Psychologists are an indispensable part of our society. From treating mental disorders to helping people adjust, they perform a valuable service to humanity. With a median of seven years of training and education, they promote health and well-being throughout the nation. They enable you to face the stress and challenges you experience every day by helping you devise some strategies for building resilience. A simple talk with a psychologist can help you understand difficult emotions and feelings that affect your daily life. This article lists nine ways to emphasize the role of psychologists in our mental and physical well-being.
Treat Mental Disorders
Mental disorders are prevalent in the US. According to a study, about 22.1 percent of Americans aged 18 or older have a diagnosable mental illness every year. Psychologists use various psychological techniques to diagnose and treat mental disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. They use psychotherapy either as an alternative or sometimes combined with medications as an effective form of treatment.
When used as an alternative, psychotherapy is useful for treating mental disorders in the elderly to avoid certain side effects of drugs or overdosage. While in combination, it helps treat conditions of depression and anxiety.
Help Manage Chronic Diseases
When a person is diagnosed with a chronic disease, his/her first reaction is fear, followed by low self-esteem. The psychologists working in healthcare settings help such patients manage chronic conditions. They provide services like individual, family, and group psychological interventions to modify the patients' response. They support by addressing family needs and the other tangible and intangible aspects of the disease to end the patient's self-isolation.
Provide Forensic Evaluation and Testimony
Forensic psychologists are an essential part of every criminal justice system. Whether they have earned an online forensic psychology degree or have attended an on-site program, they work as mental healthcare providers for offenders with mental disorders. Their job further includes providing forensic evaluation and testimony. They also develop innovative initiatives like mental health courts, jail diversion, and community re-entry programs. Such initiatives prevent mentally ill criminals from cycling back into the mainstream criminal justice system.
Make Workplace More Productive
The psychologists working in the corporate sector help organizations make their workplace healthy and more productive. They use employee assistance programs and initiatives to address stress, employee conflicts, and other workplace-related issues to improve employee engagement and satisfaction with the organization and their team. A friendly, relaxed workplace environment is more productive than a stressed one, and psychologists help maintain it that way.
Aid in Crisis and Disaster
Psychologists play a significant role in aiding people to cope with crises and disasters. For years they have helped individuals build resilience against natural disasters or problems like terrorist attacks. They have experience in disaster response, so they assist relief workers by helping victims, and their families cope with the stressful situation. Besides, psychologists are always there to offer emotional support for people going through difficult situations.
Provide Preventive Care
The president's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health recommends screening to prevent mental and physical health disorders in primary care settings. Psychologists are an integral part of this screening process. By observing individual behaviors, they devise coping strategies to mitigate psychological and physical health issues. They promote healthy responses and activities that effectively reduce the risk of physical and mental illnesses. For example, getting people to quit smoking helps prevent lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.
Fulfill Important Roles in the Educational System
In the educational setting, psychologists play multiple vital roles. They provide prevention, intervention, and crisis management services to the students. They conduct a psychological evaluation and suggest changes to help create a better educational atmosphere. The teachers and administrators also go to them for diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes they even help resolve student's or teacher's family problems that affect their educational capabilities.
Help Overcome Trauma
Taking medications does not make the trauma and pain disappear. You have to release the pent-up energy to find relief. Although crying, shaking, and other physical activities are helpful, seeing a psychologist should be on top of the priority list. Psychologists use techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy to help you evaluate your emotions and thoughts about the trauma. They help resolve unpleasant feelings and memories, regulate your emotions, and rebuild your ability to trust other people.
Provide Diagnostic Services
Psychologists have state-of-the-art diagnostic tools for diagnosing health problems like deterioration in functioning or functional impairment. In such cases, physicians and other healthcare workers turn to psychologists to provide a prognosis for improvement. Psychologists closely evaluate conditions and develop rehabilitative measures to treat such conditions.