Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Westminster, Colorado
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for mental health counselors in the Westminster, Colorado area. Currently, 2,790 people work as mental health counselors in Colorado. This is expected to grow by 36% to about 3,790 people 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%. Mental health counselors generally counsel with emphasis on prevention.
The income of a mental health counselor is about $16 per hour or $34,880 annually on average in Colorado. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 hourly or $36,810 per year on average. Incomes for mental health counselors are better than in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in Colorado, and not quite as good as the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. People working as mental health counselors can fill a number of jobs, such as: behavioral health therapist, behavior support specialist , and chemical dependency coordinator.
There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Westminster where you can study to be a mental health counselor, among sixty-four schools of higher education total in the Westminster area. The most common level of education for mental health counselors is a Master's degree. It will take about six years to learn to be 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
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 Westminster 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-Denver Campus - Lone Tree, CO
University of Phoenix-Denver Campus, 10004 Park Meadows Drive, Lone Tree, CO 80124-5453. University of Phoenix-Denver Campus is a small university located in Lone Tree, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,957 students. University of Phoenix-Denver Campus has a master's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.
Community College of Denver - Denver, CO
Community College of Denver, 1111 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80204-2026. Community College of Denver is a medium sized college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,006 students. Community College of Denver has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor which graduated six and three students respectively in 2008.
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: Westminster, Colorado
Westminster is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 107,056, which has grown by 6.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Westminster, 96, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Westminster are valued at $376,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, sixty-two new homes were built in Westminster, down from one hundred forty-six the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Westminster are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and computer and electronic products. The average travel time to work is about 27 minutes. More than 31.3% of Westminster residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.3%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Westminster is 6.2%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.
The percentage of Westminster residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.
Westminster is home to the The Golf Courses at Hyland Hills and the The Plaza at Westminster. Visitors to Westminster can choose from Comfort Suites, LA Quinta - Inns- Westminster Mall and Doubletree Hotel Denver Boulder for temporary stays in the area.