There are many different types of mental health professionals that can do a variety of things to support students’ mental health. From counseling to prescribing medications, there is someone for everything. However, many times the duties overlap from one health professional to another. Here are descriptions of each type of mental health professional:


  • Primary care physician: a primary care physician practices general medicine and is where patients go whenever something is wrong, like a fever, rash, etc. Primary care doctors can also refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist if necessary
  • School counselor: school counselors work in elementary, middle, or high schools to provide mental health support, as well as academic and college services
  • Licensed mental health counselor: a counselor with a master’s degree in psychology or counseling can evaluate and treat mental health issues with psychotherapy or counseling
  • Therapist: therapists can provide mental support and guidance to patients but are unable to write prescriptions
  • Social worker: a licensed social worker can treat mental illness with psychotherapy and provide hospital discharge, case management, and advocacy services
  • Psychologist: licensed psychologists can do psychotherapy and counseling with clients, and perform testing for mental disorders
  • Psychiatrist: a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses through various types of therapy or prescription medication