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Mental Health Counselor

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What is a Mental Health Counselor?

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.

Life As a Mental Health Counselor: What Do They Do?

  • Develop and implement treatment plans based on clinical experience and knowledge.
  • Collaborate with other staff members to perform clinical assessments or develop treatment plans.
  • Collect information about clients through interviews, observation, or tests.
  • Coordinate or direct employee workshops, courses, or training about mental health issues.
  • Monitor clients' use of medications.
  • Evaluate clients' physical or mental condition, based on review of client information.

Qualities of a Mental Health Counselor

Below is a list of the skills most Mental Health Counselors say are important on the job.

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.

Types of Mental Health Counselor

  • Mental Health Program Specialist
  • Therapist
  • Direct Care Counselor
  • Bereavement Counselor
  • Mental Health Therapist

What Kind of Mental Health Counselor Job Opportunities Are There?

In the United States, there were 157,700 jobs for Mental Health Counselor in 2016. 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. There will be an estimated 21,600 positions for Mental Health Counselor per year.


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.

Tools & Technologies Used by Mental Health Counselors

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Mental Health Counselors:

  • 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?

Are there Mental Health Counselors education requirements?


How Long Does it Take to Become a Mental Health Counselor?


You May Also Be Interested In…

Are you already one of the many Mental Health Counselor in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Staff Sgt. Katie Spencer via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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