Mental health counselors work with individuals, families, and groups to address and treat mental and emotional disorders and to promote good mental health. They are trained to treat issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction and substance abuse, suicidal impulses, stress, trauma, low self-esteem, and grief. They can also help with career and educational concerns, mental and emotional health issues, and relationship problems. Mental health counselors typically work closely with other mental health specialists. Job settings typically include private practices, healthcare facilities, community centers, businesses, and homes.
To become a mental health counselor, requirements vary significantly by state. Successful students typically complete the following steps:
Professionals in the field may also consider becoming a member of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). They offer membership at multiple levels, including student membership. Other benefits of joining the AMHCA include continuing education options, access to an annual conference, networking opportunities, a quarterly journal, and more.
A degree in mental health counseling may provide you the opportunity to work with people with mental or emotional differences by discussing their issues regularly and recommending treatment. A mental health counselor’s job requires them to:
Annual salary varies within the profession based on specific type of job, location, and experience. For more on your earning potential as a mental health counselor, please visit our salary outlook for counselors page.
The following degrees are closely related to a master’s degree program in mental health counseling, often allowing you to pursue a career in this field or others:
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