General Duties:

Mental health clinicians or counselors work to counsel their clients through hardships related to their mental illness. They are also able to diagnose and treat patients. They also work to set up strategies for their patients in order for them to live a happy and routine life.

What environment(s) and/or settings is this profession employed?

Mental health counselors work in hospitals, schools, community health centers, detention centers, and mental health facilities.

What are the skills/qualities needed to be successful in this field?

  • Assessment skills
  • Intervention skills
  • Good listening
  • Be supportive
  • Be flexible
  • Work well in teams
  • Genuine Interest in others
  • Self-reflection

What is the employment outlook? 

Expected to grow 22% percent in the next ten years.

What is the average salary/earnings for this profession? What is the average indebtedness of professionals entering the field? 

Average salary is $44,630 a year.

Other healthcare professionals someone in this career may interact and/or collaborate with:

Social workers, psychologists, doctors, different health agencies.

What kind of educational training/qualifications does entry into this career require? 

Get your master’s degree in a 60-credit, regionally accredited graduate program in mental health counseling or related field. Accrue 3,360 hours of supervised post-master’s work in the mental health counseling field. Pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination. Apply for the LMHC License through the state of Massachusetts, or whichever state you will be practicing in.

Professional Interviewed:

Auta R. Almeida, LMHC- Boston Public Health Commission

How did they become interested in this field?

She became interested in this field in college after majoring in psychology. From there she went on to work in women detention centers and daycare centers for children with mental health issues. Now she works for the Boston Public Health Commission as a mental health clinician at Burke High School in Boston.

What do they like about what they do?

She enjoys where she works as she gets to guide youth through the most transformative time of their lives. She enjoys watching her students grow and eventually move onto college knowing they have the skills to cope with their mental illnesses and stressors.

How do they think their field will change in the next 10 years?

The field is changing now that there is more studies and mental health is always changing. One big difference in the field is drug abuse is now classified as a mental health disorder. There are more trainings on how to combat drug abuse, especially in Massachusetts.

What is their advice for those interested in this career?

Her advice for those entering the field is to go into it if you genuinely want to help others. Go in without judgement and bring humanity into each session you have. The work is hard, and can affect your mentally, so you should also have an outlet.