Mental Health Practitioners: Roles and Responsibilities

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Running Head: STATUS AND ISSUES Mental Health Practitioners Mental health professionals or practitioners are categorized into 5 types, namely psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, psychiatric or mental health nurse, and licensed professional counselors (NAMI, 2012). The US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that there are more than 552,000 mental health professionals practicing today (Grohol, 2012). They focus on the treatment and/or diagnosis of metal health or substance abuse. According to last year's breakdown, clinical and counseling psychologists comprise the biggest group at 152,000; mental health and substance abuse social workers, 138,000; substance abuse counselors, 86,100; psychiatrists, 34,400; and marriage and family therapists, 27,300 (Grohol). Status of Issues Mental health counselors must conform to a strict set of professional codes of ethics (Anderson, 2012). These codes of conduct and State laws require them to always act with their client's best interest in mind. Mental health counselors deal with clients of all ages for the full range of issues. This spans routine stress and mood changes and dissociative disorders. They need to be fully aware of their ethical obligations as well as liability for violations of regulations and laws. Professional liability can arise from issues on confidentiality, record-keeping, and dual relationship with the client. The American Counseling Association binds its members,
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