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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Colorado Springs, Colorado

There are many career and education opportunities for mental health counselors in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area. There are currently 2,790 working mental health counselors in Colorado; this should grow by 36% to 3,790 working mental health counselors in the state by 2016. This is better than 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 $16 hourly or $34,880 per year on average in Colorado. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 hourly or $36,810 per year on average. Mental health counselors earn more than people working in the category of Counseling and Therapy generally in Colorado and less than people in the Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: behavior support specialist , certified alcohol and drug counselor , and human service coordinator.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Colorado Springs where you can study to be a mental health counselor, among nineteen schools of higher education total in the Colorado Springs area. The most common level of education 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 Colorado Springs 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.
  • 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.
  • Social Services Assistant. Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, or adult daycare.
  • 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

University of Phoenix-Southern Colorado Campus - Colorado Springs, CO

University of Phoenix-Southern Colorado Campus, 5725 Mark Dabling Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80919-2221. University of Phoenix-Southern Colorado Campus is a small university located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 474 students. University of Phoenix-Southern Colorado Campus has a master's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated seventeen students 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: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado photo by FlickreviewR

Colorado Springs is located in El Paso County, Colorado. It has a population of over 380,307, which has grown by 5.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Colorado Springs, 86, is well below the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Colorado Springs are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 33.6% of Colorado Springs residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Colorado Springs is 7.0%, which is greater than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Colorado Springs residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.1%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Colorado Springs is home to the Wilsons Ranch and the Flying W Ranch as well as Garden of the Gods and Acacia Park. Shopping malls in the area include Academy Center Shopping Center, Academy Place Shopping Center and Academy Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Colorado Springs can choose from Days Inn, Antlers Hilton Colorado Springs and Apache Court for temporary stays in the area.