You’ve enrolled as a mental health professional. Maybe you also have joined a professional association. You want to go into private practice but may not understand the best way of getting started. This article discusses five steps to help you get started with your own private practice in mental health.
It’s often useful to begin by reflecting on the reasons why you wish to go into your own private practice, and why you especially want to work in mental health. Your answers may reflect a desire for control over the way you work, the kinds of clients you choose to work with and the types of problems your clients are likely to face. Your answers may also reflect a desire for flexibility to look after a young family, pick up school-aged children or take care of aging parents.
From there, you might like to consider, where you would like to set up the practice. In so doing, you may like to consider the location of your professional rooms in relation to customer sources, proximity to referring practitioners in addition to proximity to public transport. You might also like to take into account the location of premises in relation to ease of parking to both your customers and yourself.
Step 2: Find and Furnish Your Premises:
The next step is to find your own professional assumptions. You may choose to use a home, office or retail shop. You may decide to operate exclusively from one location or you can choose to operate from several locations. In either instance, you may have exclusive use of the premises or you may be sharing the rooms along with other colleagues.
When you have exclusive use of the skilled rooms, you can provide them so as to reflect your personal taste and planned professional image.
Step 3: Obtain Licenses, Registrations, Provider Numbers and Professional Indemnity Insurance:
As part of this third step, you’ll have to investigate and obtain any relevant licenses and registrations you might want to run a mental health private practice in your state or country. These licenses and registrations could be in addition to your certificate as a mental health professional.
Secondly, you’ll want to obtain your own professional indemnity insurance. Your professional indemnity insurance must provide adequate cover, given the nature of the job you intend to provide. It also needs to have adequate public liability cover.
Ultimately, you’ll want to find a provider number for each location you would like to operate from.
Step 4: Hang Up Your Professional Sign:
At this stage, you’re ready to hang up a professional sign. When you have exclusive use of the skilled rooms, the appearance of the signal will be at your discretion. You may set your sign over the outside face of the professional rooms. It is also possible to place a sign over your consulting room door. If you share premises with other coworkers, your sign might be of the exact same format as those of your colleagues. Your signal may also be interspersed with those of your peers in alphabetical order.
At the last step, you are ready to promote yourself to both prospective clients and potential referrers. It will therefore be useful for you to prepare your own practice logo, business cards and letterhead, as well as brochures, information sheets and handouts. Down the track, you may also wish to develop your own website.
In terms of style, design and layout, you would be well-advised to keep each promotional document consistent with your intended professional image. Each promotional document will also have to be consistent with staying promotional materials.
In terms of content, you would be well-advised to offer details about how you work with customers, what customers can expect from your services, your background and expertise, hours of operation and fees.
By following the aforementioned steps, you’re well positioned to working your own private practice in mental health. From this point onward, it’s a matter of dividing your time between seeing clients, doing any behind-the-scenes paperwork and marketing your professional services.