CLASSIFICATION NO. 590
MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATE
Under supervision, to assist professional staff members in planning, developing, conducting and evaluating mental health services; to provide liaison services with other social service agencies through community education workshops and programs; and to do other work as required.
Mental Health Associate is an entry level classification employed in human/community services and primarily used in mental health programs. The class serves as a traversal between para-professional classes and the higher level Mental Health Specialist series which is assigned more complex, technical and professional duties. Positions allocated at the Mental Health Associate level provide a variety of limited counseling, rehabilitation, and support services for numerous programs within the County's mental health program. Job assignments vary based upon incumbents’ background, skills, training and specific program needs.
Mental Health Associate positions require working level skills and knowledge appropriate for specific programs or particular job assignments. This class differs from lower level paraprofessional classes where the emphasis is placed on learning principles, practices and methods of community mental health intervention as a trainee. Mental Health Associate differs from the higher level Mental Health Specialist series which has a broader scope of responsibility, independence of action, and advanced knowledge and skills required to perform duties and provide services of a more complex or technical nature.
Duties may include but are not limited to the following:
- Assists in developing communication networks between the County's mental health program, other agencies, and the general community by explaining the nature or type of services offered.
- Surveys resources in the County that offer additional support services that enhance and complement existing mental health services for clients; conducts site visit to agencies, social service programs and other institutions to assess services offered and their appropriateness for referral purposes.
- Under supervision, may participate in individual and group therapy sessions in order to assist professional staff in developing and implementing treatment plans.
- Works with professional staff to conduct mental health education programs for the general community and staff of other social service agencies; may assist in the training and orientation of other mental health workers and volunteers.
- Participates in programs designed to aid social adjustments, rehabilitation, helping clients find employment, housing, and education when related problems have been disruptive to the patient's mental health and functioning in the community.
- Assists community groups in recognizing, evaluating and correcting community conditions which contribute to mental health problems.
- Receives requests for service by telephone and in person and interviews clients in order to assess need and degree of severity of stress; schedules emergency appointments as needed and refers clients to other agencies when appropriate.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Working knowledge of: Concepts and methods of community organization and intervention techniques for identifying, utilizing community resources; principles and accepted practices of community mental health; casework management techniques; and principles and techniques of community education; office equipment, including personal computers and software programs.
Some knowledge of: Principles, techniques and methods of individual and group counseling; treatment planning; treatment evaluation procedures and techniques.
Skill to: Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; work effectively with professional mental health staff and personnel of other agencies; assist in the implementation of treatment plains; understand the dynamics and cultural factors in the community that impact behavior patterns; establish and maintain effective working relationships with disadvantaged individuals, staff of other agencies, and with clients; utilize and help develop community resources and sources of referral; plan, organize and direct specialized mental health projects in cooperation with other agencies and staff of the County's mental health program; effectively participate as a team member to assist in the treatment of clients and promote services and programs in the mental health field; operate computer software and other office equipment.
Duties are performed typically indoors involving sedentary activities.
Must successfully pass a criminal history check which may include national or state fingerprint records check.
Must pass a pre-employment drug test.
Driving is required for County business on a regular basis or to accomplish work. Incumbents must possess a valid driver's license, and possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.
MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS
Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.