Mental health business for entrepreneurs

Find out why the mental health industry presents a vast and timely opportunity for qualified entrepreneurs. Photo: The University of Southern California

LOS ANGELES, July 11, 2013 - Stress and modern life have become nearly synonymous. While technological innovation and advancement have given us unprecedented access to information and resources, they have also brought increased pressure and obligation as we struggle to manage and balance our relationships and responsibilities. Both have spurred a greater need for mental health solutions than ever before.

One common misconception about mental health is that those who need it are inherently defective or have something “wrong” with them. While there are definitely those who suffer from genetic or trauma-associated mental and emotional problems, there are millions of others who could benefit from some form of treatment despite having no acute mental deficiencies. Whether in the form of psychological counseling or a full service residential treatment center, mental health care treatment is for everyone.

SEE RELATED: California mental health business helps fight bipolar disorder

What’s more is that everyday people are becoming more aware of both their need for this type of treatment and the availability of treatment for people enduring any level of serious mental stress. This, of course, means a wide open opportunity for many entrepreneurs.

Before you jump at the next mental help business opportunity, however, there is a caveat. Since mental health is an extension of the medical industry, those running businesses in this arena should either have some form of education or experience dealing with the type of patients they wish to serve or they need to hire senior management and practitioners who do have such education or experience.

On the lighter end of the business model spectrum are therapy-based businesses run by sole owners/proprietors who see clients one-on-one. The other end of the spectrum features full service treatment centers where the patients often become residents of the facility, as in a nursing home.

More than anything else, you should definitely have a passion for helping the kind of patients that you wish to serve before going into the mental health field. This will be necessary not only to make sure that you are committed to providing quality care, but so you will have the emotional fuel necessary to jump through all of the regulatory and licensing hoops that will appear as barriers to entry with any such business.

SEE RELATED: California mental health business helps fight bipolar disorder

The expense of real estate, education and licensing that often comes with businesses in the medical industry often creates a strong deterrent for those who might otherwise enter this market. That is not an accident. The obstacles placed on this path are there to weed out marginally qualified candidates so that only those who are most desirable can make it through the gauntlet to get started.

Still, mental health treatment is a growing area that will show increasing opportunities as more people become aware and as the baby boomer generation continues to age. While there is a fairly high barrier to entry in starting a mental health business, the space is ripe with opportunity for those business people who have the passion, patience and expertise to successfully venture into this area.


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