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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Simi Valley, California

Simi Valley, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for mental health counselors. Currently, 11,200 people work as mental health counselors in California. This is expected to grow by 21% to about 13,500 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for mental health counselors are expected to grow by about 24.0%. In general, mental health counselors counsel with emphasis on prevention.

The income of a mental health counselor is about $19 hourly or $41,280 yearly on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 hourly or $36,810 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy, people working as mental health counselors in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy nationally. People working as mental health counselors can fill a number of jobs, such as: behavior support specialist , domestic violence advocate, and employee assistance program counselor .

There are 175 schools of higher education in the Simi Valley area, including eleven within twenty-five miles of Simi Valley where you can get a degree to start your career as a mental health counselor. Given that the most common education level for mental health counselors is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years training to become a mental health counselor if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Mental Health Counselor

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

In general, mental health counselors counsel with emphasis on prevention. They also work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health.

Mental health counselors maintain confidentiality of records relating to clients' treatment. They also encourage clients to express their feelings and consider what is happening in their lives, and help them to evolve insight into themselves and their relationships. Equally important, mental health counselors have to collect data related to clients through interviews and tests. They are often called upon to guide clients in the development of skills and strategies for dealing with their problems. They are expected to modify treatment efforts and approaches as needed to comply with changes in clients' status. Finally, mental health counselors formulate, organize and lead structured programs of counseling, work, study, recreation and social activities for clients.

Every day, mental health counselors are expected to be able to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for mental health counselors to monitor clients' use of medications. They are often called upon to formulate and conduct programs to stop substance abuse or improve community health and counseling services. They also supervise other counselors, social service staff and graduate students. They are sometimes expected to schedule and direct employee workshops and training about mental health issues. Somewhat less frequently, mental health counselors are also expected to guide clients in the development of skills and strategies for dealing with their problems.

Mental health counselors sometimes are asked to design and implement treatment plans on the basis of clinical experience and knowledge. They also have to be able to ready and maintain all required treatment records and reports And finally, they sometimes have to learn about new developments in their field by reading professional literature, attending courses and seminars, and establishing and maintaining contact with other social service agencies.

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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Simi Valley include:

  • Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
  • Child and Family Services Worker. Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers on how to deal with problem children.
  • Health Education Specialist. Promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Collect and analyze data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments. May also serve as a resource to assist individuals, other professionals, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist. Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of professional services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.
  • Rehabilitation Counselor. Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.
  • Substance Abuse Specialist. Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mental Health Counselor Training

East Los Angeles College - Monterey Park, CA

East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754-6099. East Los Angeles College is a large college located in Monterey Park, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,475 students. East Los Angeles College has a one to two year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated one student in 2008.

Oxnard College - Oxnard, CA

Oxnard College, 4000 S Rose Ave, Oxnard, CA 93033-6699. Oxnard College is a medium sized college located in Oxnard, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,639 students. Oxnard College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated twenty-three, eleven, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles City College - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles City College, 855 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029. Los Angeles City College is a large college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,310 students. Los Angeles City College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated fifteen and five students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles Pierce College - Woodland Hills, CA

Los Angeles Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91371-0002. Los Angeles Pierce College is a large college located in Woodland Hills, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,832 students. Los Angeles Pierce College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated seven and six students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles Southwest College - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Southwest College, 1600 W Imperial Hwy., Los Angeles, CA 90047-4899. Los Angeles Southwest College is a medium sized college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,411 students. Los Angeles Southwest College has a one to two year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated six students in 2008.

Mt San Antonio College - Walnut, CA

Mt San Antonio College, 1100 N Grand Ave, Walnut, CA 91789-1399. Mt San Antonio College is a large college located in Walnut, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,439 students. Mt San Antonio College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated seventeen, nine, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Intercoast Colleges - West Covina, CA

Intercoast Colleges, 1400 W. West Covina Pkwy-2nd Floor, West Covina, CA 91790. Intercoast Colleges is a small college located in West Covina, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 74 students. Intercoast Colleges has a one to two year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated sixty-two students in 2008.

Glendale Community College - Glendale, CA

Glendale Community College, 1500 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208-2894. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,993 students. Glendale Community College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated fifteen, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Intercoast Colleges - Burbank, CA

Intercoast Colleges, 175 East Olive Avenue, 3rd Floor, Burbank, CA 91502. Intercoast Colleges is a small college located in Burbank, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 68 students. Intercoast Colleges has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated five and thirty-nine students respectively in 2008.

ICDC College - Los Angeles, CA

ICDC College, 5422 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027. ICDC College is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,750 students. ICDC College has a less than one year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated eighty-two students in 2008.

West Los Angeles College - Culver City, CA

West Los Angeles College, 9000 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230-3519. West Los Angeles College is a large college located in Culver City, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,612 students. West Los Angeles College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated two and one students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified In Thanatology: Certification in Thanatology (CT) is a foundation certification that enhances the professional designation established by the academic discipline of each certificate holder.

For more information, see the Association for Death Education and Counseling website.

Distance Credentialed counselor: A Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) will be nationally recognized as a professional with training in best practices in Distance Counseling.

For more information, see the Center for Credentialing & Education, Inc. website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Simi Valley, California

Simi Valley, California
Simi Valley, California photo by Happyme22

Simi Valley is situated in Ventura County, California. It has a population of over 120,543, which has grown by 8.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Simi Valley, 131, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Simi Valley are valued at $451,000 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, nineteen new homes were built in Simi Valley, down from one hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Simi Valley are finance and insurance, educational services, and health care. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 24.9% of Simi Valley residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Simi Valley is 9.2%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Simi Valley residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Alliance Church, Grace Brethren Church of Simi Valley and Valley Bible Community Church are some of the churches located in Simi Valley. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Simi Valley is home to the Simi Valley Historical Society Archives and the Simi Civic Center as well as Stargaze Park and Atherwood Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mountain Gate Plaza Shopping Center, Royal Plaza Shopping Center and Regency Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Simi Valley can choose from 4 Hotel Now Com and 5 Star Linens for temporary stays in the area.