Mental health counselors work with families, couples and individuals to help in overcoming emotional and psychological problems. Some deal specifically in the treatment of mental illness, while others may help patients deal with issues related to addiction and substance abuse, or everyday challenges such as marital problems, parental control or managing stress.
As you can see in the mental health counselor job description template provided here, a candidate for a counselor position must possess excellent listening and communication skills. He or she should also be skilled at discerning people’s words and actions, helping them to see how what they say and do reveals the root causes of their issues.
Your ideal job applicant should be one who possesses the right blend of knowledge and clinical experience. Consult the mental health counselor job description template to see how you can tailor your listing to find such a candidate.
Mental Health Counselor Job Summary
Scores of citizens in your local community are currently dealing with debilitating emotional issues. Your skills and experience are needed to help these people find the support they need. We’re seeking qualified mental health professionals to work in conjunction with our hospital emergency department staff to offer counseling services. You’ll work side-by-side with clinicians simultaneously seeing to the physical and emotional needs of patients. You’ll also get the chance to engage and network with other like-minded professionals in the community as you arrange for ongoing care for the patients you work with. This position also works in conjunction with local law enforcement officials to find solutions for individuals other than punitive action. If you really want to make difference in the lives of others, this is the job for you.
- Offer counseling to patients who visit hospital emergency department seeking treatment for emotional and mental health issues
- Coordinate with doctors and nurses to help pinpoint any clinical conditions that may be contributing to a patient’s struggles
- Work with clinicians, family members and law enforcement officials to arrange for voluntary and involuntary psychiatric admissions when they are needed
- Arrange for the transportation of patients to other facilities or mental health providers if circumstances will not allow them to be accommodated in the ED
- Follow up with psychiatrists and/or attending physicians in cases involving hospital admissions
- Collaborate with external psychiatric care providers as well as representatives from civic assistance programs to help schedule treatment sessions for those patients who need them
- Prepare patient evaluations to be included in medical records and to be shared with hospital review boards
- Assist hospital security staff to help protect clinical providers, patients and visitors from uncooperative and potentially dangerous mental health patients
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Master’s degree in psychology, sociology or clinical psychiatric science from an accredited college or university
- Current practitioner license through the state’s clinical therapy board
- Three years of experience in counseling or mental health services
- Prior work experience in emergency department or outpatient clinical care setting
- Working knowledge of legal guidelines stipulating psychiatric admission requirements
- Excellent communication skills
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Mental Health Counselor Job Responsibilities
When it comes to the responsibilities area of your mental health counselor job description, clarity and conciseness are two key writing essentials. This is the place jobseekers likely visit first in the job listing, and the point at which many may decide whether to move forward in the application process. With these main attractions, your job responsibilities section makes up the meatiest part of the listing. Of course, the ultimate goal of your post is to attract knowledgeable and passionate mental health experts in the field, so make your job listing one that shines.
Since most applicants want to place themselves in the shoes of the role, give main functions and duties in the form of an accessible bullet list. Start each bullet point with an engaging action verb, and aim for no less than six and no more than eight bullet points. Giving the main tasks in an enthusiastic manner and through a short list can make your mental health counselor job description one that stands out in the sea of job listings.
Below, you’ll find some example mental health counselor job responsibilities:
- Provide quality care while adhering to safety and educational policies
- Maintain knowledge of and compliance with all current hospital and departmental policies
- Help individuals deal with issues related to substance abuse, stress-management and other issues
- Record progress notes for each client
Mental Health Counselor Job Specifications
The job qualifications and skills section of your mental health counselor job description is another important aspect of the job post. Although it is usually significantly shorter than the responsibilities section, this area is important because it shares essential qualifications applicants must possess to land the job. Prevent an influx of unqualified applications in your inbox by carefully reflecting on each skill, and consider the placement of each trait as well.
One way to ensure your job listing is efficient and meets the standards of the company is to meet with your senior leadership to discuss the content of this section. Discuss any updates or new required skills so your post features all the necessary information. Are there some hard skills that are an absolute must and others that your team prefers? Make sure to acknowledge these details when writing your mental health counselor job specifications.
To make your mental health counselor job description the best it can be, look to these example specifications:
- Master’s degree or higher in related field
- BLS Certification required within 30 days of hire
- Knowledge of human behavior and performance, as well as individual differences in ability, personality and interests
- Familiarity with laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders and agency rules
- Active learning and listening skills