Mental Health Investigator

Established: 09/16
FLSA: Exempt
EEO: 2

Class Characteristics

Under general direction, to conduct pre-commitment investigations and to work with individuals and their families to gather information and determine whether to recommend that Civil Commitment Hearings take place; to coordinate cases through the legal system; to participate as an effective member on a diagnostic team of mental health professionals which helps determine placement for clients; and to do other work as assigned.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Behavioral Health Division within the Department of Health, Housing, and Human Services promotes and protects the health of County residents. The Division’s services include treatment of chronic and transitory mental and emotional disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, gerontological, and adolescent problems. The Division provides counseling, care coordination, civil commitment, crisis response, jail diversion, and screening for specialty mental health services.

The Mental Health Investigator is oriented to performing thorough investigations so that services can be provided to individuals and their families to help determine if a civil commitment is needed or if the individuals should be referred to other mental health programs. Responsibilities include helping to ensure due process for individuals placed on a hospital hold and to make certain that their civil rights are not suspended wrongfully or for any longer than necessary.

This classification differs from the Mental Health Specialist series which is assigned a broad range of caseloads and duties, including therapeutic intervention and diagnostic treatment, planning and evaluation. It is further distinguished from the Abuse Investigator which investigates reports of client abuse, neglect or exploitation and makes protective service recommendations and referrals.

Typical Tasks

Duties may include but are not limited to:

  1. Conducts pre-commitment investigations as outlined in ORS 426 and OAR 309-33 Involuntary Commitment Proceedings: General Standards for Civil Commitment.
  2. Takes petitions; conducts interviews with allegedly mentally ill persons, treatment providers, and natural supports; gathers or supervises the gathering of background information; completes and files investigation reports.
  3. Attends and testifies at commitment or other formal hearings; coordinates with County Counsel and Public Defender; maintains case files in a timely manner.
  4. Coordinates treatment and commitment monitoring services with health care providers, hospitals, respite placements, insurance providers, social services, and other agencies.
  5. Conducts mental health crisis intervention and triage via telephone.
  6. Provides outreach/intake assessments and crisis intervention as needed, including conducting responsibilities associated with being a Mental Health Director’s designee.
  7. Provides training and information about mental health issues and services to partner agencies; educate patients’ families, service agencies, and the community regarding clinical issues, legal issues, and treatment alternatives.

Required Knowledge and Skills

Working Knowledge of: Accepted principles and theories of human behavior, personality and development,

and social interaction and development; techniques and procedures employed in diagnosing, evaluating, modifying and motivating human behavior; principles and techniques of group and individual therapy; “systems of care” philosophy; principles of self-determination; person-centered planning techniques for populations served; standard clinical documentation procedures and requirements; principles and methods of community intervention; techniques of identifying and utilizing community resources; case management methods and techniques; rules, laws, regulations, and ethics governing the treatment of mental patients and clients; agency services and criteria for eligibility; office equipment, including personal computers and software programs.

Skill to: Apply social and psychological theories of behavior and personality to the treatment of difficult mental and emotional disorders and handicaps; assess imminent risk of dangers to self and others; diagnose, evaluate and implement a treatment plan and monitor the client's progress toward established goals; analyze and evaluate social, psychological, and physical factors affecting clients and their families; treat clients and their families in order to enhance their social, psychological, and physical functioning; communicate effectively, both orally andin writing; make formal presentations to the public, community groups, and other mental health professionals; work effectively as a member of a professional mental health team to diagnose and treat clients; keep accurate and timely records; apply principles of crisis assessment and intervention; operate computer software and other office equipment; establish and maintain effective relationships.

Working Conditions

Incumbents work with varied socioeconomic groups, the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, alcohol and substance abusing clients and their families.

Other Requirements

Designation as a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP) as established by the State of Oregon Mental Health Division.

Ability to obtain designation as a Mental Health Investigator Resident at hire.

Possession of or the ability to obtain within six (6) months of hire: Certification by the Oregon Health Authority as an Involuntary Commitment Investigator (ICP).

May be required to participate in 24 hours/day crisis 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.

Minimum Recruiting Standards

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

Edited: 11/16


2051 Kaen Road Oregon City, OR 97045

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