Behavioral health encompasses a wide range of services, including mental health promotion, substance use disorder prevention and treatment, and recovery support. It is inclusive of all people and their unique needs.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, ~650,000 Washingtonians were receiving treatment for behavioral health needs. This number has only increased due to pandemic-related stress.1
The COVID pandemic disproportionately affected Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, increasing the need for behavioral health services in their communities.2
Choosing a behavioral health career
Learn about educational options, opportunities for financial support, and behavioral health careers.
There are many benefits to a behavioral health career, including:
Variety: Pursue career opportunities within a wide range of occupations, populations, and professional settings
Growth: Continue to build your skills and experience through a variety of educational pathways and career choices
Community: Help your community thrive, while joining a field of dedicated professionals
Passion: Work to create positive outcomes and make a difference every day
Exploring career options
The behavioral health field includes mental health and substance use disorder opportunities, and offers a variety of career paths with endless opportunities for growth.
- Jobs in Mental Health Services: Prevention, Promotion, Treatment and Recovery Support Services, including Peer Counselors
- Jobs in Substance Use Disorder Services: Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Support Services, including Peer Counselors
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused long-term impacts on behavioral health needs. As a result, we need more trained behavioral health workers to serve our communities.3
One of the benefits of a behavioral health career is that there are several entry points. You can enter the field through special training courses and/or you can build upon degrees and credentials, meaning you can work, while pursuing additional education if you choose.
The following career overviews represent some of the career paths that are most needed in Washington state right now. Learn how to get started.