Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Bridgeport, Connecticut
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for mental health counselors in the Bridgeport, Connecticut area. There are currently 2,010 jobs for mental health counselors in Connecticut and this is projected to grow by 29% to 2,600 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for mental health counselors, which sees this job pool growing by about 24.0% over the next eight years. In general, mental health counselors counsel with emphasis on prevention.
Income for mental health counselors is about $17 per hour or $35,570 per year on average in Connecticut. Nationally, their income is about $17 per hour or $36,810 per year. Mental health counselors earn less than people working in the category of Counseling and Therapy generally in Connecticut and less than people in the Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: licensed clinical social worker , domestic violence advocate, and mental health clinician.
The Bridgeport area is home to seventy-five schools of higher education, including seven within twenty-five miles of Bridgeport where you can get a degree as a mental health counselor. Mental health counselors usually hold a Master's degree, so 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 Bridgeport 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.
- 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
Naugatuck Valley Community College - Waterbury, CT
Naugatuck Valley Community College, 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT 06708-3089. Naugatuck Valley Community College is a medium sized college located in Waterbury, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,880 students. Naugatuck Valley Community College has 2 areas of study related to Mental Health Counselor. They are:
- Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
- Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
New York Medical College - Valhalla, NY
New York Medical College, Administration Building, Valhalla, NY 10595. New York Medical College is a small college located in Valhalla, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,416 students. New York Medical College has a master's degree program in Clinical/Medical Social Work.
SUNY Westchester Community College - Valhalla, NY
SUNY Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, NY 10595. SUNY Westchester Community College is a large college located in Valhalla, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,090 students. SUNY Westchester Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated five and one students respectively in 2008.
Norwalk Community College - Norwalk, CT
Norwalk Community College, 188 Richards Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06854. Norwalk Community College is a medium sized college located in Norwalk, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,266 students. Norwalk Community College has an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling.
University of New Haven - West Haven, CT
University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, CT 06516. University of New Haven is a medium sized university located in West Haven, Connecticut. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,739 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of New Haven has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties.
Iona College - New Rochelle, NY
Iona College, 715 North Ave, New Rochelle, NY 10801-1890. Iona College is a small college located in New Rochelle, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,375 students and an admission rate of 59%. Iona College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor which graduated zero and five students respectively in 2008.
Gateway Community College - New Haven, CT
Gateway Community College, 60 Sargent Dr, New Haven, CT 06511. Gateway Community College is a medium sized college located in New Haven, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,140 students. Gateway Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated twenty-nine and nine 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.
Licensing agency: Department of Public Health
Address: Health Care Systems Branch, Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section, 410 Capitol Avenue, P.O.Box 340308, Hartford, CT 06134-0308
Phone: (860) 509-7603
Website: Department of Public Health Health Care Systems Branch Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section
LOCATION INFORMATION: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 136,405, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bridgeport, 151, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Bridgeport are valued at $110,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-six new homes were built in Bridgeport, down from forty-one the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Bridgeport are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 12.2% of Bridgeport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Bridgeport is 12.1%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.
The percentage of Bridgeport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 70.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Calvary Episcopal Church, Golden Hill United Methodist Church and Good Shepherd Christian Church are among the churches located in Bridgeport. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.
Bridgeport is home to the North Branch Bridgeport Public Library and the Challenger Learning Center as well as Went Field and Johnson Oak Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lafayette Shopping Plaza Shopping Center, Baldwin Plaza Shopping Center and Bayview Shopping Center.