4 Post-COVID Mental Health Careers

The COVID pandemic has led to an ongoing mental health crisis for many people. Learn how you can make a positive impact and help others process and recover from trauma with these five in-demand mental healthcare careers.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, have you ever found yourself feeling anxious or depressed? If so, you’re not alone. Whether it was from fear of getting the virus, stress over the financial fallout, loneliness from months of social isolation, or one of many other reasons, more than 40% of Americans reported experiencing anxiety or depression at some point in the last year.

While vaccines have brought with them the hope that the pandemic may soon be under control, the mental health issues that so many have experienced because of it won’t magically disappear. In fact, it may take years before we fully understand the impact COVID-19 had on our collective psyche, and for some, it will take the help of mental health professionals to work through the trauma, rebuild resilience, and truly recover.

If you’re looking for a challenging career in healthcare, Touro College and University System can provide you with the tools and techniques to help others handle the mental after-effects of COVID-19. Whether you want to help companies shape empathetic policies as workers return to work, you believe in holistic treatment that heals both body and mind, or you feel called to help underserved and diverse communities, you’ll find the right program to help you achieve your goal.

Our network of schools makes it easy to build on your bachelor’s degree and pursue a master’s degree in a healthcare field like Public Health, Osteopathic Medicine, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and more. No matter which program you choose, you’ll complete a robust curriculum, often taught by practicing faculty, and you’ll receive hands-on, real-world training that will fully prepare you to get your license and practice in your field upon graduation.

If you’re looking for a career that will help others begin to heal from the pandemic check out these five healthcare jobs that have the potential to make a real impact on mental health.

#1 Mental Health Counselor

It’s estimated that nearly 20% of people who get COVID-19 will also develop anxiety, depression, or another mental health issue within three months. With over 33 million cases in the US (and counting), that adds up to more than 6.6 million Americans who will be affected – and in the coming months and years, the need for mental health counselors will be greater than ever.

With a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the School of Health Sciences of Touro College, you’ll be fully trained to provide the support that patients recovering from COVID-19 need to manage their mental wellbeing.

As part of our comprehensive curriculum, you will complete both robust coursework taught by clinically active faculty and an intense clinical internship, preparing you to become a licensed mental health counselor and to apply for the Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC)-Trainee certificate.

Once you’ve become a mental health counselor, you’ll be able to provide strategies, crisis management techniques, and support to help individuals recovering from COVID-19 manage issues like anxiety or depression and lead happier, more rewarding lives. On average, you can expect to earn about $58,000 annually.

#2 Industrial Organizational Psychologist

While some employees will continue to work from home after the pandemic is over, many employers are already making “return to work” plans – and it’s causing more than a little anxiety. Having the right systems and processes in place will go a long way toward easing the transition, and many companies will be looking to Industrial Organizational Psychologists to lead the way.

A practical next step for anyone with a bachelor’s degree in psychology or social science, pursuing a Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology (IOP) from Touro College will put you in a position to shape policies and change corporate culture in ways that will support employee mental health. The cornerstone of the program is a 240-hour I-O internship that will give you a chance to practice the methods and strategies you’ve learned in real-world settings – and be potentially positioned for a full-time job offer post-graduation.

After you earn your IOP Master’s degree, you can expect to earn about $126,000 annually. Plus, you’ll be rewarded by making a positive difference in the lives of others, ensuring that employees feel safe, supported, and satisfied at work in a new post-COVID world.

#3 Behavioral Health Specialist

During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people experienced anxiety and depression, some for the first time in their lives, and many are still learning how to manage those conditions as they emerge from months of stress and social isolation. As a behavioral health specialist, you can help, giving your clients the tools to change their behavior and rebuild resilience.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, law, or the humanities, the Master’s of Public Health program at Touro’s New York Medical College offers four specializations, including one in Health Behavior and Community Health. With that specialization, you’ll develop the tools to become a Behavioral Health Specialist and work with clients to improve their physical and mental well-being. You’ll also learn to become a health educator and advocate, specifically for the underserved.

As a Behavioral Health Specialist, you can expect to earn around $58,000 annually, with a high salary reaching close to $110,000 – and as you gain more experience, you can work toward becoming a Director of Behavioral Health, which has an annual salary in the range of $113,000.

#4 Social Worker

The pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on minorities and those with lower incomes. As a social worker, you can help reduce the social, economic, and mental health toll this has taken by providing support and resources for those who’ve been marginalized, helping them to overcome, , recover, and rebuild. Social workers are trained to provide a variety of services, ranging from psychotherapy to the administration of health and welfare programs. Social workers also share a commitment to promoting social welfare, helping people of all backgrounds overcome their unique challenges, advocating for social and economic justice for all members of the community, and embodying a professional code of ethics. Social workers work directly with individuals and groups and lead and establish social change on a large scale through organizing, policy change, and administration.

The Master of Social Work program at the Touro College Graduate School of Social Works puts a strong emphasis on clinical practice with a deep commitment to social justice and underserved populations and includes courses on social welfare, professional ethics, diagnosis and assessment, intervention planning, and treatment evaluation within diverse populations. You’ll also spend time in the field learning how to apply what you’ve learned in a clinical setting working with clients one-on-one, making sure that you’re fully prepared to become licensed after graduation. Depending on the setting in which they work, social workers with a master’s degree can earn as much as $81,000 annually, with an average salary of around $51,000. Plus, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the industry to grow by 13% between now and 2029, so there will be plenty of opportunity to use your skills beyond pandemic recovery.

In the coming months and years, we’ll start to see the real effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on mental wellness – and you can play a part in helping others process and learn to manage their mental health. Contact Touro today for more information about how to enroll in a healthcare program that will you prepare you to make a positive impact as the world adjusts to our continuing post-COVID normal.