YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There is a shortage of counselors in the area and Compass Family and Community Services in Youngstown is not the only one noticing it.
“There are just more people in need. As we like to say, ‘Life happens.’ There’s crises that occur,” said Joseph Caruso, with Compass Family.
Licensed counselors help identify obstacles and stressors to address mental health and addictions. Then they help people find strategies to deal with their challenges.
“Seeing them develop a confidence in themselves, seeing them get a job when they’ve never really worked before, seeing them move out on their own. Making changes, whether it’s big or small,” said Amanda Kantaras, a behavioral health counselor.
Developing treatment, then developing goals. With managed care, providers are looking at people with the highest licensing available.
A master’s degree is required for most licensed counseling positions. But case managers, who could go with a person to a doctor’s appointment or help them fill out applications for housing, are also needed. They’re more out in the community with people.
“Sometimes people are afraid to share everything and this person is there to be an advocate and help them navigate the processes,” Caruso said.
Most of the work is one-on-one but the need is great. One out of every four people has a mental illness.
Counselors and case managers are on the front line, talking and helping people with issues, getting them to see and take the next step to being successful.
“It’s about helping people. It’s about making a difference in people’s lives,” Caruso said.
Compass Family needs five clinical counselors right now, along with four case managers.
It’s not trying to cannibalize other companies because it knows they’re feeling the same need. Compass Family is just hoping to get the word out about the need for someone who may want to move back to this area or who has a degree.