Because recent statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health reveal that over one-quarter of Americans – around 58 million people – suffer from a diagnosable mental illness every year, mental health counselors are in high demand. Undergraduate and graduate degrees from accredited mental health counseling programs are available from universities and colleges around the world, thanks to distance learning platforms which make the top online mental health degrees available to anyone, regardless of their location. The best online degrees in mental health counseling, like their traditional counterparts, provide complete preparation for work in private practice, mental health clinics and a variety of social work settings.
Top Featured Mental Health Programs
1. Walden University – MS – Mental Health – Forensic Counseling
2. University of Liverpool – MS – Applied Psychology – Mental Health Psychology
3. University of the Rockies – MA – Psychology – Mental Health Administration
About the Best Online Degrees in Mental Health Counseling
Work as a mental health counselor generally requires a Master of Science Degree in mental health or a related field such as psychology as well as practical clinical experience gained through an internship or residency. Undergraduate study in psychology or social work plus field experience can also open doors to a mental health counseling career in some situations. In some states, mental health counselors must become licensed by passing an exam. Certification can also be obtained through professional bodies such as the National Board for Certified Counselors. Accredited online colleges offering degrees in mental health counseling provide the essential coursework and career assistance to prepare students for long-term careers in the field.
Online Undergraduate Degrees in Mental Health Counseling
Although a Master’s Degree in mental health counseling is generally required for clinical and supervisory positions, entry level work is possible with a Bachelor of Science degree. The best online bachelor’s in mental health counseling programs offer a full degree program that includes both general education courses and an overview of the counseling field. A BS in mental health counseling can also include specializations such as chemical dependency counseling, crisis management and social services. The best online undergraduate degrees in mental health counseling also include ways to obtain clinical experience, and support in the form of live chats and forums. With a major in this field students can expect to find work in social work or mental health clinic settings.
Online Master’s in Mental Health Counseling Programs
For most counseling work in clinical settings, a Master of Science is the basic requirement. The best online master’s degrees in mental health counseling provide the recommended minimum of 48 to 60 hours of coursework plus clinical training. The MS in mental health counseling prepares students for work in private practice, or in clinical settings such as crisis centers and hospitals. An online master’s in mental health counseling typically includes courses in psychopathology, multicultural issues, counseling techniques and crisis management. This degree can also lead to further study on the doctoral level.
Choosing the Best Online Mental Health Counseling Degree
The best online degrees in mental health counseling are offered both by reputable online schools such as University of Phoenix and Capella University, and by traditional colleges which provide an online version of their classroom based programs. Mental health counseling degree rankings provided by a variety of education portals and school registries in the USA and abroad provide guidelines to finding the most appropriate school. A career in mental health counseling offers both a stable future and a way to make a difference in the world.