Counseling has a major emphasis on prevention. Mental health counselors work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Counselors may help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions, substance abuse, family, parenting, marital problems, stress management, self-esteem and aging. Mental health counseling brings a unique approach to the mental health care professions. People who receive such counsel are labeled unhealthy, wrong or ill (Smith, Robinson, 1995, p. 158). The goals of a mental health counselor are based on specific principles. The basic principles are responsibility, autonomy, client and consultee welfare, mis-representation, consultant-consultee relationship and confidentiality. Counselors believe in the basic human need and the potential for emotional and intellectual growth of their client system and consultee. In order to better the client and the society, the counselor will perform functions committed to increasing the understanding of the clients self and others (Fanibanda, 1976, p. 547).
Responsibility is a principle consisting of a degree of responsibility that the consultant has for the client. Consultation can be a blending of professions such as consultant-teacher, consultant-policeman, or consultant-welfare worker just to name a few. The consultant must take responsibility for their own behavior. With strict compliance a consultant must not give advice to a client because they will be held responsible. Autonomy is a principle that gives the independence or freedom to a client, dropping his or her dependency on the counselor. This will allow the consultant, and other professions to perform their jobs more efficiently (Fanibanda, 1976, p. 548).
Client and consultee welfare principle must acquire balance. If the client and consultee result in any difficulties the consultee may revoke his practice with the client. Remuneration is the question of payment between the counselor and client. This standard will safeguard the best interest for the client and counselor. The consultant and the consultee relationship is a well excepted concept in the cousultation practice. It is often difficult to slip into a therapist role, but the counselor must maintain a professional role of his specialty. Such a relationship on a personal note, could destroy the goal of helping the client.
Confidentiality is another principle counselor’s use. Confidentiality agreement upon the counselor and client is specific information that cannot be shared with any other parties, unless a written agreement is signed upon. It is in the process of building trust between the client and the consultee to safeguard any information between any other parties (Fanibanda, 1976, p. 550-552).
Mental illness effects a wide array of the population. The population consists for different races, sex, social class, and criminals that are effected by mental disabilities. Social class is one of the most common characteristics of the mentally ill. The social lower class is linked to more serious cases for the development of the mentally ill (Fox, 1990, p. 344). Mental illness is the primary cause for the homelessness. It is estimated between 72 and 82 percent of the homeless are mentally unstable, based on an Australian study (Johnson, 2011, p. 29-30).
Presently it is whether minority groups are disproportionately represented among the mentally ill, but minority groups such as African American and the Latino population appear not to suffer from this as much as the Caucasian population. This is a surprising fact due to that more minorities are exposed to more risk factors. Minorities tend to be relatively poor, and lack resources to prevent social and vocational disability and to promote long term recovery (Snowden, 1997, p.236).
The criminal population is another amongst the mentally ill. People with a mental illness are three times more likely to become incarcerated than be admitted to a psychiatric facility. Correctional institutions have become the largest providers of mental health treatment in the United States. Statistics show that 14.5% of male and 31 % of female inmates have a mental illness. Mental disorders can arrange from schizophrenia spectrum disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenic form disorder, brief psychotic disorder, delusional disorder, psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and depressive disorder (Gross, 2013, p. 175).
Counseling is not only received by the mentally ill, it is also received by people dealing with stress. It can be stress of a new job, relationships, family, finances, and addictions just to name a few. Many people that even consider themselves normal and stressed receive counseling. Many of these people seek counseling because it has a high effect on health. Health problems such as chronic heart disease, depression, and psychomatic illness (Brown, Brooks, 1985, p. 860). Mental health counseling is a treatment on its own, while other forms of mental disorders can be treated with medication. Mental health counselors are readily available for face to face treatment or even over the web. Over the web counseling is often easier for clients because of travel needs.
Many would argue that e-counseling is not as efficient as face to face, but 90% of clients that have used e-therapy said it worked (Alleman, 2002, p. 199). As stated before counselors try to provide prevention with clients. Prevention means the confronting and lightening the major cause of mental disturbance. In the mental health field, demands for examination of moral and scientific beliefs and begin to take action for change. One on one treatment even if successful, is not considered prevention. Public health teaches that no mass disease or disorder has ever been controlled or eliminated by individual treatment or an increasing number of therapists. However for individual therapy it is proven to lower individual emotional disorders. Treating clients and preventing emotional disorders are done reducing or eliminating the noxious agent, strengthening the resistance of the host, and preventing the transmission of the noxious agent to the host. The principle of the noxious agent is stress. All stress that leads to an emotional disorder is unwanted (Albee, 2013, p.37-40).