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Is anyone a counselor or work community services?

Answered 2 years ago

I'm trying to figure out a career change. Can you tell me what it's like? What's the pay like? Hours? Good things bad things. Thanks in advance.


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ANSWER
2 years ago
I work for a NFP (Charity actually) as a Peer Support Worker in Community Mental Health. I've been doing this for 6 years and love it.

I have a Dip. Community Services and Cert IV AOD and Mental Health.

I work with clients who have psychiatric disabilities (Bi Polar, BPD, DID, Schizophrenia, anxiety and depression).

We are an outreach service that go to people homes or in the community and help them reach their goals so they can hopefully have a better life. We work on a Collaborative Recovery model utilising both formal and informal supports.

We help people reduce their social isolation and help them engage in the community.

Their goals can be varied, anything from helping them improve their daily routine to find employment and anything in between.

We collaborate with clinical and other non clinical services and provide referrals to both.

The hardest part is dealing with people that are actively suicidal but there are processes and duty of care protocols you need to adhere to. Sometimes I turn my phone off at night and don't know if they will be alive the next morning.

Even harder when you have multiple clients on your caseload that are suicidal. I had 4 clients like this in one week.

The best part is watching people grow and flourish and knowing that the support you provide is making a difference. A thank you is the best reward.

The pay isn't great 63k to 73k for a worker and probably 80k + for a team leader.

Although the pay isn't great and you deal with a lot of stuff ( self harm, suicide and a whole bunch of other risk) it's such a rewarding career and to see people hitting their goals makes it all worth the effort and faith in people.

You need to be prepared for almost anything and be a people person at heart. You need to be compassionate, have good listening skills and have empathy.

It can be frustrating seeing people going 1 step forward and 2 steps back but it's just the job. You take the good with the bad.

It can be a big drainer emotionally but you learn over time to leave work at work and switch off and be a parent and partner or whatever after hours. Boundaries are super important with clients too.

I'm a late 30s male with 2 small children and a loving wife and you'll need the support from family and those close when things get tough.

Sorry for the long post. I hope it helps

Replies

REPLY
2 years ago
Jeez that's gotta be mentally taxing

ANSWER
2 years ago
If you want good pay do something else
Hours can’t be changed and some public ang weekend work

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REPLY
2 years ago
Good for me is anything better than retail wage - i have low standards lol

REPLY
2 years ago
Which role are you referring to here? Maybe community services is low paid and not great but the same can’t be said for counselling. My friend is a marriage therapist and mediator in private practice and she earns great money!!!

REPLY
2 years ago
Your friend must have a degree, a counselling diploma isnt worth the paper its written on, i know, i have one

REPLY
2 years ago
Yes, she has a Masters degree in Counselling

ANSWER
2 years ago
My sister did it for about 3 years. It got too much for her so she left and started her own business

ANSWER
2 years ago
I have a diploma in com. services, Youth Work and Counselling. The counselling diploma is basically worthless, you need a degree if you want to work as a counsellor, community services as others have said is brutal work, and hours can be overnight/weekends etc depending on what area you go into. Burn out is real and happens to most in the sector.

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REPLY
2 years ago
pay is about $30 p/h

REPLY
2 years ago
Also it is soooooo depressing when children are being molested and there is nothing you can do about it. Yes you can report it etc. but things move very slowly and you could be reporting a child being sexually abused and still have to drop that kid off at the perpetrators house. It is very hard to live with.

ANSWER
2 years ago
It largely depends on the agency you work for, most NGOS are flexible when it comes to hours and the pay for a non qualified is usually level 3-4 and qualified level 4-5
It is hard to hear the pain of others and sit and make space for them to heal however it is rewarding.

ANSWER
2 years ago
Its hard work, emorionally and mentally draining especially dv stuff. You must have a thick akin or you take on everyone elses problems. Its long hours and lots of paperwork. However seeing someone come so far is rewarding. Helping people is rewarding


Replies

REPLY
2 years ago
Thank you

ANSWER
2 years ago
No sorry