Revised: 02/79
FLSA: Exempt
EEO: 2



Under general supervision, to provide professional counseling and program services to mental health clients and their families; to work closely with a diagnostic team of other mental health professionals in the evaluation, treatment planning, and placement of patients; to participate in one or more programs within the system to provide services; and to do other work as required.


The Mental Health Specialist series is primarily oriented to performing professional-level program services for clients in the local community. Services include: family, group, and individual therapy, treatment planning and evaluation, and coordinating treatment or other educational/consultative services with community agencies and programs.

Mental Health Specialist 1 is the first working level in the series; incumbents perform a variety of rehabilitative therapy and treatment activities under general supervision. This class differs from the higher level Mental Health Specialist 2 which is assigned work or case loads of greater difficulty and complexity. Mental Health Specialist 1 is further distinguished from Mental Health Associate which is a sub-professional class responsible for performing primarily support functions and services, rather professional treatment, evaluation or therapy. Advancement to Mental Health Specialist 2 is predicated upon 1) program need and manpower requirements, and 2) demonstrated proficiency, skill development, and overall performance.


Duties may include but are not limited to:

  1. Provides individual, group, family therapy and case management services for mental health clients and their families.
  2. Coordinates client services with other agencies and programs which enhances treatment services and overall case planning.
  3. Gathers information and data from interviews with clients, relatives, and other pertinent agency personnel to assess client problems; conducts case histories; writes summaries and reports on client evaluations, case status and recommendations, and completes other assignments in conjunction with program services as required.
  4. Works closely with a diagnostic team consisting of physicians, psychologists, and other mental health professionals to evaluate, treat, plan and place clients.
  5. Assists in conducting workshops and training sessions for individuals, the general public or other agencies and institutions seeking information and assistance about mental health programs, services, and intervention skills.
  6. May act as lead worker to lower level staff, such as aides or volunteers; participates in providing 24-hour emergency services via telephone duty, or as needed in clinics.


General knowledge of: Accepted principles and theories of human behavior, personality development, and social interaction and development; techniques and procedures employed in evaluating, modifying and motivating human behavior; principles and techniques of group and individual therapy; principles and methods of community mental health intervention; techniques of identifying and utilizing community resources; treatment methods and techniques; rules, laws, regulations and ethics governing the treatment of mental patients and clients; office equipment, including personal computers and software programs.

Skill to: Apply social and psychological theories of behavior and personality to the treatment of mental health clients; under the supervision of an advanced clinician to develop and implement a treatment plan and monitor the clients' progress toward established goals; treat clients and their families in order to explain and enhance their social, psychological and physical functioning; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; make formal presentations to the public, clients, community groups, and other mental health professionals; work effectively as a member of a professional mental health team to diagnose emotional and behavioral problems and treat clients; keep accurate and timely records for case management purposes; operate computer software and other office equipment; establish and maintain effective working relationships.


Duties are performed typically indoors involving sedentary activities; incumbents work with varied socioeconomic groups, the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, alcohol and substance abusing clients and their families.


May be required to participate in 24-hour/day emergency program services.

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.


Any satisfactory combination of experience and training which demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.