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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Social Workers in Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for mental health social workers. About 1,660 people are currently employed as mental health social workers in Arizona. By 2016, this is expected to grow 24% to about 2,060 people employed. This is better than the national trend for mental health social workers, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.5% over the next eight years. In general, mental health social workers assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs.

Mental health social workers earn about $17 per hour or $36,540 per year on average in Arizona and about $17 hourly or $37,210 annually on average nationally. Mental health social workers earn less than people working in the category of Social Work and Community Services generally in Arizona and less than people in the Social Work and Community Services category nationally. People working as mental health social workers can fill a number of jobs, such as: child and family therapist, crisis intervention counselor, and crisis counselor.

The Tucson area is home to twenty-one schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Tucson where you can get a degree as a mental health social worker. Given that the most common education level for mental health social workers is a Master's degree, it will take about six years to learn to be a mental health social worker if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Mental Health Social Worker

Mental Health Social Worker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, mental health social workers assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. They also activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and education.

Mental health social workers talk with other professionals to review the mental or physical state of clients or patients. They also assist clients in adhering to treatment plans, such as setting up appointments, arranging for transportation to appointments, and providing support. Equally important, mental health social workers have to educate clients and community members about mental and physical illness, abuse and available community resources. They are often called upon to collaborate with counselors and nurses to develop and direct treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs. They are expected to monitor and record client progress with respect to treatment goals. Finally, mental health social workers refer patients or family to community resources for housing or treatment to help in recovery from mental or physical illness.

Every day, mental health social workers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for mental health social workers to formulate and conduct programs to stop substance abuse, to fight social problems, or to further optimize health and counseling services in community. They are often called upon to supervise and direct other staff who furnish services to clients or patients. They also increase social work knowledge by reviewing current literature, conducting social research, and attending seminars, training workshops, or classes. Somewhat less frequently, mental health social workers are also expected to design or advise on social policy and help in community development.

They also have to be able to design or advise on social policy and help in community development And finally, they sometimes have to counsel clients in individual and group sessions to help them in dealing with substance abuse, mental and physical illness, poverty or physical abuse.

Like many other jobs, mental health social workers must have a strong concern for others and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Tucson include:

  • Medical Social Worker. Provide persons, families, or vulnerable populations with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, or AIDS. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making necessary referrals for other social services.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mental Health Social Worker Training

Pima Community College - Tucson, AZ

Pima Community College, 401 North Bonita Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85709-5000. Pima Community College is a large college located in Tucson, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,529 students. Pima Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Clinical/Medical Social Work which graduated fourteen and twenty-two students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Case Manager Certification: The CCM is the first nationally accredited case manager credential.

For more information, see the Commission for Case Manager Certification website.

Clinical Social Worker in Gerontology: Social workers who hold the CSW-G have: NASW membership in good standing; An MSW degree from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); Documented no less than two (2) years (equivalent of 3,000 hours) of experience working with older adults under social work supervision; Completed twenty (20) contact hours of continuing education relevant to work with older adults; Provided approved documentation of social work supervision; Provided a reference from a social work colleague; .

For more information, see the National Association of Social Workers website.

Certified Social Worker in Health Care: Health care is a dynamic field, influenced by changes in.

For more information, see the National Association of Social Workers website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona photo by Howcheng

Tucson is situated in Pima County, Arizona. It has a population of over 541,811, which has grown by 11.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Tucson, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Tucson are priced at $179,100 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Tucson, down from 1,131 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tucson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 22.9% of Tucson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tucson is 9.2%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Tucson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Tucson is home to the Arizona Correctional Training Facility and the Silverbell Golf Course as well as Vista del Pueblo Park and Verde Meadows Park. Shopping centers in the area include Gaslight Square Shopping Center, Grant Park Shopping Center and Grant Plaza South Shopping Center. Visitors to Tucson can choose from LA Quinta, Casa Tierra Adobe B & B Inn and Best Western Executive Inn for temporary stays in the area.