5 Directions You Can Take a Career in Mental Health
Most people associate mental health with the idea of a serious psychologist sitting next to a rambling patient on a couch. However, there are many unique and exciting careers within the field of mental health. Below explains five different directions that you can take with a degree in mental health.
Correctional Treatment Specialists
These mental health professionals sometimes work as probation officers. They work with criminals within correctional facilities. They give counsel, monitor progress and conduct meetings with offenders. Their goal is to ensure that the offender is fully rehabilitated. In order to do this, they provide resources for offenders, such as job training and educational opportunities. On average, correction treatment specialists earn approximately $48,000 per year.
Community Health Worker
These professionals typically work for the local or state government. They often act as a liaison between the government, healthcare providers and the local community. Community health workers provide outreach services and interact with members of the community every day. They are important advocates for disadvantaged populations and minority groups. As a community health worker, you can expect a median annual salary of $38,000.
Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)
An MFT provides marriage counseling, or couples therapy, to struggling married people. Marriage therapy focuses on how to improve the couple’s relationship while resolving conflicts. MFTs also provide therapeutic counseling to families. Both counseling types involve treating a variety of different mental and emotional problems. It is estimated that there are over 50,000 MFT’s in the U.S. Learn more at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy’s (AAMFT) website.
A behavior analyst is a licensed mental health professional that applies the principles of behavioral psychology to help clients. This traditional branch of psychology focuses on using the concepts of learning theory to help clients improve their mental health and social behaviors. A master’s degree is the standard educational requirement for a behavior analyst. Since behavior analysis university programs are scarce, many universities are offering online programs. For example, the University of Cincinnati offers an online master’s in applied behavior analysis. Behavior analysts make approximately $53,000 annually, with a high-scale pay of $95,000.
Substance Abuse Social Workers
These mental health professionals work both in the public and private sector. Some substance abuse social workers are employed by state child welfare departments. They work with substance-addicted parents who have had their children removed by the state and placed in foster care. These social workers play an important role in helping the parent enter and stay at in-patient treatment facilities. Private-sector substance abuse social workers are sometimes referred to as case managers. They work at both in-patient and out-patient substance abuse treatment facilities. They provide therapy, counseling and training. Substance abuse social workers make an average of $45,000 a year.
In conclusion, correctional treatment specialists, community health workers, MFTs, substance abuse social workers and behavior analysts are all excellent careers for someone with a degree in mental health.