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Mental Health Counselor

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What Do Mental Health Counselor Do?

Position Description Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. May help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging.

Mental Health Counselor Responsibilities

  • Perform crisis interventions with clients.
  • Meet with families, probation officers, police, or other interested parties to exchange necessary information during the treatment process.
  • Gather information about community mental health needs or resources that could be used in conjunction with therapy.
  • Develop and implement treatment plans based on clinical experience and knowledge.
  • Learn about new developments in counseling by reading professional literature, attending courses and seminars, or establishing and maintaining contact with other social service agencies.
  • Modify treatment activities or approaches as needed to comply with changes in clients’ status.

Qualities of a Mental Health Counselor

Mental Health Counselors state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Case Manager
  • Mental Health Therapist
  • Bereavement Counselor
  • Residential Child Care Counselor
  • Behavioral Health Counselor

Job Demand for Mental Health Counselors

There were about 157,700 jobs for Mental Health Counselor in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 23.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 36,500 new jobs for Mental Health Counselor by 2026. The BLS estimates 21,600 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Mental Health Counselors in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Mental Health Counselor are Utah, Arizona, and Virginia. Watch out if you plan on working in Illinois, Kansas, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What Tools do Mental Health Counselors Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Mental Health Counselors may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Database software
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Oracle PeopleSoft
  • Scheduling software
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Statistical software
  • Patient electronic medical record EMR software
  • Netscape Navigator
  • Management information systems MIS
  • Office suite software

How do I Become a Mental Health Counselor?

What education or degrees do I need to become a Mental Health Counselor?

Mental Health Counselor Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Mental Health Counselor Work Experience

Career changers with experience as a Mental Health Counselor sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: Staff Sgt. Katie Spencer via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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