Hire Mental Health Counselors
Mental health counselors are trained professionals who can provide support and guidance when we need it most.
Before looking to hire a mental health counselor, hiring managers should initially identify the specific needs of the hiring unit. Mental health counselors can work in a variety of different settings, including mental health centers, hospitals, clinics, community centers, employee assistance programs, and government agencies. Mental health counselors help clients from all backgrounds and cultures.
The next step is to write an accurate job description that will attract the interest of candidates. For a compelling job post, hiring managers should be clear, concise, and detailed. Are you looking for candidates who live in a specific area? What is the schedule? Is prior experience required? Carefully outline the responsibilities as well as requirements. These details will help candidates picture themselves working in your clinic or institution.
Aside from general job boards, it is best for hiring managers to post job announcements on healthcare-specific job boards, online groups, and in community groups as well. Getting referrals from other medical professionals and employees themselves is a helpful way to source candidates. Your staff may already know a licensed mental health counselor so let them know about the job opening.
Mental Health Counselor Responsibilities
The primary role of mental health counselors is to provide support to people who are undergoing a difficult phase because of depression, trauma, grief, anxiety, loss, or any other circumstance. Mental health counselors treat patients one-on-one or in a group and usually focus more on mental health disorders.
Mental health counselors assess the health and history of clients and conduct interviews respectfully and professionally, allowing clients to share information as they feel comfortable. Upon assessment, mental health counselors create and develop an individualized treatment plan. They teach clients to develop strategies to manage and cope with their problems. Counselors monitor the patient’s response and progress to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment plan and modify it if needed. Mental health counselors determine factors that hinder progress and manage them. Detailed documentation of notes and observations are made in each session and serve as a guide throughout the treatment. Counselors communicate and update the patient’s family and all other people involved in the client’s care, if required and appropriate.
Upon analysis, the mental health counselor also recommends other resources and community support groups that are available to the patient. Lastly, they may collaborate with other medical professionals in fulfilling the treatment plan. It is of utmost importance for them to uphold patient confidentiality and professionalism at all times.
Mental Health Counselor Skills and Qualifications
To qualify as a mental health counselor, a candidate should have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, or counseling as well as a master’s degree. The candidate must have completed several years of supervised clinical work experience and hold a certification as a certified counselor.
An ideal candidate is compassionate, trustworthy, and professional. Candidates must have excellent active listening and problem-solving skills. Moreover, strong communication skills and empathy are a must as mental health counselors interact closely with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals.
When people undergo stressful or traumatic events, the desire to seek help is, in itself, an achievement. A mental health counselor serves as a guide in dark times, leading clients towards clarity, coping skills, and recovery.