Mental Health

Mental health is a critical issue in the U.S. and more mental health professionals are needed to provide compassionate counseling and treatment. 

These are not jobs that just anyone can do. In most cases, mental health professionals need advanced degrees that combine theory and clinical experience before they can practice. The education does not finish upon graduation, either: careers in mental health often come with unique licensure requirements and continuing education hours—both of which ensure a mental health professional is qualified to deliver the best possible care. These professionals are also crucial in integrated behavioral health, a more holistic approach to treating illnesses, conditions, and injuries.

A career in mental health takes work, but it’s worth it. To learn more about the requirements and the rewards of the mental health professions, check out the degree programs and career pages below.

Addiction Specialist

Addiction specialists help clients overcome addiction and mental health issues. Responsibilities can include assessing mental health and addiction problems, assigning diagnoses, providing counseling, educating on choices to decrease the likelihood of relapse, and advising families on how they can help.

Applied Behavior Analyst

Applied behavior analysis is used to help treat and understand trauma, traumatic brain injury, compulsion, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and even addictive behaviors. Professionals in this role usually hold a master’s degree in applied behavioral science or psychology.

Certified Rehabilitation Counselor

Certified rehabilitation counselors (CRC) are allied health professionals with the skills to assist people with disabilities. They work hard to help individuals gain access to employment, education, live independently, and access community services. By meeting with clients one on one and setting goals, they are able to assess skills and needs, setting a treatment plan to help a client meet their objectives.

Crisis Counselor

Crisis counselors have received specialized training on how to assist clients who are in the midst of (or have endured) a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, domestic violence, or a workplace assault.

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors work directly with individuals, couples, and groups to diagnose and treat mental health issues. Professionals in this field employ psychotherapy, problem solving, or other techniques to help their clients identify and overcome their struggles. Mental health counselors help treat eating disorders, PTSD, trauma, alcoholism, addiction, and abuse.

Neuropsychologist

Neuropsychology is a field within the discipline of clinical psychology. Professionals in this specialty engage in work related to the human brain and cognition. They can work directly with patients assessing and treating disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injury, and learning disabilities.

Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists investigate human behavior, diagnose mental illness, and treat patients with psychotherapy, pharmaceuticals, and other therapies. They have received extensive specialized training during their years of residency and are licensed as either a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathy. Additionally, in order to practice, they must be board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).

Psychologist

Psychologists are an important part of the mental health care landscape. They hold doctoral degrees and have completed extensive studies and clinical training that gives them the expertise to tackle even the most complex mental disorders. Most psychologists have a strong background in research which gives them the ability to think analytically within the clinical field. Job duties can include evaluating patients, working in schools, writing treatment plans, and conducting psychological research.

Social Worker

Simply put, social workers help people. They are the ultimate problem-solvers. They work with people from every walk of life, including families, parents, kids, adults, and elderly citizens. Social workers predominantly help low-income individuals, but they can help affluent families, as well. For example, hospital social workers help families navigate critical care. Typical places of employment for social workers can include clinics, doctor’s offices, child welfare organizations, adoption agencies, long-term care centers, and government agencies.