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Mental Health Counselors - 21-1014.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Counsel and advise individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health, with an emphasis on prevention. May help individuals deal with a broad range of mental health issues, such as those associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; or aging.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Behavior Analyst
  • Behavior Support Specialist (BSS)
  • Case Manager
  • Clinician
  • Counselor
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Mental Health Program Specialist
  • Mental Health Specialist
  • Mental Health Therapist

SOC Occupation Groups

Related Occupations


  • Act as client advocates to coordinate required services or to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations.
  • Assess patients for risk of suicide attempts.
  • Collaborate with mental health professionals and other staff members to perform clinical assessments or develop treatment plans.
  • Collect information about clients through interviews, observation, or tests.
  • Coordinate or direct employee workshops, courses, or training about mental health issues.
  • Counsel clients or patients, individually or in group sessions, to assist in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, or making changes.
  • Counsel family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, or supporting clients or patients.
  • Develop and implement treatment plans based on clinical experience and knowledge.
  • Discuss with individual patients their plans for life after leaving therapy.
  • Encourage clients to express their feelings and discuss what is happening in their lives, helping them to develop insight into themselves or their relationships.
  • Evaluate clients' physical or mental condition, based on review of client information.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling programs on clients' progress in resolving identified problems and moving towards defined objectives.
  • Fill out and maintain client-related paperwork, including federal- and state-mandated forms, client diagnostic records, and progress notes.
  • Gather information about community mental health needs or resources that could be used in conjunction with therapy.
  • Guide clients in the development of skills or strategies for dealing with their problems.
  • Learn about new developments in counseling by reading professional literature, attending courses and seminars, or establishing and maintaining contact with other social service agencies.
  • Maintain confidentiality of records relating to clients' treatment.
  • Meet with families, probation officers, police, or other interested parties to exchange necessary information during the treatment process.
  • Modify treatment activities or approaches as needed to comply with changes in clients' status.
  • Monitor clients' use of medications.
  • Perform crisis interventions to help ensure the safety of the patients and others.
  • Perform crisis interventions with clients.
  • Plan or conduct programs to prevent substance abuse or improve community health or counseling services.
  • Plan, organize, or lead structured programs of counseling, work, study, recreation, or social activities for clients.
  • Prepare and maintain all required treatment records and reports.
  • Refer patients, clients, or family members to community resources or to specialists as necessary.
  • Supervise other counselors, social service staff, assistants, or graduate students.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Advocate for individual or community needs.
  • Collaborate with other professionals to assess client needs or plan treatments.
  • Collect information about clients.
  • Collect information about community health needs.
  • Complete documentation required by programs or regulations.
  • Confer with family members to discuss client treatment plans or progress.
  • Counsel clients or patients regarding personal issues.
  • Counsel clients or patients with substance abuse issues.
  • Counsel family members of clients or patients.
  • Develop health assessment methods or programs.
  • Develop treatment plans for patients or clients.
  • Develop working relationships with others to facilitate program activities.
  • Evaluate characteristics of individuals to determine needs or eligibility.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling or educational programs.
  • Intervene in crisis situations to assist clients.
  • Interview clients to gather information about their backgrounds, needs, or progress.
  • Lead classes or community events.
  • Maintain client records.
  • Maintain professional social services knowledge.
  • Modify treatment plans to accommodate client needs.
  • Monitor clients to evaluate treatment progress.
  • Plan programs to address community health issues.
  • Plan programs to address community mental wellness needs.
  • Provide basic health care services.
  • Provide first aid or rescue assistance in emergencies.
  • Refer clients to community or social service programs.
  • Respond to emergencies to provide assistance.
  • Supervise workers providing client or patient services.
  • Teach life skills or strategies to clients or their families.
  • Train staff members in social services skills.
  • Write reports or evaluations.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Behavioral Health Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Behavioral Health Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Behavioral Sciences (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Chaplain (Air Force - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Chaplain (Coast Guard - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Chaplain (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Chaplain Specialist (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Clinical Psychologist (Air Force - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Clinical Psychologist (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Clinical Psychologist, Aviation Psychologist (Air Force - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Clinical Psychologist, Child and Adolescent Psychologist (Air Force - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Neuropsychologist (Air Force - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Clinical Psychologist, Health Psychologist (Air Force - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Clinical Psychologist, Operational Psychologist (Air Force - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Clinical Psychology (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Clinical Social Worker (Air Force - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Command and Unit Chaplain (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Correctional Counselor (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Correctional Counselor (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Medical Service Corps Officer (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Mental Health Nurse (Air Force - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Mental Health Service (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Mental Health Service Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Mental Health Service Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Mental Health Service Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Mental Health Service Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Mental Health Service Manager (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Mental Health Service Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Navv Drug and Alcohol Counselor (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Navy Drug and Alcohol Counselor Intern (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Navy Primary Prevention (PP) and Human Factors Process (HFP) Advanced Professional Development Train the Trainer Certification (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Nurse Corps Officer (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Psychiatric/Behavioral Health Nurse (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Religious Affairs (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Religious Affairs Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Religious Affairs Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Religious Affairs Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Religious Affairs Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Religious Affairs Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Religious Program Specialist (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) (Air Force - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Social Work (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Social Worker (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Substance Abuse Control Officer (Marine Corps - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Substance Abuse Control Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Supervisory Chaplain (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Tactical Chaplain (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

No information available.

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Bereavement Counselor