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Mental Health Professionals
   
  *Mental Health*
   

A number of persons work in the field of mental health. They are qualified to work in this field either by their training, experience or inclination. The different mental health professionals working in India and their professional training are described below.

PSYCHOLOGIST
These are professionals with a degree in psychology. The various degrees in psychology granted in India are- Bachelors (BA), Masters (MA), Master of Philosophy (Mphil), Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD). Psychologists are trained in doing psychological testing and psychotherapy.

PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKER
These are professionals with a post-graduate degree in social work and specialized in psychiatry. Currently the degrees in this discipline are- Masters (MA in Medical Social Work), Master of Philosophy (Mphil), Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD). These professionals are trained to study the cause and treatment of mental illness from the social perspective. From their knowledge they are capable of planning and implementing a variety of interventions like psychotherapy, rehabilitation, awareness and advocacy programmes and conceptualizing health care delivery models.

PSYCHIATRIST
These are medical (MBBS) doctors with post-graduate degree in Psychiatry. In India various degrees granted in this field are- Doctorate in Medicine (MD), Diploma in Psychological Medicine (DPM), Diplomate of National Board (DNB), Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD). These professionals are primarily trained in biological treatments of psychiatric disorders, which includes use of diagnostic aids (MRI, CT scan, etc), prescribing medicines and use of treatments like Electro convulsive therapy and Transcranial magnetic stimulation. They may also be trained in psychotherapy. In India currently there is no availability of super-specialization such as child psychiatry, de-addiction psychiatry, etc.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
They are professionals who use the principles of occupational therapy in the treatment and rehabilitation of mentally ill persons. In India various degrees in this area are Bachelor in Science (BSc OT) and Masters in Science (MSc O T).

PSYCHIATRIC NURSING
They are nurses specially trained in psychiatry. Currently the relevant degrees in India are Masters in Nursing (MSc) and Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD). They are trained in the day-to-day care and management of patients in the hospital as well as the community. They are trained in administration of medicines as well as counseling skills, in addition to nursing skills.

COUNSELLORS
These are people who help clarify a person's life situation and determine the further course of action (Burnard). People from diverse disciplines and qualifications may perform counseling responsibilities. Traditionally priests, elders, teachers have acted as counselors. In India various short term and long term courses and informal training experience are available for developing counseling skills.

OTHER PROFESSIONALS
Neurosurgeons may sometimes be involved in the treatment of severe psychiatric disorders by brain surgery. In India so far no institute consistently performs or trains in brain surgery for psychiatric disorders.

 

 
   

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