What Do Mental Health Counselors Do: Job Description, Responsibilities and Duties

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daily life of a Mental Health Counselor
are Mental Health Counselors happy with their job

Mental Health Counselors

Other names for this job might include Behavior Analyst, Behavior Support Specialist (BSS), Bereavement Counselor, Case Manager, Child Care Counselor, Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Clinician, Correctional Counselor, Corrections Caseworker, Counselor

  • $45080
  • 70%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
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Being A Mental Health Counselor: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Mental Health Counselors do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Mental Health Counselor or not.

Job summary

Mental Health Counselors counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. May help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging.

We asked Mental Health Counselors how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


70% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 89% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Mental Health Counselors Maintain confidentiality of records relating to clients’ treatment. They Encourage clients to express their feelings and discuss what is happening in their lives, helping them to develop insight into themselves or their relationships.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Mental Health Counselor is to Guide clients in the development of skills or strategies for dealing with their problems.

Some may also Prepare and maintain all required treatment records and reports.

In a normal work day, another thing that Mental Health Counselors do is they Counsel clients or patients, individually or in group sessions, to assist in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, or making changes.

In addition to that, they Collect information about clients through interviews, observation, or tests..

Counsel clients or patients regarding personal issues.
Teach life skills or strategies to clients or their families.

We asked some Mental Health Counselors a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?79% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?63% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?38% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?84% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?35% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?34% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?15% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?64% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Mental Health Counselors do, they Act as client advocates to coordinate required services or to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations. They might also Collaborate with other staff members to perform clinical assessments or develop treatment plans.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Mental Health Counselors Meet with families, probation officers, police, or other interested parties to exchange necessary information during the treatment process. and Refer patients, clients, or family members to community resources or to specialists as necessary.

In addition, they Counsel family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, or supporting clients or patients.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling programs on clients’ progress in resolving identified problems and moving towards defined objectives.

To some Mental Health Counselors, it is also their responsibility to Modify treatment activities or approaches as needed to comply with changes in clients’ status.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Advocate for individual or community needs.
Intervene in crisis situations to assist clients.
Collaborate with other professionals to assess client needs or plan treatments.
Confer with family members to discuss client treatment plans or progress.
Collaborate with other professionals to assess client needs or plan treatments.
Refer clients to community or social service programs.
Counsel family members of clients or patients.

Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Mental Health Counselor, you can expect to work More than 40 hours per week.

Do Mental Health Counselors work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Mental Health Counselors work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Mental Health Counselors work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Helpers and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

You also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

How we can help

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They 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 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.
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They counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

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Career type

Human and Social Service
Health Informatics
Counseling and Mental Health Services

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Mental Health Counselors job description, what do Mental Health Counselors do, typical day for Mental Health Counselors, what is it like to work as a Mental Health Counselor, how many hours do Mental Health Counselors work, day to day work of a Mental Health Counselor

Additional resources

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