In Job Opportunities, Travel Nurse, Travel Nursing

May is mental illness month, which is focused on bringing awareness about types of illnesses, treatment options as well as facilities available as resources. Mental health awareness is on the rise with increasing depression and suicide rates. Mental illness affects one in five adults living in the United States. According to the NIMH website, that equates to approximately 46.6 million adults. The need for mental health care providers is growing as a result.

Mental illness looks different from individual to individual and given the magnitude and reach of mental health illness, there are numerous roles within the healthcare industry to support and provide patient care. The information that follows, serves the purpose of educating on eight of the current mental health positions in the healthcare industry, the focus of each role, and how that role can help.

Psychiatric Registered Nurse (RN)

Focus: The focus of the Psychiatric Registered Nurse (RN) is to assess mental health needs of individuals,      families, groups, and communities. The Psychiatric RN is an expert in crisis intervention, mental health assessment, medication and therapy, and patient assistance. The Psychiatric RNs will work in hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, home healthcare, prisons, or other facilitates focused on mental health.

How they Help: Psychiatric RNs help patients by developing individualized care plans. Psychiatric RN develops a plan of care based on a nursing diagnosis, which is implemented and managed for effectiveness in treatment.

Social Worker & Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCWS)

Focus: Social workers and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) work with patients in an effort to deal with mental and emotional health issues. Specialty areas of these roles include, substance abuse, public health, medical social work, or children and family therapy.

How they help: Social Workers and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) have an impact on patients and community. As a result of the work by Social Workers or LCSWs, changes can be seen in the community, family, and patient. Changes in the community include increased student graduate rates, decreased juvenile crime rates, and increased wellbeing of teachers and students. Social Workers and LCSWs help families and patients through their work in creating child safety plans, resolve family grievances, or resolving and healing trauma.


Focus: Psychiatrists diagnosis, treat, and prevent mental, emotional, and behavior disorders. A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor (an M.D. or D.O.) and they specialize in mental health, which includes substance use disorders. Psychiatrists can assess mental and physical aspects of psychological problems.

How they help: Psychiatrists are able to help patients greatly because they are physicians. The Psychiatrist has the ability to provide care by ordering or performing medical laboratory and psychological tests coupled with patient discussions. The result creates the help needed to determine a patient’s physical and mental state. Psychiatrists as a result of his or her training in the education and clinical setting prepares him or her to make a diagnosis and work with patients to create treatment plans.


Focus: The focus of a Psychologist is using his or her clinical skills to help patients when learning to cope with life or mental health issues. Psychologists are licensed by individual states and focus their services on overcoming stressful situations and addiction, managing chronic illness and helping patients reach their goals.

How they help: Psychologists help patients by employing an assortment of evidence-based treatments. Through different forms of therapy or in combination with medication, psychologists are able to address and resolve a patient’s problem specific to their characteristics and preferences.

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Focus: The focus of the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) is using a method of mental health counseling that is patient specific.

How they help: The Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) starts working with the patient to establish rapport and understanding. This is a much more collaborative approach vs other methods of counseling. The LPC develops interventions, which will refine and change the patient’s decision-making process offering them a more individual based experience.

Treatment Alcohol Counselor

Focus: The focus of a Treatment Alcohol Counselor is on offering guidance and support along a patient’s path to an alcohol-free life.

How they help: The Treatment Alcohol Counselor provides information and resources on the topic of alcoholism and discusses the recovery process. The Counselor will create a structured and appropriate recovery plan based on the patient’s needs.

Reentry Counselor (Correctional Health)

Focus: The focus of a Reentry Counselor is to help offenders back into the community after prison. Counselors in this role will support offenders through their personal and vocational growth so that he or she is more likely to not return to jail in the future.

How they help: Reentry Counselors help patients by using evidence-based practice for those individuals with psychological or substance use disorders re-entering into the community. The result of this work is the prevention of relapse of criminal behavior. Counselors in this role also help by developing individualized service plans with appropriate interventions relating to the current level of functioning, symptoms, and behaviors. The Counselor is also able to help facilitate connections for a successful re-entry into the community.

Mental Health Counselor (MHC)

Focus: The focus of a mental health counselor (MHC) is to advise patients on matters related to overcoming emotional, mental, and social problems. MHCs can specialize in substance abuse such as alcohol or other drug abuse. MHCs will work in facilities such as hospitals, prisons, clinics, and other institutions.

How they help: Mental Health Counselors (MHC)s help by providing individual and group therapy sessions. They monitor progress during treatment as well as offer resources and support services to the patient.

If you are interested in learning more about job opportunities with AB Staffing, check out our Job Board here or give us a call at 888.515.3900.




American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) (2019). APNA. Your resource for psychiatric mental health nursing. Retrieved from
American Psychiatric Association (2019). What is psychiatry. Retrieved from
American Psychological Association (2019). What do practicing psychologists do?. Retrieved from
Downen, D. M.S. AJ/S. (2012). The failure of correctional counseling and reentry. Retrieved from
Human Services Guide (2018). Licensed Clinical Social Worker | LCSW. Retrieved from
Human Services Guide (2018). LCSW vs. LPC or LMHC. Retrieved from
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (2019). Mental illness. Retrieved from
Nurse Journal. Social Community for Nurses Worldwide. (2019) What do psychiatric and mental health nurses do. Retrieved from
Wisconsin Health Careers (2019). Mental health counselor (MHC)/Licensed mental health counselor (LMHC). Retrieved from

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  • Tiffany

    This article is leaving out the most systemic profession of marriage and family therapist!

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