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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Social Workers in Lincoln, Nebraska

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for mental health social workers in the Lincoln, Nebraska area. Currently, 1,110 people work as mental health social workers in Nebraska. This is expected to grow 30% to about 1,440 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for mental health social workers are expected to grow by about 19.5%. Mental health social workers generally assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs.

Mental health social workers earn about $15 per hour or $32,210 yearly on average in Nebraska and about $17 per hour or $37,210 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for mental health social workers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Social Work and Community Services in Nebraska and not quite as good as general Social Work and Community Services category earnings nationally. Mental health social workers work in a variety of jobs, including: child and family therapist, psychotherapist, and substance abuse counselor.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Lincoln where you can study to be a mental health social worker, among twenty-five schools of higher education total in the Lincoln area. Given that the most common education level for mental health social workers is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years studying to be a mental health social worker if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Mental Health Social Worker

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

In general, mental health social workers assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. They also activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and education.

Mental health social workers talk with other professionals to review the mental or physical state of clients or patients. They also assist clients in adhering to treatment plans, such as setting up appointments, arranging for transportation to appointments, and providing support. Equally important, mental health social workers have to educate clients and community members about mental and physical illness, abuse and available community resources. They are often called upon to collaborate with counselors and nurses to develop and direct treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs. They are expected to monitor and record client progress with respect to treatment goals. Finally, mental health social workers refer patients or family to community resources for housing or treatment to help in recovery from mental or physical illness.

Every day, mental health social workers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for mental health social workers to formulate and conduct programs to stop substance abuse, to fight social problems, or to further optimize health and counseling services in community. They are often called upon to supervise and direct other staff who furnish services to clients or patients. They also increase social work knowledge by reviewing current literature, conducting social research, and attending seminars, training workshops, or classes. Somewhat less frequently, mental health social workers are also expected to design or advise on social policy and help in community development.

They also have to be able to design or advise on social policy and help in community development And finally, they sometimes have to counsel clients in individual and group sessions to help them in dealing with substance abuse, mental and physical illness, poverty or physical abuse.

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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Lincoln include:

  • 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.
  • Medical Social Worker. Provide persons, families, or vulnerable populations with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, or AIDS. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making necessary referrals for other social services.
  • Probation Officer. Provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole. Make recommendations for actions involving formulation of rehabilitation plan and treatment of offender, including conditional release and education and employment stipulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mental Health Social Worker Training

Southeast Community College Area - Lincoln, NE

Southeast Community College Area, 301south 68th Street Place, Lincoln, NE 68510-2449. Southeast Community College Area is a large college located in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,557 students. Southeast Community College Area has an associate's degree program in Clinical/Medical Social Work which graduated fifty-three students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Case Manager Certification: The CCM is the first nationally accredited case manager credential.

For more information, see the Commission for Case Manager Certification website.

Clinical Social Worker in Gerontology: Social workers who hold the CSW-G have: NASW membership in good standing; An MSW degree from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); Documented no less than two (2) years (equivalent of 3,000 hours) of experience working with older adults under social work supervision; Completed twenty (20) contact hours of continuing education relevant to work with older adults; Provided approved documentation of social work supervision; Provided a reference from a social work colleague; .

For more information, see the National Association of Social Workers website.

Certified Social Worker in Health Care: Health care is a dynamic field, influenced by changes in.

For more information, see the National Association of Social Workers website.

LICENSES

Social Workers/Master of Social Workers

Licensing agency: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
Address: Division of Public Health - Licensure Unit, PO Box 94986, 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, NE 68509-4986

Phone: (402) 471-4905
Website: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health - Licensure Unit

LOCATION INFORMATION: Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska photo by Stack

Lincoln is situated in Lancaster County, Nebraska. It has a population of over 251,624, which has grown by 11.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Lincoln, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Lincoln cost $170,100 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, five hundred thirty-nine new homes were constructed in Lincoln, down from eight hundred twenty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Lincoln are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, educational services, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 33.3% of Lincoln residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Lincoln is 4.1%, which is less than Nebraska's average of 4.5%.

The percentage of Lincoln residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.4%, is less than both the national and state average. Saint John Baptist Church, Calvary Baptist Church and Calvary Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Lincoln. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Lutheran Church.

Lincoln is home to the Cedars Home and the AGP Grain Cooperative Elevator as well as Abel Stadium and 40th and Highway 2 Park. Shopping malls in the area include Gateway Mall, Sutter Place Mall and Edgewood Shopping Center. Visitors to Lincoln can choose from Comfort Suites, Ramada Limited North and Quality Inn Airport for temporary stays in the area.