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Mental Health Counselor

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What Does it Take to Be a Mental Health Counselor?

Job Description & Duties 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.

List of Mental Health Counselor Job Duties

  • Modify treatment activities or approaches as needed to comply with changes in clients' status.
  • Prepare and maintain all required treatment records and reports.
  • Assess patients for risk of suicide attempts.
  • Refer patients, clients, or family members to community resources or to specialists as necessary.
  • Gather information about community mental health needs or resources that could be used in conjunction with therapy.
  • Meet with families, probation officers, police, or other interested parties to exchange necessary information during the treatment process.

Qualities of a Mental Health Counselor

These are the skills Mental Health Counselors say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

  • Behavioral Health Therapist
  • Behavioral Health Counselor
  • Therapist
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Residential Child Care Counselor

Is There 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 21,600 job openings in this field each year.

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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 & Technology 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?

Learn what Mental Health Counselor education requirements there are.

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What work experience do I need to become a Mental Health Counselor?

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Those who work as a Mental Health Counselor sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: Staff Sgt. Katie Spencer via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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