Sormaz, Julia Rose Marie - Youth Mental Health Worker

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[edit] Youth Mental Health Worker (Julia Sormaz)

[edit] General Overview

A youth mental health worker can work in various environments such as schools, hospitals, and youth homes. They will provide the young individuals and their family with counseling and support services either through one on one contact or refer them to other appropriate interventions. They will be involved with educating and treating high-risk youth and providing them with resources within the community to provide them help. A youth mental health worker is able to provide a secure and confidential place where youth can go to receive treatment and support. They are able to teach problem-solving and coping skills and positive outlets to release emotion. Youth mental health workers are also involved in awareness and prevention within schools and youth groups, and often organize youth mental health workshops and events.[1]

[edit] Job Duties and Responsibilities

A youth mental health worker is responsible to report to the senior administrative officer and is responsible for providing pre assessments to youth to determine what they need help with. They are also responsible for treating the youth through counseling and therapy techniques. They provide confidentiality and trust to all of their patients. They are also responsible for accepting referrals and assessing the mental status and the overall health status of the patient before beginning treatment. They are also responsible for implementing awareness events and talks throughout schools and youth groups, they are to provide youth with contacts and resources if ever in need. They are responsible for keeping confidential records and notes of patients and evaluating the effectiveness of the treatment. They keep up with new research and new treatment methods and new studies in the area of mental health and children and youth.[2] [3]

[edit] Typical Workday

For a youth mental health worker the environment can vary depending on where they are working and the hours can vary depending on the cases and patients they are handling at the time. Mental health workers who work in schools are often working with children than can range in age from 5 to 18 depending if they are in a elementary or secondary school. They often work regular school hours but will often work or before school with any students who need extra support. A youth mental health worker who works in a hospital will generally work with the same age range of children from age 5 to 18. These professionals will often work shifts and rotate between days and nights working twelve-hour shifts. These professionals that work in a hospital is often working with youth who have had extreme mental health problems where a severe situation has occurred and needs acute treatment. Within the hospital youth mental health workers will consult on cases where children have come in injured or troubled. A youth mental health worker who works at other organizations such as shelters or youth homes usually work shift work, rotating between days and overnight shifts making sure there is always someone there or on call to support the youth. Most youth mental health workers work in association with psychologists and therapists as well as doctors and nurses to ensure the proper care and treatment for all children. Many youth workers are also expected to be available for emergencies and will often be on call. A typical workday consists of consulting with youth and youth’s family providing therapy sessions as well as assessing the child’s needs and the advancements a child has made. A youth worker in a school differs from a hospital or a shelter because in a school there is no constant monitoring, but usually appointment times for the youth and the families as well with teachers. The youth worker in a hospital will be involved in the decision process of admitting youth or discharging youth and be responsible for providing a treatment outline as well as recommendations and referrals for other services. These youth workers are expected to work with the same patients daily and all throughout the day. A youth worker in a shelter or a home will monitor children and make sure they are provided with necessary care and to daily provide patients with a safe place to receive treatment.[4] [5]

[edit] Educational Requirements and Other Qualifications

Depending on the job there are different formal educational requirements. Some jobs require a child and youth worker diploma with two years of experiencing working and volunteering in the field. Some other jobs require a child and youth degree with experience with counseling and children. To be a child and youth worker in a hospital or a shelter a degree or a diploma in child and youth with extensive experience working with children and therapy is required. Some areas require a degree in child and youth as well as a master’s certificate in child and youth. The areas that require further education such as a master’s certificate is those youth workers who want to start doing research and implementing new therapy techniques. Some jobs require a degree in psychology with a minor in child and youth with experience in counseling and therapy and experience working with children and youth. These jobs are often linked to more counseling of children and are usually required when working at private clinics. Many jobs also require being first aid and CPR certified as well as having a police and vulnerable screening check. To acquire a job within this field it is very important to have volunteering experience with children and to be comfortable and equipped to work with children. Child and youth workers are not a regulated health profession that requires a license. Throughout Canada a child and youth worker is required to have the same qualifications and requirements with different jobs differing in types of experience.[6] The links below show different schools that offer different programs to achieve a child and youth degree or diploma.

[edit] Related Skills, Interests and Abilities

To become a youth mental health worker it is important to have a passion to help people and see them do well. It is important to be a compassionate person who is able to empathize as well as sympathize will all people from all areas of life. Youth mental health workers must be interested in children and youth and must have a passion for nurturing and supporting the young generation. A youth mental health work must be mentally strong and a stable person who can control hard and troubling situations. It is important for an individual to be passionate and be mentally strong because working in this field individuals will see children who have been neglected or abused, personally troubled also youth that may not want help and who are hard to work with. A person who is not passionate and does not intensely care about youth they may find this job discouraging and will not be able to provide adequate counseling and help to youth. If a person is not mentally strong may not be able to cope with the things and situations they experience on a day-to-day basis. They must also have great communication skills in order to appropriately and effectively communicate verbally and written to youth, their families as well as senior administrators during treatment, during admittance and discharging as well as referrals.[7] [8]

[edit] Relevance of Psychology Undergraduate Degree

An undergraduate degree in psychology can prepare an individual for a career in youth mental health. Psychology degrees lead to counseling and therapy knowledge. Certain theories that would be useful in this career would be theories by Piaget and Erikson, which relate to human stages and developments that youth and adults go through. Examining Erickson’s psychological stages of human development that examine infancy to maturity and death. Learning Piagaet’s developmental and cognitive theories that would be useful when applying counseling techniques. Developmental Psychology courses educate students on all-important stages of children and youth as they transfer into adolescents and adulthood. These courses teaches proper coping methods and many coping methods trouble youth will turn to as well as different developments and situations youth and teens will have to face. Courses on health psychology teach students about physical and psychological health risks and the consequences of substance abuse and different treatment methods. This would be important when treating high-risk youth who have been involved or are thinking about being involved in substance abuse and unhealthy behavior.[9]

[edit] Salary Potential

A youth mental health worker’s salary can range due to qualifications and experience of a person. A youth mental health salary can range from $22.00 an hour up to $37.00 on average depending on the employment type whether its private or public employment. Canadian job postings on sites such as and show a starting salary of $22.00 to $26.00 and someone with more experience and qualifications in the field for a few years the salary range is higher such as $27.00 to $37.00. Those who have a range of qualifications such as extensive experience in counseling with certificates with addiction and mental health and who have been in the field for a long period of time will have a higher salary cap such as $37.00 to $41.00. In more rural areas were child and youth workers are very scarce a worker with less experience is given a salary on the higher end such as $29.00 to $37.00. There can be such a broad range of salary because some people have more experience within the field and more experience counseling and working with children.[10]

[edit] Job Outlook

As more people are becoming educated and aware of mental illness, jobs working with children and youth who have mental health needs are becoming more prominent. The job outlook is very good for youth mental health workers and many graduates quickly find work after graduating with a diploma or a degree. Children and youth are becoming more at risk and do not have enough support which is why there are a variety of youth mental health worker jobs. According to service Canada community and social service workers, which include child and youth workers that the job outlook is good and that there as been an increase in the range and intensity of social service needs and that the government is spending more money in these areas to employ more workers.[11] Below is a link that shows job outlooks in different areas and regions of Canada.

[edit] To Know More

Below are links where more information can be found on Youth mental health and service workers. 

[edit] Notes and References

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