I think it would be good if she spends some time in various psych settings. These include inpatient private hospitals, inpatient state mental hospitals, various behavioral medicine (mental health, psychiatric) clinics, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, day care for adults facilities, nursing homes with locked wards for Alzheimer's patients, and forensic units in jails and prisons, for example. She can spend time with law enforcement personnel, court personnel, child welfare personnel, and others who are involved in various ways with the mentally ill. These include social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, police officers, parole and probation officers, employment rehabilitation counselors, sheltered workshops, and maybe others, such as teachers in the juvenile and child facilities.
Mental illness creates a lot of disability, that is, people who can't work are often mentally ill. Also homeless, due to no income, can't hold a job. There is a lot of dual diagnosis, that is, both mentally ill and abusers of drugs/alcohol. Does your church group have a jail ministry? Maybe she can start attending their programs, just to get a feel for these facilities and the people served in them. Legal Aid in your area might be a helpful contact.
She can choose to work with children, adolescents, or adults, such as at the VA facilities. (Veterans' Administration). There is also geriatric psychiatry, (geropsych), such as senile patients with behavioral issues, e.g., Alzheimer's Disease.
Maybe your local parish has a homeless outreach or an outreach or shelter for victims of domestic abuse. Your local ER should have referrals for mental health services and workers your daughter can talk to.
What we do in Psych: meds, paperwork, refer clients to the dentist, podiatrist, internist, ER for emergencies, medical and surgical specialists, the lab, radiology, GI lab, etc., process orders, liaison with Pharmacy and make sure we have the clients' meds and equipment, such as diabetic test supplies, trach care kits, saline and other wound care items, change dresssings, do soaks and other treatments, and so forth, keep the kitchen clean and supplied, same for linen, keep the ward clean via communication with Housekeepers and Maintenance, attend meetings of the therapy team, which icludes social workers, nurses, recreational and activity therapists, psychologists, the clients themselves, psychologists, psychiatrists, and probably others who are not coming to mind right now. Handle crises, such as suicide attempts, patients fighting with staff or each other, attend inservices, make assignments, assess c/o physical problems, such as rashes, toothaches, and problems of every other body system (so she will need a good general nursing education to be able to deal with the whole person). We have to keep up with general responsibilities, such as keep our CPR, other inservices, and TB testing up to date. We mush hold and lead meetings on our ward for our shift at least quarterly. In these meetings, we discuss topics given to us by our bosses, such as new rules, policies, and plans, plus we do something educational, such as teach the assistants about teamwork, communication, and reconizing when someone is having a seizure or reaction to medications. We make rounds on all the clients at least twice a day, more often on the off shifts. We try to converse therapeutically with all clients at least once per shift. This is much harder than you might think, depending on what all else is going on on the ward and with each client. We adhere to JCAHO standards and CMS standards so there is lots to do to keep up with all of their requirements. We assist with electroconvulsive therapy (shock treatments) by getting permits, supplies, and monitoring the patients during and after the shocks. There used to be insulin shock treatments, cold water baths, straight jackets, and other really awful procedures. We don't do those any more. The meds today are quite effective and we have to be knowledgeable about these and skilled at giving them in a hurry (shots). We protect confidentiality and privacy. We lead therapy groups, such as for the eating disordered client and we help them not to practice their disease. That means we keep them in the dayroom or in our view so they can't go to their rooms to vomit after they eat. We encourage them to keep a journal or socialize after meals.
We serve on Nursing Council or Nursing Practice Committee or do personnel-related duties, such as annual evaluations on our staff. If we are managers, we interview, hire, fire, counsel staff, make the work schedule and vacation schedule, make daily assignments, and we order equipment for our wards. We substitute for the House Manager on weekends and holidays. That means we are involved in any emergencies in the house, you do staffing, and you notify the Director of Nursing and Administrator on call of any matters they need to know about, such as elopements, client injuries, serious staff injuries, physical problems like heat or water go out, allegations of abuse or neglect.
You keep your license up (do any required CE) and maintain professional knowledge by studying all the time on psych topics and med-surg, too, since mental patients also have needs in these areas and we need to be able to recognize these problems when they come up. Patients might be pregnant, post-partum, menopausal, have prostate enlargement or other male issues, etc.
We teach patients and families about mental illness, psych meds, and other topics. We help families cope with the devastation that is having a sick loved one, a mentally disable loved one, who is often criminally insane and unable to leave a locked ward for the rest of his life.
We enforce lots of rules. We live with danger because the clients are allowed to do anything they like to us (not really) but we can never respond in anger. We can defend ourselves, we can overpower them in a non-hurtful way and we can restrain them with meds and physical restraints but there are very strict rules for how and when this can be done legally. She needs to feel comfortable being strict, firm, and fair, and not be afraid to be in charge of other people, either clients, visitors, or staff.
I hope this is helpful and that she finds her niche. God bless her for wanting to do this. She should seriously become proficient in martial arts and learn really good communication skills, learn how to get along with people so they won't attack her and will help her in a pinch.