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Friday, October 12, 2007

College Students: Mental Health Care Field Needs You

From my Northern Star column today:

There is a need for health care professionals in our military. Don’t know what to do after college? Maybe you can answer the call.

Leo J. Shapiro & Associates is a premier Chicago-based market research firm. Every month, the 50-year-old company surveys Americans on how they feel about a variety of issues, such as spending and saving, consumer prices and the stock market, and income and job security.

In August, they reported that nearly 40 percent of us are worried about losing our income because of a job layoff or cut in work hours.

It was the fourth month in a row that Americans were so downbeat. Clearly, a lot of us are anxious about our future. And college students are no different. If anything, their anxieties are compounded: College students not only worry about their future job security, they also worry about choosing the right major.

In educational interest, article(s) quoted from extensively.

Continuing with one more snippet:

Last month the Pentagon reported that hundreds of social workers, nurses and health care specialists are needed in the fields of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Specifically, the need for psychiatrists and psychologists is so great that the military is proposing shortened two-year recruitments and richer retention bonuses for these positions. They’re even offering to pay down outstanding college loans for this essential group.

For those leery of enlisting, the Veterans Administration gives civilians a chance to “serve” without having to sign up for a tour of duty in a combat zone. And by donating their services through groups like Operation Comfort and Give an Hour, even private therapists are lending a hand to returning troops and their families who need reintegration help.

As the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq continue, and with troops continuing to return home with TBI and PTSD, a career specializing in either of these fields is sure to provide the job security most of us crave. Added bonus? A health care career would serve the needs of the country, too.

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