Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions

Overview of Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions

Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions is a course of study that explores the development, workings and perceptions created by the human mind at individual and group levels. A keen interest in the human brain and thought processes, combined with a desire to help others understand and overcome life challenges such as stress, trauma and anxiety, can help students succeed in these postsecondary programs.

Depending on the type of work students plan to undertake after they graduate from accredited colleges and universities, four-year or greater degrees (e.g. Master’s, Doctorate) might be required to get hired into Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions jobs. For example, psychologists and generally must complete at least a Master’s degree and pass a licensing examination before they start working with clients. After completing required postsecondary education and getting licensed, Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions graduates can work in a variety of locations, including at schools, clinics, hospitals and trauma and rehabilitation centers. They can also start a private practice.

Newly graduated and licensed mental and social health professionals may work extended hours depending on the number of clients they serve. After they gain several years of experience in the field, they can stay abreast of industry changes by regularly attending conferences, training seminars and taking several hours of college courses a year.

Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions Degrees and Courses

Types of college degrees students majoring in Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions can receive include Bachelor of Science in Social Work, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Master of Science in Social Work, Master of Science in Psychology, Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Doctorate of Science in Psychology. Although courses associated with the degrees vary by college, students majoring in Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions can expect to take core courses such as:

  • Family Counseling
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Anatomy
  • Psychobiology
  • Modern Psychology in Historical Perspective
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Group Therapy
  • Classics in Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment
  • Social Welfare Policy and Services
  • Social Work with Children and Adolescents

Certain colleges and universities offer distance learning and classroom options to Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions majors, allowing students to gain more work/life balance. If students choose to enroll in distance learning programs, they are encouraged to keep in regular communication with their professors via telephone, scheduled appointments, etc. It is also important that students, whether they take classroom or distance learning programs, practice strong time and project management skills.

Job Outlook for Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions

Professionals who become established in the field can earn additional income by delivering keynote speeches at conferences and seminars and writing research papers in mental health journals. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2010 psychologists earned a median annual income of $68,640; social workers earned a median annual income of $42,480. Additionally, jobs for psychologists are expected to grow by 22 percent from 2010 through 2020. Social workers are expected to experience a 25 percent job growth from 2010 through 2020.

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