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

Mental health counselors can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Nashua, New Hampshire area. There are currently 450 working mental health counselors in New Hampshire; this should grow by 34% to 600 working mental health counselors in the state 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. Mental health counselors generally counsel with emphasis on prevention.

A person working as a mental health counselor can expect to earn about $17 per hour or $36,610 annually on average in New Hampshire and about $17 hourly or $36,810 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for mental health counselors are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Counseling and Therapy in New Hampshire and not quite as good as general Counseling and Therapy category earnings nationally. Mental health counselors work in a variety of jobs, including: psychologist, social service worker , and licensed professional counselor .

The Nashua area is home to fifty-seven schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Nashua where you can get a degree as a mental health counselor. 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 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 Nashua 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.
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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: Nashua, New Hampshire

Nashua, New Hampshire
Nashua, New Hampshire photo by FSosio

Nashua is situated in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. It has a population of over 86,576. The cost of living index in Nashua, 119, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Nashua are valued at $175,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were constructed in Nashua, down from seventy-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Nashua are health care, educational services, and computer and electronic products. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 31.5% of Nashua residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Nashua is 7.5%, which is greater than New Hampshire's average of 6.5%.

The percentage of Nashua residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Bethel Church, Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua and Trinity Baptist Church are among the churches located in Nashua. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Nashua is home to the Hillsborough County Courthouse and the Goodhue Memorial Library as well as Deschenes Oval and Nashua Manufacturing Company Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Amherst Street Mall Shopping Center, Royal Ridge Mall Shopping Center and Nashua Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Nashua can choose from Chalet Susse Motor Lodge, Crowne Plaza Nashua and Speaker's Corner Restaurant for temporary stays in the area.