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Mental Health Worker


Mental health workers work with people who are emotionally and mentally unstable, people who need help when it comes to coping with stress, anxiety, eating disorders, and depression, among other things. Mental health workers can work in private practice, with hospitals, in mental health clinics, and with shelters and other non-profit organizations. Their goal is to see their patients through difficult times, and assist them in setting themselves up as independent and mentally stable members of society.

Mental health workers assist their clients in a number of ways. They meet with each client, assessing the areas for treatment, and developing a treatment plan which can include life skills courses, discussion, relaxation techniques, and medical assistance. Mental health workers work closely with physicians, family members, and other social service workers in order to establish an effective treatment plan for the client. Careful notes about each session and each therapeutic step must be documented, in order for a mental health worker to track the client's progress along the road to recovery.

Mental health workers may also determine client's eligibility for social assistance, insurance, and future therapy sessions.
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Sacred Heart University - Online

Sacred Heart University Online 

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Science in Applied Psychology - Community Psychology
  • Master of Science in Applied Psychology



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
Median Salary:
Highest 10% of Earners:

  Interests and Skills  
Successful mental health workers are mature, patient, sensitive and non-judgmental, as well as resourceful, emotionally stable, and flexible when it comes to hours, workplace, and client behavior. They are effective communicators and are good at writing detailed, comprehensive reports. Computer skills are also an asset. Mental health workers should have a genuine desire to help all people.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Assess needs of new clients and recommend appropriate workshops and programs
  • Provide support for clients' families
  • Help clients manage medications
  • Meet with clients regularly, giving support and discussing any difficulties or problems
  • Refer clients to other social services
  • Run workshops and programs dealing with issues like communication and dealing with stress
  • Assist in evaluating the treatment programs by monitoring changes in client's behavior
  • Communicate information about client with other social service agencies
  • Work as an advocate for social services and public funding of group homes, halfway houses, and clinics
  • Stay informed about new developments in the field by reading professional literature and attending seminars
  • A mental health worker's typical day will involve a lot of listening. The day may involve one-on-one sessions, where the client and the worker try and determine the underlying issues of the client's problems, or group sessions, where a number of people experiencing the same issues can gather and support one another.
  • The worker will try and suggest coping mechanisms and relaxation techniques to help the client along the road to mental health. A typical day may involve meetings with other health care practitioners, writing reports, and developing future strategies for the clients. They will work regular workweeks, with evenings and weekends off, or they may work irregular hours, depending on their clients' needs.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Mental health workers generally work out of an office, either in a private practice, a therapy clinic, or in a hospital. They may also be employed by non-profit organizations, shelters, and private companies.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Mental health workers may choose to switch environments, and try working in group homes, at schools, or with young offenders. They may also choose to go back to school, and become a social worker, counselor, psychologist or nurse.

  Educational Paths  
While there is no specific educational path to becoming a mental health worker, most of these individuals have completed a college diploma or university degree in a field such as human services, community services, social work, psychology or counseling.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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Sacred Heart University - Online  Online

Sacred Heart University Online 

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Science in Applied Psychology - Community Psychology
  • Master of Science in Applied Psychology
Campus Locations:
  • , CT

Argosy University  Online

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs Offered:
  • Counseling Psychology (EdD)
  • Counseling Psychology (MA)
  • Psychology (BA)
Campus Locations:
  • Los Angeles, CA

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology  Online
Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology.
Programs Offered:
  • Psy.D. Clinical Psychology
  • M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization
  • Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology
  • more programs...
Campus Locations:
  • Los Angeles, CA

Northcentral University  Online

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs Offered:
  • Mental Health Policy and Practice - Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
  • Psychology - BA
  • General Psychology - PhD of Psychology
Campus Locations:
  • San Diego, CA

University of Southern California  Online

One of the world's leading private research institutions, the University of Southern California (USC) was founded in 1880.

Programs Offered:
  • Online Master of Science in Applied Psychology
Campus Locations:
  • Los Angeles, CA

Liberty University  Online

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

Programs Offered:
  • MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
  • AA in Psychology
Campus Locations:
  • Lynchburg, VA

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