Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

Human Services > Counseling & Mental Health Services

Projected Growth: Much faster than average

15500+
Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to 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.

Common job titles of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers include:
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Experience and Education

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 56.87% said they needed a Master's Degree.

  • 14.95% said they needed a Post-Master's Certificate.

Tasks

    Counsel clients in individual or group sessions to assist them in dealing with substance abuse, mental or physical illness, poverty, unemployment, or physical abuse.

    Collaborate with counselors, physicians, or nurses to plan or coordinate treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs.

    Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress with respect to treatment goals.

    Assist clients in adhering to treatment plans, such as setting up appointments, arranging for transportation to appointments, or providing support.

    Interview clients, review records, conduct assessments, or confer with other professionals to evaluate the mental or physical condition of clients or patients.

    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.

    Supervise or direct other workers who provide services to clients or patients.

    Educate clients or community members about mental or physical illness, abuse, medication, or available community resources.

    Counsel or aid family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, or supporting the client or patient.

    Increase social work knowledge by reviewing current literature, conducting social research, or attending seminars, training workshops, or classes.

    Develop or advise on social policy or assist in community development.

    Plan or conduct programs to prevent substance abuse, combat social problems, or improve health or counseling services in community.

Tools

Personal computers

Notebook computers

Desktop computers

Technologies

Medical condition coding software

Microsoft SharePoint

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker

Client records software

Corel WordPerfect

Information presentation software

All Technologies

James Frazier Associates DataStart

Medical procedure coding software

Netscape Navigator

Patient electronic medical record EMR software

Scheduling software

Social Solutions ETO

Social Work Software ClientTouch

Spreadsheet software

Skills

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Monitoring

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Coordination

Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Writing

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Persuasion

Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Negotiation

Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Instructing

Teaching others how to do something.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Management of Personnel Resources

Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Abilities

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

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Occupation Sections

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