Mental health practitioners are medical professionals who work with patients who have mental health issues such as schizophrenia, split personality disorder, and depression. These practitioners are required to develop and implement patient care plans for adults with severe mental disabilities while providing mental health services to attain improved mental health. They must make sure that patients did not spit out their medicines by observing post medication administration with the nurse. Mental health practitioners must also manage therapeutic activities that will teach patients about functional living skills.

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Mental Health Practitioner Responsibilities

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

  • Manage other MHA's in their duties and help them problem solving in tense and stressful situations.
  • Provide case management, crisis intervention and counseling for patients diagnose with co-occurring disorders in a residential treatment setting.
  • Case management, CBT/DBT, vocational rehabilitation, benefit supports and application processing.
  • Monitor patients prescribe psychotropic medications assure compliance and accuracy, and assess effectiveness and side effects.
  • Provide in-home services to diverse individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses, developmental disability and chemical dependency concerns.
  • Develop and facilitate a psycho-educational program for recovery from depression and PTSD.

Mental Health Practitioner Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a mental health practitioner is "should I become a mental health practitioner?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, mental health practitioner 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 practitioner by 2028 is 81,200.

A mental health practitioner annual salary averages $50,628, which breaks down to $24.34 an hour. However, mental health practitioners can earn anywhere from upwards of $35,000 to $71,000 a year. This means that the top-earning mental health practitioners make $39,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

It's hard work to become a mental health practitioner, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a clinician, vocational rehabilitation counselor, assessment specialist, and school social worker.

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Mental Health Practitioner Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 17% of Mental Health Practitioners are proficient in Social Work, Patients, and Mental Health. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Emotional skills, and Interpersonal skills.

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

  • Social Work, 17%

    Worked collaboratively with social workers, psychiatrists and other involved professionals as well as support persons.

  • Patients, 9%

    Monitored patients prescribed psychotropic medications assure compliance and accuracy, and assess effectiveness and side effects.

  • Mental Health, 8%

    Worked with 22 chronically homeless residents with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders in project-based Permanent Supportive Housing.

  • Family Therapy, 7%

    Practiced cognitive behavioral, motivational enhancement and structural family therapy with children diagnosed with a severe mental illness.

  • Rehabilitation, 6%

    Case record includes daily records of contact hours and rehabilitation interventions provided.

  • In-Home, 5%

    Provided both in-home and office-based individual therapy to clients with mental illness.

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"social work," "patients," and "mental health" aren't the only skills we found mental health practitioners list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of mental health practitioner responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Communication skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a mental health practitioner to have. According to a mental health practitioner resume, "clients talk to social workers about challenges in their lives" mental health practitioners are able to use communication skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "maintain communication between patient, mental health organization, and facility. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling mental health practitioner duties is emotional skills. According to a mental health practitioner resume, "social workers often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations." Here's an example of how mental health practitioners are able to utilize emotional skills: "improved client's psychiatric stability, social competencies, personal and emotional adjustment, and independent living skills. "
  • Mental health practitioners are also known for interpersonal skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a mental health practitioner resume: "social workers need to be able to work with different groups of people" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "facilitated groups addressing relapse prevention, addictions, daily functioning, healthy coping skills, crisis management, and interpersonal groups. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "organizational skills" is important to completing mental health practitioner responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way mental health practitioners use this skill: "social workers must help and manage multiple clients, often assisting with their paperwork or documenting their treatment." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical mental health practitioner tasks: "demonstrate organizational intelligence, cleanliness, and awareness of spatial requirements. "
  • Yet another important skill that a mental health practitioner must demonstrate is "problem-solving skills." Social workers need to develop practical and innovative solutions to their clients’ problems. This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a mental health practitioner who stated: "served as a positive role model for clients regarding problem solving, conflict resolution, and independent living skills. "
  • See the full list of mental health practitioner skills.

    We've found that 58.3% of mental health practitioners have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 30.2% earned their master's degrees before becoming a mental health practitioner. While it's true that most mental health practitioners have a college degree, it's generally impossible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every nine mental health practitioners did not spend the extra money to attend college.

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

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a mental health practitioner. We've found that most mental health practitioner resumes include experience from Peoples Services, University of Washington, and Powell Valley Care Ctr. Of recent, Peoples Services had 28 positions open for mental health practitioners. Meanwhile, there are 14 job openings at University of Washington and 7 at Powell Valley Care Ctr.

    If you're interested in companies where mental health practitioners make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Dignity Health, Ramsey County, and Wilder Foundation. We found that at Dignity Health, the average mental health practitioner salary is $72,304. Whereas at Ramsey County, mental health practitioners earn roughly $67,311. And at Wilder Foundation, they make an average salary of $60,650.

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

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Private Practice, Sheppard Pratt, and McLean Hospital. These three companies have hired a significant number of mental health practitioners from these institutions.

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

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    What Clinicians Do

    A clinician specializes in providing diagnosis, treatment, and direct care to patients with different illnesses. A clinician's duties mainly revolve around conducting extensive research and analysis, providing medical care through various therapies, and improving one's overall health condition. Furthermore, a clinician must obtain and analyze a patient's complete medical history, provide diagnostic tests, always monitor the effects of treatment on a patient, provide prognosis and consider the overall impact on a patient's health and well-being.

    In this section, we compare the average mental health practitioner annual salary with that of a clinician. Typically, clinicians earn a $9,522 higher salary than mental health practitioners earn annually.

    Even though mental health practitioners and clinicians have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require social work, patients, and mental health in the day-to-day roles.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A mental health practitioner responsibility is more likely to require skills like "family therapy," "in-home," "substance abuse," and "persistent mental illness." Whereas a clinician requires skills like "patient care," "mental illness," "clinical services," and "clinical supervision." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    The education levels that clinicians earn is a bit different than that of mental health practitioners. In particular, clinicians are 10.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a mental health practitioner. Additionally, they're 1.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor?

    The primary role of a vocational rehabilitation counselor is to help disabled people to live fully and independently. Vocational rehabilitation counselors assist people with disabilities in securing employment. They provide health care to those who are coping with mental illness, substance abuse issues, psychological disorders, or physical disabilities. Knowledge of patient care, health management, rehabilitation program, and clinical psychology is a must for this job.

    The next role we're going to look at is the vocational rehabilitation counselor profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $4,757 lower salary than mental health practitioners per year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Mental health practitioners and vocational rehabilitation counselors both include similar skills like "social work," "mental health," and "rehabilitation" on their resumes.

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real mental health practitioner resumes. While mental health practitioner responsibilities can utilize skills like "patients," "family therapy," "in-home," and "autism," some vocational rehabilitation counselors use skills like "transferable," "plan development," "vocational assessments," and "vocational rehabilitation."

    Vocational rehabilitation counselors may earn a lower salary than mental health practitioners, but vocational rehabilitation counselors earn the most pay in the non profits industry with an average salary of $51,785. On the other side of things, mental health practitioners receive higher paychecks in the non profits industry where they earn an average of $55,825.

    In general, vocational rehabilitation counselors study at higher levels of education than mental health practitioners. They're 5.1% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 1.4% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How an Assessment Specialist Compares

    An assessment specialist is an administrative professional who is responsible for designing and conducting assessment tests for a variety of academic clients. Assessment specialists are required to coordinate and implement the student testing program, which includes assessing an individual child's needs, potentials, and limitations. They must monitor special education or talent and gifted (TAG) staff to ensure that objectives are met. Assessment specialists must also need to know state laws and federal that pertain to educational assessments.

    The third profession we take a look at is assessment specialist. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than mental health practitioners. In fact, they make a $13,774 higher salary per year.

    By looking over several mental health practitioners and assessment specialists resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "social work," "patients," and "mental health." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from mental health practitioners resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "family therapy," "in-home," "autism," and "substance abuse." But a assessment specialist might have skills like "worksheets," "edition," "professional development," and "mental health assessments."

    Interestingly enough, assessment specialists earn the most pay in the technology industry, where they command an average salary of $71,059. As mentioned previously, mental health practitioners highest annual salary comes from the non profits industry with an average salary of $55,825.

    Assessment specialists are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to mental health practitioners. Additionally, they're 4.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.6% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a School Social Worker

    A school social worker specializes in counseling students, families, and faculty members. They are responsible for coordinating with the school to develop programs that prioritize the students' emotional and psychological well-being, respond to any issues and concerns, build rapport to identify their needs, and communicate with support services to provide necessary assistance to any students or families. There are also instances when a school social worker must assist teachers in handling students with behavioral issues, investigating the underlying reasons. Moreover, it is crucial to identify any signs of neglect or abuse, conducting interventive measures right away.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than mental health practitioners. On average, school social workers earn a difference of $4,228 higher per year.

    According to resumes from both mental health practitioners and school social workers, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "social work," "mental health," and "family therapy. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "patients," "rehabilitation," "in-home," and "therapeutic interventions" are skills that have shown up on mental health practitioners resumes. Additionally, school social worker uses skills like social emotional, professional development, behavioral issues, and child abuse on their resumes.

    School social workers earn a higher salary in the education industry with an average of $53,660. Whereas, mental health practitioners earn the highest salary in the non profits industry.

    In general, school social workers reach higher levels of education when compared to mental health practitioners resumes. School social workers are 20.9% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.9% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.