dcsimg

Mental Health Social Worker

Job Duties

Mental health social workers treat people who have mental illnesses or substance abuse problems, such as abuse of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Their services often include individual and group therapy, outreach, crisis intervention, social rehabilitation, and training in everyday living skills. They sometimes create support services in order to assist clients when they are returning to the community. They often work in hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, individual and family services agencies, or local governments. They are often referred to as clinical social workers.

The goal of the mental health social worker is to help individuals function more effectively in their lives. They often provide their services in a health-related setting that are run by managed care organizations. Most specialize in a particular section of the field. Some mental health social workers are involved in research and planning or policy development.

Job Skills

Those interested in becoming mental health social workers should have a number of desirable traits. They need to be very emotionally stable and mature. They must be able to handle a high degree of responsibility. They should have the ability to work on an independent basis without supervision. They need to be able to work well in a team setting and get along with coworkers. And they need to be able to inspire trust and respect in their clients.

Income

In 2002, mental health social workers earned a median annual salary of $32.850. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $21,050, to the highest 10%, who earned more than $52,240.

Training and Education

The most common minimum educational requirement to obtain a job as a mental health social worker is a bachelor's degree in social work (BSW). Those who have bachelor's degrees with majors in psychology, sociology, and other related fields may be able to qualify for entry-level positions. Many positions also require a master's degree in social work (MSW), particularly positions in health settings and clinical work. Jobs in public and private agencies may also require an advanced degree. There are about 436 BSW programs and 149 MSW programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. (CSWE).

BSW programs require a minimum of 400 hours of supervised field experience in addition to academic classes. MSW programs last 2 years and include a minimum of 900 hours of supervised field instruction. Part-time programs are available, usually lasting about 4 years. Social workers are required to be licensed in all States and the District of Columbia. They can advance to supervisor, program manager, assistant director, or executive director of a social service agency or department. You can explore more about training for mental health social worker careers by clicking on this link for schools offering human services degrees.

Employment

In 2002, mental health social workers held about 95,000 jobs. About 40% were employed by State and local government agencies.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of mental health social workers is expected to increase faster than the average. The most rapid growth will occur in the area of substance abuse social work. This is due to new legislation requiring convicted substance abusers to attend treatment programs instead of going to jail or prison. This will create enormous demand for these social workers, as government agencies dealing with substance abuse expand at a high rate.


Mental Health Social Worker Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Online Master of Social Work
            • Ranked one of the Top Public Schools in 2017 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1766 as a public institution; it has a main campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey and offers many programs online.
            • Has an average freshman retention rate of 91.8%.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 14:1, and 38% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has famous alumni including chef and restauranteur Mario Batali, author Junot Diaz, actor James Gandolfini, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Social Work
            • Ranked 33rd among the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1904 as the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers.
            • Provides a rigorous education, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and PhD in Social Work.  
            • Offers inventive programs with hands-on experience.  
            • Incorporates social justice values and multicultural perspectives into curriculum. 
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Master of Social Work
            • Earn a Master of Social Work online from top-ranked USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.
            • The CSWE-accredited program features live, online classes and hands-on field experiences near your community.
            • Bachelor's degree is required to apply
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Masters of Social Work

            Why Choose Widener University?

            At Widener University, we proudly cultivate challenging and culturally diverse learning environments where academics, leadership, and service come first. Our curricula are connected to societal issues and challenge students to take social responsibility for their role in today's global society.

            Founded in 1821 in Chester, Pennsylvania, Widener is nationally recognized for our commitment to civic engagement, service, and social responsibility. The university has been included on the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction every year since its inception in 2006.

            • Online Courses
            Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree

            Our Lady of the Lake University is a private, Catholic university with a deep connection to the history and community of San Antonio. Founded in 1895 by the Congregation of Divine Providence, we have developed a reputation for our personal teaching style. Since 2011, OLLU has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.  We are a university that helps students develop their full potential in an environment that's encouraging and stimulating.


             

            • Online Courses
            M.S. in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders
            • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
            • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
            • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
            • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
            • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
            • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Bachelor of Science: Social Work

            100% Online & No Standardized Testing

            We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Bachelor of Arts in Human Services
            • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
            • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
            • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Human Services (MS)
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
            • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
            • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
            • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
            • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            B.S. in Human Services / Human Services Management
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
            • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
            • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits