Want to become part of a healthcare team that changes lives daily? Have you always felt the need to help other people? Well maybe you should do some research on a career as a mental health counselor. Mental health counselors do everything within their ability to help people with overall well-being and mental health. This profession will allow you to make an impact in people’s lives on a daily basis. Check out how you can become a mental health counselor information and overall job outlook for certified mental health counselors.
Mental health care jobs are expected to be on a dramatic increase well into the future in the United States and this profession is one of the top 25 fastest growing occupations in the country. This mean certified mental health counselors will have secure jobs in this unstable economy that has many citizens losing jobs left and right. Basically if you love helping people with great passion and enthusiasm, then this is a safe career in health care that is in high demand.
This is one of the fastest growing occupations in the country for various reasons, but one in particular is that approximately 25 percent of North Americans suffer from diagnosable mental health issues each year consistently. Since the high percentages of these illnesses the need for mental health counselors is high. Over the past decade and more increasingly lately, the increasing awareness of the related social, political, and economic impacts that these problems have on people, there is an increasing need for certified mental health counselors.
Mental Health Counselor Job Duties
A mental health counselor has many different job duties which require them to be quick and independent thinkers. They are trained professional that counsel families, people, groups, and couples to promote optimal mental health and well being to help improve their day to day life. Many of the problems mental health counselors deal with are stress management, substance abuse, marital problems, family problems, personal mental problems, addictions, and suicidal ideation. A lot of the time mental health counselor jobs require you to work in a group setting, while counseling individuals and their families with various problems and treatment plans. The goal for the mental health counselor is to help the clients prevent and resolve conflicts or problems they are facing in their life.
In this career you will make decisions by information received through observations, interviews, and various tests. This allows the mental health counselor to decide the best treatment plan and the course of action to pursue that plan. There are some professionals in this profession that work closely with social workers, psychologists, school counselors, nurses, and various other officials in order to determine the best treatment options for a patient. There are many mental health counselors that specialize in certain areas or age groups with particular age groups.
Education for Mental Health Counselors
The educational requirements for mental health counselors totally vary on occupational specialty and state licensure, along with other certification requirements needed to become a certified mental health counselor. In most states, a master’s degree is required in most cases to be licensed counselor. Some states require counselors in public employment to have a master’s degree in order to practice; other accepts a bachelor’s degree if you have the appropriate counseling course completed. In an accredited mental health counselor program when pursuing a master’s degree, 48 to 60 semester hours of graduate study are usually required.
There are some employers nationwide that provide mental health counselor training for newly hired counselors. Other jobs may consider time off or tuition assistance to complete a graduate degree.
Licensure requirements differ greatly by what state you are trying to become a certified mental health counselor in. Licensure also depends on occupational specialty along with work setting. There are a lot of states that require every counselor to hold a state school counseling certification and to have completed at least some graduate course work at some point. Most states require a completion of a master’s degree.