Hospitals and mental health and substance abuse centers have mental health counselors who develop the proper treatment, intervention, and recovery plans for people with mental health challenges. These professionals also facilitate individual and group therapy sessions and help with behavioral challenges management.
Our article looks at the roles and responsibilities of mental health counselors and the different requirements surrounding the role. We also have two resume examples and a complete FAQs section to answer any queries you may have about the perfect mental health resume. Let’s dive right into it!
Mental Health Counselor Job Description
Mental health counselors work in outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers, schools, family services, and mental health clinics. They conduct mental evaluations, coordinate individual and group interventions, and develop the best treatment plans for patients. Additional roles include identifying and preventing behaviors capable of stagnating recovery, assisting family members with behavioral challenges management, and collaborating with other mental health specialists on intervention plans.
To succeed in this role, one should be ready to collaborate with other specialists and healthcare professionals, be familiar with treatment planning and coordination and possess extensive knowledge of mental health illnesses. Proficiency with electronic health record systems is also a plus.
Mental Health Counselor Roles and Responsibilities
- Evaluating the emotional, mental, and behavioral health of clients and emotionally disturbed persons
- Offering initial consultation and conducting a preliminary interview to diagnose the patient correctly
- Planning, coordinating, and facilitating group and individual therapy sessions
- Helping primary caregivers and family members to work and live with emotionally or mentally challenged persons by teaching them how to manage mental and behavioral challenges
- Monitoring patients and identifying and correcting issues capable of preventing recovery
- Working closely with other mental health specialists, i.e., doctors and nurses, to come up with effective intervention plans
- Preparing treatment plans for patients and monitoring them till the end
- Creating effective recovery and intervention plans for families, groups, patients, and couples
- Creating and updating case documentation from the beginning up to the end of treatment
- Recommending hospital admission for different patients and following up on their progress
- Abiding by all local, state, and federal guidelines in the treatment of mental health issues
- Promoting individualized patient recovery by offering outpatient mental health services
- Involving the community in mental health counseling initiatives by writing detailed reports to community agencies, schools, and courts
Mental Health Counselors Required Knowledge and Skills
- In-depth understanding of electronic health record systems
- Extensive knowledge of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) best practices
- In-depth understanding of the effects and side effects of mental health drugs
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
- Ability to work well under pressure
- Working knowledge of different legal guidelines
- Ability to work independently
- Excellent teamworking skills
- Solid computer literacy skills
- Treatment planning and implementation skills
- Ability to establish effective working relationships with emotionally disabled persons
- Knowledge of serious and routine mental health illnesses
- A sympathetic nature
- Ability to effectively prescribe drugs
- In-depth understanding of human behavior and performance
- In-depth understanding of psychological research methods
- Knowledge of group dynamics and behavior
- Knowledge of customer and personal services processes and principles
- Knowledge of societal influences and trends
- Ability to perform psychosocial assessments
- Social perceptiveness
- Crisis intervention skills
- Excellent treatment coordination skills
Mental Health Counselor Education and Experience
- Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, Counselling, or any relevant field
- Experience dealing with underlying emotional and physical health conditions/ addiction disorders
- Previous experience as a mental health counselor or any related role
- State-approved license (note that you can only practice as a mental health counselor if you are licensed)
- A Master’s degree in mental health counseling from an accredited institution (not mandatory, but highly recommended)
- Relevant mental health certifications
- Experience treating serious and routine mental health illnesses
- Experience using electronic health record systems
Mental Health Counselor Salary
Licensed mental health counselors make an average of $69,000 yearly, which includes additional payments. However, this is not a fixed figure since establishments such as Brave Health pay up to $80,000 annually, making it safe to assume that most professionals earn between $60,000 to $80,000 annually. As with other positions, the amount is bound to go higher for senior or managerial jobs.
Mental Health Counselor CV Example 1
Physical address: 250 E Myrtle Avenue, Reedley, California (CA), 98675
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number: (258) 890- 7890
Senior mental health counselor with 10+ years of experience in diagnosing and treating 20+ mental health illnesses. Certified mental health expert with extensive experience preparing and monitoring treatment, intervention, and recovery plans. Hardworking team player ready to collaborate with different specialists for successful intervention planning and facilitation of group and individual therapy sessions.
05/2019- 08/2022, Mental Health Case Manager, Get-well Community Mental Health Facility, Tampa, Florida
- Managed a caseload of 30- 50 clients with severe emotional disorders
- Spent 20+ hours weekly offering direct and indirect services to clients
- Linked clients to 10+ community facilities in liaison with service providers to enhance their functioning within the community setting
- Created individualized service plans for all clients with well-written objectives and case management interventions; regularly revising the objectives to meet client needs
- Planned, developed, and initiated a Psychiatric Waiting List Management Protocol, winning the best mental health case manager of the year in 2021
- Showed interest in patients’ welfare by helping them make government aid applications, e.g., Supplemental Security Income and Housing Choice Voucher Program
- Used teamwork and relationship management skills to build and maintain excellent relationships with 20+ coworkers, families, and community agencies
- Conducted weekly group sessions focused on self-help and community integrations
- Promoted client safety and de-escalation of issues through effective crisis intervention techniques, delivered in-person and over the phone
03/2016- 04/2019, Mental Health Counselor, Avenue Mental Health Facility, San Diego, CA
- Successfully assessed 15+ patients weekly to ascertain their needs before collaborating with other healthcare professionals to offer the best behavioral intervention
- Facilitated and led two weekly group therapy sessions of 20 patients with mental illnesses and chemical dependency
- Observed 100% adherence to all facility and departmental policies and guidelines in, attracting 0 disciplinary cases
- Developed, implemented, and monitored individualized treatment plans, leading to a 91% chance of success
- Participated in patient care by assisting the 10-member nursing department with client admissions and discharges
- Applied strong collaboration skills to bring clinicians and clients’ families on board during interventions design and execution
- Successfully trained 10+ community partners on therapeutic interventions and mental illnesses management
- Developed effective case plans capable of meeting individual client needs in collaboration with a 15-member interdisciplinary team
- 0rganized and led five psychosocial rehabilitation group counseling sessions monthly
02/2013- 01/2016, Behavioral Health Counselor, Sacramento Youth Facility, Sacramento, California
- Assessed the behavioral and psycho-developmental needs of youths aged 18-32 daily
- Educated 200+ families and caregivers on treatment plans and behavioral challenges management
- Documented and maintained 100% accurate case files for every youth under my care
- Planned and delivered two behavioral group therapy sessions weekly; closely checking on the progress of participants
- Clinically assessed every patient’s needs before developing and implementing treatment plans, leading to a 92% success rate
- Referred clients to 5+ mental health counselors, e.g., psychiatrists, to ensure that their behavioral and psycho-developmental needs were accurately met.
- 03/2008- 05/2012, Bachelor of Science in Psychology with Counselling, University of California, Davis, California
- 05/2004- 11/2007, High School Diploma, Reedley Senior High School, Reedley, California
- Treatment planning
- Crisis intervention
- Mental Health Awareness
- Psychosocial assessment
- Group therapy
- Patient care
- Personnel Resources Management
- Vital signs monitoring
- Treatment coordination
- Active listening
- Verbal and written communication
- Time management
08/2014, National Certified Counselor Certification, National Board for Certified Counselors
Mental Health Counselor CV Example 2
Physical address: 14500 Chestnut Street, Sacramento, California, 98054
Email address: email@example.com
Phone number: (240) 890- 6548
Mental health worker with 10+ years of experience in mental health evaluation, treatment plan development, and therapy session facilitation, ready to collaborate with other professionals to successfully diagnose and treat mental health illnesses. Hardworking counselor with an in-depth understanding of human behavior and performance willing to go the extra mile for mental health facility’s advancement. Healthcare professional capable of accurately evaluating the mental, behavioral and emotional health of patients in adherence with all facility’s state and feral laws.
08/2019- 10/2022, Clinical Supervisor, Jade Professional Counselors, Boulder Colorado
- Successfully supervised, counseled, and motivated 25+ practitioners, rallying them toward the achievement of the facility’s objectives and patients’ goals
- Taught and demonstrated counseling techniques to 10+ junior counselors for professional advancement purposes
- Participated in the hiring and development of 6+ counselors with different levels of experience
- Coordinated and managed 3 group counseling sessions weekly in close collaboration with five junior counselors
- Reviewed documentation to ensure 100% compliance with both facility and departmental standards
- Attended and led weekly staff meetings with the mental health team to identify strengths, address weaknesses and review goals
05/2016- 07/2019, Mental Health Counselor, Superior Care Hospitals, Tampa, Florida
- Developed and implemented effective crisis intervention strategies to ensure the safety and security of 1000+ patients
- Built and maintained excellent professional working relationships with the facility’s medical director for the successful dispensation and monitoring of psychotropic medication
- Helped clients apply for 5+ governmental assistance benefits, e.g., Supplemental Security Income
- Planned and facilitated two weekly group counseling sessions made of 10-20 clients
- Collaborated with 10+ mental health specialists, social workers, and nurses for effective intervention planning and implementation
03/2012- 04/2016, Behavior Analyst, Riverside Mental Health Facilities, San Diego, CA
- Regularly created and modified behavior support plans for 10+ mental disorders
- Assessed clients’ social, cognitive, sensory, and emotional needs before creating effective treatment plans, leading to a 90% success rate
- Spearheaded the ‘We Are Still Worthy of Love’ campaign in 2015, advocating for societal acceptance and inclusion of individuals with disorders
- Accurately observed the behaviors of 50+ clients monthly by creating simulated conditions
- Recommended and ensured the implementation of preventative measures to reduce maladaptive behaviors
- 03/2007- 05/2011, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
- 03/2004- 05/2006, High School Diploma, Sacramento College Preparatory School, Sacramento, CA
- Patient care
- Treatment planning
- Group therapy
- Mental Health Awareness
- Crisis intervention
- Community resources coordination
- Psychosocial assessment
- Treatment monitoring
- Human Resources Management
- Verbal and written communication
- Active listening
05/2012, Certified Professional Counselor Certification, American Board of Professional Counselors
Mental Health Counselor Resume Frequently Asked Questions FAQs
1. Which Technical Skills Should I Include in My Resume?
Mental health counselors require specialized knowledge and expertise to perform specific workplace tasks. Therefore, to have the best resume, here are a few technical skills you can include: the ability to intervene in and manage crises, mental health awareness, the ability to plan and coordinate treatments, the ability to monitor patients, the ability to administer group therapy, vital signs assessment, and monitoring and ability to perform psychosocial assessments.
Other technical skills worth considering are personnel resources management, social perceptiveness, community resources coordination, ability to care for patients, and first aid skills, including CPR. All in all, find out the exact technical skills that the hiring manager needs in a new employee by reviewing the job description.
2. Which Keywords Should I Use in My Resume?
Your resume should have certain phrases or words describing specific job requirements. Therefore, look for the values, expertise, skills, and abilities the recruiter needs from the job listing. Some of the most common keywords are mental health counseling, group therapy, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mental health, crisis intervention, motivational interviewing, individual counseling, social services, behavioral health, counseling psychology, family therapy, and psychology.
Additional keywords include treatment planning, outpatient, clinic, interventional, documentation, psychiatry, substance-related disorder, behavioral analysis, trauma, CPR, hospital, youth worker, and scheduling. Remember, using the right keywords will help you get past applicant tracking systems, which you should strive to do.
3. Which Certifications Should I Pursue and Include in My Resume?
Here are some of the standard certifications for mental health counselors that you can include in your resume:
- Certified Professional Counselor Certification- The Certified Professional Counselor Certification is offered by the American Board of Professional Counselors, the number one advocate for mental health counselors. This certification confers to its holders the right to practice and the recognition they need. It also increases professional parity and must be renewed every year.
- Certified Substance Abuse Counselor- The Certified Substance Abuse Counselor is one of the offerings by the Association of Christian Alcohol and Drug Counselors, which trains and certifies professional drug, alcohol, and addiction counselors. It doesn’t have an experience threshold and must be renewed every two years.
- National Certified Counselor (NCC)- The National Certified Counselor Certification has existed since 1983. The National Board established it for certified counselors following inspiration from the American Counselling Society. It is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and must be renewed every five years.
- Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor– This International Examination for Alcohol and Drug Counselors certification tests alcohol and drug counseling knowledge and skills. It is offered by the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium and must be renewed every two years.
Other certifications worth considering include Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor by NBCC, Certified Health Education Specialist, Master Addictions Counselor, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and Mental Health Certification by American Occupational Therapy Association. However, ensure that you get the certification with the highest demand.
4. How Can I Become a Mental Health Counselor?
If our article has sparked an interest in mental health counseling, we have something for you. To become a mental health counselor, earn your bachelor’s degree in sociology, psychology counseling, or any related field first, and your course should be centered on human growth and development. Next, assess your strengths and whether you are suitable for the position with respect to the roles and responsibilities of mental health counselors.
The next step is to get a Master’s degree in program evaluation, research methods, substance use and disorders, addictions, group counseling, or diagnosis of emotional and mental disorders. Once you have all the fore-mentioned qualifications, work on developing your Interpersonal skills and, lastly, obtain a state license, giving you the power to practice.
5. What’s the Best Way of Adding My Skills to My Mental Health Resume?
Before adding your skills to a mental health resume, the first thing to do is to closely review the job posting to identify the technical skills that the hiring manager wants and add them first. Examples include psychotherapy, group therapy, and psychology. The next step is to add industry-related skills, such as cognitive behavior therapy and patient care, provided they are relevant. The last skills to be added to your resume should be the soft skills that mental health counselors need to interact on a daily basis.
Lastly, ensure that you infuse some of these skills into your work experience section to prove practical experience. Your resume must have adequate skills to prove to the hiring manager that you have all it takes to succeed, given a chance.