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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Lewiston, Maine

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for mental health counselors in the Lewiston, Maine area. Currently, 470 people work as mental health counselors in Maine. This is expected to grow by 26% to 590 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.

Mental health counselors earn about $22 hourly or $47,750 yearly on average in Maine and about $17 hourly or $36,810 annually on average nationally. Incomes for mental health counselors are better than in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in Maine, and not quite as good as the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: employee assistance program counselor , human service coordinator, and correctional care and treatment worker.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Lewiston where you can study to be a mental health counselor, among ten schools of higher education total in the Lewiston area. 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 Lewiston include:

  • 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 Maine at Augusta - Augusta, ME

University of Maine at Augusta, 46 University Dr, Augusta, ME 04330-9410. University of Maine at Augusta is a small university located in Augusta, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,731 students. University of Maine at Augusta has associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and postbaccalaureate certificate programs in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-one, eighty-nine, 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.

LICENSES

Counselor, Clinical

Licensing agency: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation
Address: Office of Licensing and Registration, Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator, 35 State House Station, Gardiner Annex-Northern Avenue, Augusta, ME 04333-0035

Phone: (207) 624-8603
Website: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation Office of Licensing and Registration Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator

Counselor, Clinical (Conditional)

Licensing agency: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation
Address: Office of Licensing and Registration, Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator, 35 State House Station, Gardiner Annex-Northern Avenue, Augusta, ME 04333-0035

Phone: (207) 624-8603
Website: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation Office of Licensing and Registration Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator

LOCATION INFORMATION: Lewiston, Maine

Lewiston, Maine
Lewiston, Maine photo by Jonrouellette

Lewiston is located in Androscoggin County, Maine. It has a population of over 35,131, which has shrunk by 1.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Lewiston, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Lewiston are valued at $166,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, thirty-two new homes were constructed in Lewiston, up from twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Lewiston are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 12.6% of Lewiston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Lewiston is 8.5%, which is greater than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 15.5% of Lewiston's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Lewiston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Holy Cross Catholic Church, Spirit of Fire Evangelistic Church and Amazing Grace Mission are some of the churches located in Lewiston. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the United Methodist Church.

Lewiston is home to the Lewiston City Hall and the Stanton Museum as well as Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary and Elliot Little League Ball Fields. Shopping centers in the area include Shaws Plaza Center Shopping Center, North Wood Park Shopping Center and The Market Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Lewiston can choose from Motel 6, Maine Motel And Cabins and Dudley's for temporary stays in the area.