Could Mental Health Concerns Prevent a Career in Healthcare?

If you’ve been exploring the job market, you’ve probably found that healthcare jobs are some of the safest and most secure professions available today. However, if you’re someone who has struggled with mental health issues, you may be wondering if that has the power to prevent you from stepping into a healthcare professional role.

While there’s no clear-cut answer, taking a deep dive into the healthcare space and exploring its nuances can help you decide if a career in healthcare is right for you.

Every Situation is Different

The reason that there’s no clear yes or no answer to the question of pursuing a career in healthcare if you’re struggling with mental health is that every case is different. While many professionals deal with some degree of anxiety and stress, more severe mental health issues could potentially interfere with work.

This being the case, it’s important to be clear with yourself about the severity of your mental health struggles before pursuing a career in healthcare. This can include assessing your ability to stay focused on technical tasks and your ability to handle stressful situations on a consistent basis.

Beyond being clear with yourself about your particular capabilities, it’s important to consult a mental health care professional. If a professional in the field of mental health is confident that you will be able to sustain a career in healthcare, then this is a good sign that this career path is right for you.

Stigma in Healthcare 

Unfortunately, stigma around mental health struggles is common across a variety of industries, including healthcare. As such, it’s important that you prepare yourself for not only the struggles that come with a healthcare career but also the struggles that come with a stigmatized environment.

Thankfully, there are some tactics you can take advantage of to thrive in your new role, regardless of the attitudes of other coworkers.

Some key techniques you can utilize to overcome these obstacles include:

  • Being open: Though it can sometimes feel scary, being upfront and open with your coworkers about your mental health struggles can help them be more understanding.
  • Don’t adopt their attitudes: It’s incredibly important not to start buying into the stigma of others. This means being steadfast and unwavering in your own attitudes.
  • Be mindful of language: If other coworkers are using language that you find offensive, make sure to say something. Without speaking up, this behavior will likely continue in the workplace.

Next Steps 

If you’ve found yourself at the point where you know that you’re capable of pursuing a career in healthcare, it’s time to start looking at options. Having a rough idea of what types of careers and next steps you can take can make the process of stepping into your new or second career far easier.


If you find that you’d like to pursue the role of a nurse, there are several ways you can start pursuing your goal. This includes either enrolling in an associate nursing program or pursuing a bachelor’s in nursing. After this, you’ll have to pass a series of exams to obtain a nursing license.

Respiratory Therapist 

Respiratory therapists are skilled healthcare professionals who help treat patients with breathing difficulties. To become one of these specialized professionals, you’ll need to complete an approved education program and become accredited. It’s important to note that this process can look different in different states, so it’s important to understand what your specific state requires.

X-Ray Technician 

X-ray technicians are skilled professionals who take x-rays of patients. To become qualified as an x-ray technician, you’ll need to complete a two to four-year program. After this, you’ll need to earn a job-specific certification and possibly a license depending on the state you’re in.

A Career in Healthcare Could Be Calling You

While there are some cases in which mental health problems can prevent you from stepping into a healthcare role, this isn’t always the case. By being honest with yourself about your abilities, consulting a professional, and understanding that there is stigma in the industry, you can potentially pursue the healthcare career of your dreams.