All About Mental Health Counselors
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.
Mental Health Counselor Responsibilities
- Meet with families, probation officers, police, or other interested parties to exchange necessary information during the treatment process.
- Act as client advocates to coordinate required services or to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations.
- Discuss with individual patients their plans for life after leaving therapy.
- Refer patients, clients, or family members to community resources or to specialists as necessary.
- Develop and implement treatment plans based on clinical experience and knowledge.
- Assess patients for risk of suicide attempts.
Skills Needed to be 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.
Other Mental Health Counselor Job Titles
- Domestic Violence Advocate
- Behavior Analyst
- Mental Health Clinician
- Mental Health Specialist
Mental Health Counselor Job Outlook
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 157,700 jobs in the United States for Mental Health Counselor. 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.
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 to Become a Mental Health Counselor
Individuals working as a Mental Health Counselor have obtained the following education levels:
How many years of work experience do I need?
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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