What Career Would Help Fellow Soldiers with PTSD?

PTSD CareersIf you are a veteran interested in transitioning to the civilian workforce within the rewarding mental health field, then it is recommended that you pursue a degree for former military that would offer a career to help fellow soldiers with PTSD. As burgeoning mental health concerns continue to rise among the U.S. Armed Forces, an estimated 1,000 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder are diagnosed in soldiers per week. Since PTSD is believed to affect as many of 20% of veterans, there is a nationwide shortage of mental health providers to offer the essential diagnostic tools to all of these men and women returning from overseas, according to The Washington Post. In order to put your military experience to good use in helping fellow soldiers with PTSD, the following are the best degrees for building a career addressing psychological problems brought on by war.

Clinical or Counseling Psychology

Many former service personnel returning from war who have dedicated their lives to helping fellow veterans transition more smoothly into civilian life and overcome post-traumatic stress disorder decide to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology. Regardless of whether you choose a research-oriented Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or practitioner-based Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree, it is important to select a psychology program that has been properly accredited through the American Psychological Association . Within these four to seven-year programs, former military can build expertise in biopsychology, cognitive psychology, observation strategies, statistics, research methodologies, ethics, and psychotherapy interventions for working with fellow soldiers.

Social Work

With a Master of Social Work degree, you can unlock professional opportunities in the diverse social work field to focus on helping active military personnel, veterans, and their families with issues related to mental health, including PTSD and other major impacts of military combat. In fact, many graduate social work degrees are now offering a concentration in military social work or military resilience for specialized training in coordinating services that will help soldiers transition into life on the home front. Although military social work is not one of the most common areas of specialization offered, accredited two to three-year MSW programs will feature training that can be applied in developing treatment plans for soldiers.

Mental Health Counseling

As a master’s degree that is focused on developing the specific abilities needed to treat emotional disorders and promote optimum wellness, mental health counseling programs are a popular choice for former military that are hoping for a career to help fellow soldiers with PTSD. With a blend of counseling theories and research in contemporary clinical practices, two-year mental health counseling programs open career options as a mental health counselor, substance abuse counselor, vocational counselor, or marriage and family therapist to work with military populations. When choosing the right program, be sure to look for accreditation through the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

Related Resource: Education Degree

Within the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital system, large numbers of mental health providers are employed to help returning veterans suffering from poor mental health who need assistance in reintegrating successfully into American society. By choosing a degree for former military that would offer a career to help fellow soldiers with PTSD, you can be on the forefront of the mental health field in helping reduce the alarming suicide rates among veterans to ease the transition into civilian life.