Mental & Social Health Services
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Mental & Social Health Services Overview

A degree in Mental and Social Health Services allows you to work closely with both children and adults to help them overcome difficult mental or emotion stress and maintain a healthy and happy life.

Mental and Social Health Services professionals work with patients to diagnose and treat mental illness, manage emotional disorders, deal with life stresses, and change behavioral issues. You will take classes in psychology, social work, substance abuse, public health, counseling, physiology, and human services to gain the skills to work with others and prepare to earn an advanced degree.

Some specific areas of this field that you may be interested in concentrating on are Addiction Counseling, Mental Health Services Technician, Clinical Social Work, Community Health Services, Marriage and Family Counseling, Clinical Pastoral Counseling, Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and Genetic Counseling, among others.

Required Skills

A degree in Mental and Social Health Services leads to a career working with others, usually one on one. This places a strong emphasis on interpersonal communication, and listening skills. You must be able to listen to what patients are telling you in order to understand their stressors and help them. You must also be compassionate and understand patients may feel insecure, uncomfortable, or scared. Since you will have access to patient files along with the information they share, it is extremely important to be trustworthy and maintain patient-doctor confidentiality.

Graduates with a degree in this field have full time jobs working in hospitals, schools, doctors' offices, and with social services. Some professionals set their own hours, but keep night and weekend hours to accommodate patients' schedules.

In order to practice in the Mental and Social Health Services field, students must earn at least a master's degree, or in some cases, a Ph.D. or Psy.D. may be required along with state certification.


Mental and Social Health Services graduates work in a variety of locations from hospitals and medical clinics to social service offices. Depending on your specialization, you may work with adults, children and families with different types of mental and social disorders or issues. Graduates can find jobs in a multitude of locations, or can open their own practice and have their own patients.

The Mental and Social Health Services field is growing at a faster than average rate meaning students should be able to find employment after graduation. Those who have an advanced degree will have better job prospects.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Mental & Social Health Services might open up.

Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists
Community Health Workers
Counselors, All Other
Genetic Counselors
Health Educators
Healthcare Social Workers
Marriage and Family Therapists
Mental Health Counselors
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
Psychiatric Aides
Psychiatric Technicians
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary
Social Work Teachers, Postsecondary
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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