As a mental health associate, you will assist the medical team members in diagnosing and treating individuals with mental, developmental, and behavioral conditions. You may be tasked to facilitate individual and group therapy sessions, help patients with their day-to-day activities such as self-care and hygiene, and assist in administering medications prescribed by physicians. Other duties include planning and leading program activities, attending treatment rounds, and assisting with the physical care of patients. The qualifications and skills required for this role include a bachelor's degree in social science or psychology, previous work experience, and certification on basic life support.

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Mental Health Associate Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real mental health associate resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Lead a number of psychotherapy groups including DBT.
  • Manage other MHA's in their duties and help them problem solving in tense and stressful situations.
  • Respond to and assist in behavioral codes working as a team member to successfully manage patient using methods obtain in CPI training
  • Require to participate as an interdisciplinary treatment team member and assist patients in managing activities of daily living.
  • Treat the patients with compassion, care and respect.
  • Communicate with doctors, nurses, MHA's, PCA's, and patients both verbally and in writing.
  • Assist mentally impair or emotional disturb patients with routine, physical, emotional, physiological or rehabilitation as directed.
  • Maintain up to date CPR certification (facility provides this training).
  • Assist in toileting with bedpans, urinals, diapers, and routine catheter care.
  • Establish therapeutic rapport and used verbal de-escalation + CPI techniques as needed to prevent patient restraint.
  • Work with the SMI and DDD population in CLP, group homes and transitional living facilities.
  • Provide youth with guidance, support, compassion and structure through mentoring to promote personal growth and development.
  • Maintain immunization records using CAIR immunization registry.
  • Work with physician advocates to increase disease awareness in the adult immunization market.
  • Help coordinate program activities gear toward assisting SMI adults in reaching optimal levels of independent functioning.

Mental Health Associate Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a mental health associate is "should I become a mental health associate?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, mental health associate careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 11% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a mental health associate by 2028 is 81,200.

A mental health associate annual salary averages $36,510, which breaks down to $17.55 an hour. However, mental health associates can earn anywhere from upwards of $25,000 to $51,000 a year. This means that the top-earning mental health associates make $27,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

Once you've become a mental health associate, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a behavior therapist, intensive in-home counselor, residence counselor, and counselor internship.

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Mental Health Associate Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 24% of Mental Health Associates are proficient in Patients, Customer Service, and Vital Signs. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Emotional skills, and Organizational skills.

We break down the percentage of Mental Health Associates that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patients, 24%

    Provide delegated components of nursing care to patients including monitoring, specimen collection, and psycho education.

  • Customer Service, 9%

    Supported clinicians by ensuring and facilitating efficient operations; enhanced customer service and improved center productivity.

  • Vital Signs, 7%

    Monitored vital signs and checked that monitoring equipment were functioning correctly.

  • CPR, 6%

    Received certification in CPR and Lifesaving.

  • Safety Checks, 4%

    Monitored patient safety via safety checks while assessing behavioral management needs.

  • Social Work, 4%

    Ensured efficiency of patient care practices through effective partnership with social workers, psychiatrists, physicians, nurses and other professionals.

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Mental Health Associate Resume

Some of the skills we found on mental health associate resumes included "patients," "customer service," and "vital signs." We have detailed the most important mental health associate responsibilities below.

  • The most important skills for a mental health associate to have in this position are communication skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a mental health associate resume, you'll understand why: "clients talk to social workers about challenges in their lives" According to resumes we found, communication skills can be used by a mental health associate in order to "provide behavioral/emotional support for the mentally ill demonstrated excellence in interpersonal communication"
  • Another trait important for fulfilling mental health associate duties is emotional skills. According to a mental health associate resume, "social workers often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations." Here's an example of how mental health associates are able to utilize emotional skills: "listen and provide emotional support and encouragement to psychiatric patients. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among mental health associates is organizational skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a mental health associate resume: "social workers must help and manage multiple clients, often assisting with their paperwork or documenting their treatment." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "demonstrate organizational intelligence, cleanliness, and awareness of spatial requirements. "
  • In order for certain mental health associate responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "problem-solving skills." According to a mental health associate resume, "social workers need to develop practical and innovative solutions to their clients’ problems." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "answered phone calls and problem solved while being well organized and proper. "
  • Another common skill for a mental health associate to be able to utilize is "interpersonal skills." Social workers need to be able to work with different groups of people a mental health associate demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "practice therapeutic interpersonal communication with patients to neutralize potential adverse events and actions. "
  • See the full list of mental health associate skills.

    We've found that 66.0% of mental health associates have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 12.7% earned their master's degrees before becoming a mental health associate. While it's true that most mental health associates have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every eight mental health associates did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The mental health associates who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied psychology and social work, while a small population of mental health associates studied criminal justice and business.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a mental health associate. We've found that most mental health associate resumes include experience from RWJBarnabas Health, Acadia Healthcare, and Columbia Care. Of recent, RWJBarnabas Health had 102 positions open for mental health associates. Meanwhile, there are 74 job openings at Acadia Healthcare and 55 at Columbia Care.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, mental health associates tend to earn the biggest salaries at Columbia University in the City of New York, Emory University, and Roivant Sciences. Take Columbia University in the City of New York for example. The median mental health associate salary is $51,451. At Emory University, mental health associates earn an average of $49,212, while the average at Roivant Sciences is $47,720. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on mental health associate salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a mental health associate include Apalachee Center, Sheppard Pratt, and The Meadows Psychiatric Center. These three companies were found to hire the most mental health associates from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious mental health associates are:

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    What Behavior Therapists Do

    A behavior therapist is a professional psychologist who is responsible for helping patients with mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. Behavior therapists must equip patients with psychological tools to help them diminish unhealthy thoughts so that they can effectively deal with the challenges of their daily lives. They are required to devise problem-solving methods such as psychotherapy and counseling to help patients improve their quality of life. Behavior therapists must also collaborate with the families of their patients to help them overcome behavioral issues more effectively.

    We looked at the average mental health associate annual salary and compared it with the average of a behavior therapist. Generally speaking, behavior therapists receive $354 higher pay than mental health associates per year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both mental health associates and behavior therapists positions are skilled in patients, social work, and crisis intervention.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a mental health associate responsibilities require skills like "customer service," "vital signs," "cpr," and "safety checks." Meanwhile a typical behavior therapist has skills in areas such as "behavior analysis," "autism spectrum disorder," "behavior analysts," and "bcba." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Behavior therapists tend to make the most money in the education industry by averaging a salary of $38,181. In contrast, mental health associates make the biggest average salary of $37,746 in the professional industry.

    Behavior therapists tend to reach similar levels of education than mental health associates. In fact, behavior therapists are 4.0% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of an Intensive In-Home Counselor?

    An Intensive In-Home Counselor conducts individual counseling sessions for parents and deals with delicate issues like sexual addiction. They also prepare progress reports for clients.

    The next role we're going to look at is the intensive in-home counselor profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $14,918 higher salary than mental health associates per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of mental health associates and intensives in-home counselor are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "crisis intervention," "therapeutic interventions," and "anger management. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that mental health associate responsibilities requires skills like "patients," "customer service," "vital signs," and "cpr." But an intensive in-home counselor might use skills, such as, "family therapy," "intensive in-home," "discharge planning," and "at-risk youth."

    On average, intensives in-home counselor earn a higher salary than mental health associates. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, intensives in-home counselor earn the most pay in the utilities industry with an average salary of $56,398. Whereas, mental health associates have higher paychecks in the professional industry where they earn an average of $37,746.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, intensives in-home counselor tend to reach higher levels of education than mental health associates. In fact, they're 11.1% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Residence Counselor Compares

    Residence counselors are professionals who are responsible for providing services such as one-to-one therapy and crisis support to clients who are living in group homes or assisted-living facilities. These counselors must assist adults with moderate intellectual disabilities to find employment while monitoring their work performance. They must facilitate and supervise daily personal care and activities for developmentally disabled adults. Residence counselors must also encourage clients to participate in community activities that can contribute to the development of skills necessary for independent living.

    Let's now take a look at the residence counselor profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than mental health associates with a $1,579 difference per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several mental health associates and residence counselors we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "patients," "vital signs," and "cpr," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a mental health associate is likely to be skilled in "customer service," "safety checks," "immunization," and "cpi," while a typical residence counselor is skilled in "developmental disabilities," "english language," "medication administration," and "cerebral palsy."

    Residence counselors make a very good living in the education industry with an average annual salary of $35,988. Whereas mental health associates are paid the highest salary in the professional industry with the average being $37,746.

    Residence counselors typically study at similar levels compared with mental health associates. For example, they're 1.9% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.3% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Counselor Internship

    When it comes to Counselor Internship, among the primary responsibilities is to assist in dealing with various activities such as preparing and verifying necessary documentation, observing consultations and outreach programs, guide clients and help develop multiple helpful strategies, and provide assessments. Furthermore, one can conduct counseling and consultation only under supervision. It is also essential to track the information gathered and coordinate with assigned personnel to adhere to the company's regulations and policies.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than mental health associates. On average, counselor interns earn a difference of $8,990 higher per year.

    According to resumes from both mental health associates and counselor interns, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "crisis intervention," "anger management," and "mental illness. "

    Each job requires different skills like "patients," "customer service," "vital signs," and "cpr," which might show up on a mental health associate resume. Whereas counselor internship might include skills like "intake assessments," "substance abuse issues," "family therapy," and "cognitive behavioral therapy."

    Counselor interns earn a higher salary in the finance industry with an average of $51,629. Whereas, mental health associates earn the highest salary in the professional industry.

    Counselor interns reach higher levels of education when compared to mental health associates. The difference is that they're 6.8% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.3% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Mental Health Associate Does FAQs

    How Much Do Mental Health Workers Make Per Hour?

    Mental health workers make $17.72 an hour, on average ($36,000 a year). There is some range in the earning potential of a mental health worker - starting from as little $12.82 to as much as $26.92 an hour. Factors such as location and company impact how much a mental health worker can make.

    What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Mental Health Worker?

    The primary qualification needed to become a mental health worker is relevant education. Levels of acceptable education vary for mental health workers, but minimum standards are required to be considered for a position in this field.

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