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Oswego Career Ladders - Mental Health

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Mental Health

Two Years of Education or an Associates Degree

Substance Abuse/Behavioral Disorder Counselors - Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors help people who have problems with alcohol, drugs, gambling, and eating disorders. They counsel individuals who are addicted to drugs, helping them identify behaviors and problems related to their addiction. These counselors hold sessions for one person, for families, or for groups of people. Counselors must possess high physical and emotional energy to handle the array of problems they address. Average salary $40,300/yr.

Bachelors Degree or Higher

Social Worker - Social workers help people function the best way they can in their environment, deal with their relationships, and solve personal and family problems. Social workers often see clients who face a life-threatening disease, inadequate housing, unemployment, lack of job skills, financial stress, serious illness or disability, substance abuse, unwanted pregnancy or anti-social behavior. Social workers also assist families that have serious domestic conflicts, including those involving child or spousal abuse. Through direct counseling, social workers help clients identify their concerns, consider effective solutions, and find reliable resources. Some common areas of specialization include: child welfare or family services, child or adult protective services, mental health, healthcare, substance abuse, criminal justice and gerontology. Average salary $43,000/yr. Jobs is social work are expected to increase by 21% over the next 10 years.

Counselor - Counselors assist people with personal, family, educational, mental health, and career decisions and problems. Their duties depend on the individuals they serve and on the settings in which they work. Vocational counselors (also called employment counselors) help individuals make career decisions. They explore and evaluate the client’s education, training, work history, interests, skills, and personality traits, and arrange for aptitude and achievement tests. Rehabilitation counselors help people deal with the personal, social, and vocational effects of disabilities. They counsel people with disabilities resulting from birth defects, illness or disease, accidents, or the stress of daily life. They evaluate the strengths and limitations of individuals, provide personal and vocational counseling, and arrange for medical care, vocational training and job placement. Mental health counselors emphasize prevention, and work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health. They help individuals deal with addictions and substance abuse; depression; suicidal impulses; stress management; problems with self-esteem; issues related to mental and emotional health; and family, parenting and marital problems. Average salary $36,400/yr. Jobs in counseling are expected to increase by 24% over the next 10 years.

* All wages and salaries based on 2009 statistics.