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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Manchester, New Hampshire

If you want to be a mental health counselor, the Manchester, New Hampshire area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 450 working mental health counselors in New Hampshire; this should grow 34% to about 600 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.

Mental health counselors earn approximately $17 per hour or $36,610 annually on average in New Hampshire. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $36,810 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy, people working as mental health counselors in New Hampshire earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy nationally. Jobs in this field include: mental health therapist, bereavement counselor, and behavior support specialist .

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of Manchester where you can study to be a mental health counselor, among forty-two schools of higher education total in the Manchester area. Given that the most common education level 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 starting with 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 Manchester 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

Northern Essex Community College - Haverhill, MA

Northern Essex Community College, 100 Elliott Street, Haverhill, MA 01830-2399. Northern Essex Community College is a medium sized college located in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,020 students. Northern Essex Community College has a one to two year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated twelve students in 2008.

New England College - Henniker, NH

New England College, 98 Bridge St, Henniker, NH 03242. New England College is a small college located in Henniker, New Hampshire. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,783 students and an admission rate of 69%. New England College has a master's degree program in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor which graduated six students in 2008.

North Shore Community College - Danvers, MA

North Shore Community College, 1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, MA 01923-0840. North Shore Community College is a medium sized college located in Danvers, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,223 students. North Shore Community College has 2 areas of study related to Mental Health Counselor. They are:

  • Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated thirteen and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated ten and seven students respectively in 2008.

Southern New Hampshire University - Manchester, NH

Southern New Hampshire University, 2500 N River Rd, Manchester, NH 03106. Southern New Hampshire University is a medium sized university located in Manchester, New Hampshire. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,000 students and an admission rate of 74%. Southern New Hampshire University has 2 areas of study related to Mental Health Counselor. They are:

  • Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling, post-master's certificate which graduated 47 students in 2008.
  • Mental Health Counseling/Counselor, master's degree which graduated 31 students in 2008.

NHTI-Concord's Community College - Concord, NH

NHTI-Concord's Community College, 31 College Drive, Concord, NH 03301-7412. NHTI-Concord's Community College is a small college located in Concord, New Hampshire. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 3,646 students and an admission rate of 73%. NHTI-Concord's Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated one and nine students respectively in 2008.

Fitchburg State College - Fitchburg, MA

Fitchburg State College, 160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697. Fitchburg State College is a medium sized college located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,400 students and an admission rate of 66%. Fitchburg State College has a master's degree program in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor which graduated eight 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.

LICENSES

Mental Health Counselors, Clinical

Licensing agency: NH Board of Mental Health Practice
Address: 117 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301-2621

Phone: (603) 271-6762
Website: NH Board of Mental Health Practice

LOCATION INFORMATION: Manchester, New Hampshire

Manchester, New Hampshire
Manchester, New Hampshire photo by FSosio

Manchester is situated in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. It has a population of over 108,586, which has grown by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Manchester, 120, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Manchester are valued at $138,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eighty-eight new homes were constructed in Manchester, down from ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Manchester are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and computer and electronic products. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 22.3% of Manchester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Manchester is 7.6%, which is greater than New Hampshire's average of 6.5%.

The percentage of Manchester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Bethel Christian Fellowship Church, Saint Pauls United Methodist Church and Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church are among the churches located in Manchester. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Manchester is home to the Spaulding House and the New Hampshire Youth Development Center as well as Derryfield Park and Crystal Lake Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampshire Plaza Shopping Center, The Mall of New Hampshire and Second Street Shoppes Shopping Center. Visitors to Manchester can choose from TAGE Inn & Suites, CNHParking and Firebird Motel for temporary stays in the area.