Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
If you are looking at a career in the mental health field as a therapist, a Master's degree is generally what is needed and a state license (in the state of your residence/practice)
A Master's degree will take about 2 years post bachelor's degree and in order to become fully licensed you're looking at another 3 years. You may want to go to the state licensing board in the state of your residence and look at the requirements for mental health clinicians. As a licensed mental health clinicians, the jobs you would be able to apply for are either at colleges or mental health agencies (many of them state ran versus privately)
If you do any work with a degree below a Master's degree and without a license, you are looking at support worker jobs that pay in the low to mid 20K per year.
If you are really interested in the mental health field, it may be helpful to you to apply for some jobs in your area and see what is available. The best thing that you could do is first see what each job entails and then decide if the work, the pay, and the field are something you would like to commit your money (for education) and time.
You may want to explore the field of social work and especially that of a fully licensed social worker as their lobby is very strong and they in my humble opinion are more employable than a licensed counselor.