A mental health technician, or psychiatric aide, plays a pivotal role in the proper functioning of psychiatric wards, hospitals and other mental health settings. There are several requirements necessary to becoming a mental health technician.
Post Secondary Education
An associate’s degree or certificate from an accredited school is essential for all mental health technicians. Programs providing degrees or certification can be taken at community colleges or trade schools. Training typically takes one to two years.
Mental health technicians are required to complete a specific number of hours of on-the-job training. This criteria varies from state to state.
Experience and Comfort with the Mentally Ill
Though a wide range of experience will be gained from on-the-job training, mental health technicians must be at ease working with the mentally ill.
Crisis Management Skills
Mental health technicians must be calm in a crisis. They will have to perform interventions, restrain patients and be equipped to deal with the stresses of the job.
Patience and Compassion
Patience and compassion are two qualities necessary for a career as a mental health tech. Being tolerant and empathetic toward the mentally ill are important aspects of their recovery process.
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