In recent years, there has been a remarkable understanding of the role that mental health plays in the overall well-being of an individual. Mental and physical well-being are deeply interconnected. Conditions like depression are the leading cause of disability and according to WHO, and people with severe mental health conditions can extend their life upto two decades, if they get timely access to help and present physical conditions caused by their trauma and distress.
With such an astounding number of people potentially grappling with mental health challenges, it takes a wide variety of therapists and clinicians to provide the necessary treatment and care.
Psychologists and psychiatrists
When it comes to mental health, there are many types of practitioners and people often confuse psychologists with psychiatrists. Both psychologists and psychiatrists have a unique role to play in mental and holistic healthcare. Yet, the treatments and protocol vary. Psychiatrists are employed at hospitals, rehabilitation centres, medical universities, nursing homes or private practices and are authorised to prescribe medications.
While psychologists are not authorised to prescribe medication, they use talk therapies and other frameworks to treat mental conditions.
Psychologists focus more on the patient’s thoughts and emotional state than chemical imbalances.They are trained to conduct comprehensive tests and provide treatment for mental disorders. Often, psychologists offer counselling and therapy. Sometimes, psychologists and psychiatrists work closely to treat patients, combining medication and therapy to bring the optimum results.
The role of psychologists in healthcare
Psychologists offer a broad range of assessments and treatment plans to those suffering due to mental health problems. Not only do psychologists improve the quality of people’s lives in times of crises, but they also improve the overall health by creating a roadmap for the future. Psychologists can evaluate and understand potential triggers and self defeating behaviours and thus they empower patients to take control, avoid relapse and maintain the status quo.
In hospitals and other facilities, psychologists work with inter-connected teams to provide care. They undertake comprehensive psychological evaluations and use frameworks such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and other evidence-based therapies to help people face their fears, deal with depression or anxiety, and manage negative emotions and thoughts. If an individual is suffering from major depressive disorder, then the psychologists will recommend a number of techniques, tools and strategies to address their unique needs and symptoms of depression.
Concurrent disorders are mental illness and addiction challenges occurring at the same time. Concurrent disorders are not only more complex to manage but they are often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Treating concurrent disorders requires expertise from an interdisciplinary team of specialists and in-depth psychological assessment. Psychologists work with other specialists, taking a whole person approach to develop a care strategy.
Psychologists have a critical role to play in various domains including education, school, clinical, developmental, rehabilitation, forensic, research, consulting and many more. Psychologists are highly in demand in a country like Canada and you will find highly acclaimed experts in your region. For instance, there are a number of acclaimed psychologists in Calgary.
Emotional support for critically ill patients
Psychologists offer emotional support for patients with chronic and terminal medical conditions and educate family members as well as patients in coping techniques to ease the pain. They use various techniques such as counselling and behaviour therapy to empower patients and their family. Another crucial role that psychologists have to play is academics and research. By conducting various studies and research to understand mental conditions and terminal illnesses, they discover new techniques and tools for managing these better.
Psychologists and psychotherapy have a huge contribution to the well being of society. Psychologists help people manage and understand their emotions and behaviours, allowing them to lead a healthier life.