Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education.

Median Annual Wage: $41,380

Education: Master's degree (57%); Bachelor's degree (15%); Post-master's certificate (15%)

Projected Growth: Much faster than average (22% or higher)

Related Job Titles: Case Manager; Social Worker; Counselor; Therapist; Psychotherapist; Clinician; Clinical Therapist; Clinical Social Worker; Mental Health Therapist; Substance Abuse Counselor

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers.

More Community and Social Services Careers

  • Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress with respect to treatment goals.
  • Interview clients, review records, conduct assessments, or confer with other professionals to evaluate the mental or physical condition of clients or patients.
  • Collaborate with counselors, physicians, or nurses to plan or coordinate treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs.
  • Counsel or aid family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, or supporting the client or patient.
  • Refer patient, client, or family to community resources for housing or treatment to assist in recovery from mental or physical illness, following through to ensure service efficacy.
  • Modify treatment plans according to changes in client status.
  • Educate clients or community members about mental or physical illness, abuse, medication, or available community resources.
  • Assist clients in adhering to treatment plans, such as setting up appointments, arranging for transportation to appointments, or providing support.
  • Increase social work knowledge by reviewing current literature, conducting social research, or attending seminars, training workshops, or classes.
  • Plan or conduct programs to prevent substance abuse, combat social problems, or improve health or counseling services in community.
  • Supervise or direct other workers who provide services to clients or patients.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers.

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers.

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