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Mental health counselors (MHCs), particularly those with a graduate degree, have a variety of employment opportunities from which to chose. Particularly those with a graduate degree, of which there are many top online master’s programs in mental health counseling. Counselors in this profession might work in regular hospitals and psychiatric hospitals, as well as, mental health clinics, hospice care centers, prisons, and home health care centers. MHCs are also needed in schools, detention centers, adoption agencies, law enforcement agencies, and even branches of the military. Here’s a look at some of the common places of employment:

Hospitals:

From assuming the role of a family grief counselor to providing mental health evaluations, counseling professionals with a bachelor’s or master’s degree often find employment at a hospital. Some counselors are hired to assist patients overcome various psychological and behavioral issues, while others may specifically focus on the rehabilitation of a hospital patient.  With a Ph.D., counselors can assume the position of clinical supervisor at a hospital, as well as qualify for many other jobs in administration.

Mental Health Agencies:

There are many local, community and private organizations for those seeking mental health care which, in turn, is a place of opportunities. Information about mental health services and resources may be found at mentalhealth.gov. There is a Treatment Locator where you may find treatment centers by state or zip code. By entering a zip code, for example, you will be taken to the Substance and Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA).

State Facilities:

Each state has its own mental health agency. For example, there is the Florida department of Children and  Families.  This is a source of assistance for those needing concerning adoption to substance abuse. Many state’s also post employment openings. Another example is New York state whose Office of Mental Health (OMH) offers exciting career opportunities to qualified individuals in diverse occupational areas. With a workforce of approximately 15,000 individuals, OMH operates psychiatric centers, satellite units, outpatient clinics and community residences in locations across the state. OMH also regulates, certifies and oversees approximately 4,600 programs statewide including inpatient and outpatient, emergency, community support, residential and family care programs.

Halfway Houses:

Halfway houses are typically staffed by therapists, counselors, social workers, other mental healthcare professionals, or lay-people with a background in the treatment area. houses geared towards individuals without chronic mental illnesses also exist. Halfway residences for battered and abused women are in operation, and these facilities frequently provide access to mental health counseling and support groups for their residents.

Veterans Hospitals and Outpatient Clinics:

Counselors are hired to work with veterans, their spouses, and family to address issues, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and anger management. Usually, a master’s degree is required for the majority of VA counseling positions. Across the USA, there are many centers supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that provide mental health care for vets.  Opportunities are available for Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselors (LPMHC) who can provide readjustment counseling to eligible veterans and family members in these Vet Center programs. Those hired will serve as consultant to Mental Health programs and recovering Veterans in development of peer support groups, consumer counseling, and consumer operated services, as per local needs and resources. Further information and job postings may be found at the VA site.

Correctional Facilities and/or Prisons:

From mental health counseling to substance abuse counseling, the prison system employs counselors to provide individual and group therapy for individuals who are jailed, or living in a correctional facility. Correctional counselors also help develop a plan of action to assist inmates achieve rehabilitation goals, and prepare them for transitioning back into society after being released from prison. However, prisons can be a dangerous place to work, but research has shown that attending to inmates’ mental health needs also helps with prison safety.