for any fresher (after Masters in Psychology) is between Rs. 5000-12000. However, certain initiates with international affiliations are good paymasters and a therapist may earn above Rs. 25000/- there. However, very few get this privilege.
  5. Lack of practical knowledge: Lack of practice during college days along with difficulties in getting internships add to this. Theoretically they may have all the knowledge yet the practical skills are amiss.
    High rentals for clinics: Setting up a private practice is difficult and one has to bear a lot of expense. Along with this, looking for an appropriate setting on sharing or percentage basis also becomes difficult.
  6. Finding interns: in many cases professionals look at establishing a team or hiring interns. Even this becomes difficult because there is no single and systematic stream to do so.