Job: Mental Health Counselor I/II (Open & Promotional)

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Job Description

Overall Job Objective

Job Title:Mental Health Counselor I/II (Open & Promotional)
Closing Date/Time:Fri. 10/06/17 11:59 PM Pacific Time
Salary:$4,544.80 - $6,418.53 Monthly
$54,537.60 - $77,022.40 Annually
Job Type:Full-Time
Location:San Mateo County, California
 
The County of San Mateo Health System's Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division is seeking an experienced individual for the position of Mental Health Counselor I/II. Mental Health Counselors (MHC) will, under general supervision, provide individual and groups therapeutic counseling services to clients having basic and/or severe emotional and/or social adjustment problems and are expected to be able to develop assessment and treatment plans with minimal supervision.

The current vacancy is with Adult Resource Management located at the 2000 Alameda de Las Pulgas building in San Mateo, but will travel throughout the County.

This position is funded by the Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) grant and the Mental Health Counselor will be responsible for keeping the required statistics for this program as well as writing the needed reports and attend required HCH meetings.  This Counselor will work under the guidance of a supervisor and as part of a multi-disciplinary team to provide skill-based counseling/psychoeducation and intensive case management for clients who are seriously mentally ill and co-occurring individuals who are homeless or potentially homeless, leaving jail, in shelters, in detox and residential Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) facilities, in social rehabilitation facilities, or in hospitals. The Counselor will interview and assess clients' basic needs and eligibility for services; assist clients with stabilizing in the community and connecting them with services; meet with families, offer support, resources and help them to navigate Behavioral Health, various community agencies and/or Criminal Justice system; complete referral forms, document work in electronic charts; make appointments with various providers for clients; provide emergency crisis intervention; serve on committees; and confer with others regarding the needs of clients.

The ideal candidate will have experience providing intensive case management for seriously mentally ill and co-occurring adults; working with adults who are homeless or potentially homeless, leaving jail, in shelters, in detox and residential Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) facilities, in social rehabilitation facilities, or in hospitals; interviewing and assessing clients' needs and eligibility for services; assisting adult clients to stabilize in community with housing and other services; assisting clients to develop Wellness & Recovery Action Plans (WRAP); assisting clients in their addiction recovery; and an understanding and working knowledge of systems of care.

NOTE: The eligible list generated from this recruitment may be used to fill future extra-help, term, unclassified, and regular classified vacancies.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS:
Mental Health Counselor I ($4,544 - $5,681/month): is the trainee level class in this series receiving training and gaining expertise and experience in individual, couple, family and group counseling by acting as co-therapists. Employees work where counseling activities are limited and the Counselors are not working as primary therapists. Additionally, Counselors can have primary responsibility for clients who are normally functioning at a level which facilitates rehabilitation and do not require intensive psychotherapy. This class is flexibly staffed with Mental Health Counselor II and incumbents are expected to advance to the higher level after gaining experience and demonstrating the required proficiency.

Mental Health Counselor II ($5,134 - $6,418/month): is the journey level class in this series providing a full range of individual and group therapeutic counseling services to clients having basic and/or severe emotional and/or social adjustment problems. Employees work under minimal and indirect supervision, function with a greater degree of technical expertise and knowledge in dealing with their assigned caseloads, exercise wide latitude in using discretion, and are called upon to offer technical assistance and/or supervision to Mental Health Counselors I.

EXAMPLE OF DUTIES: (Duties may include but are not limited to the following)
Conduct home visits; perform initial diagnostic evaluation noting behavioral symptoms which may indicate organic and/or mental disorders; confirm or revise initial diagnosis in conference with professional staff; determine and develop appropriate treatment plans for all clients on the caseload; conduct individual, group and family counseling sessions for clients; participate in developing individual and group treatment plans utilizing a variety of psychotherapeutic modalities; make client referrals and plan discharge procedures; establish and utilize knowledge of community resources for mentally or emotionally unstable clients; assess progress of clients and propose modifications to rehabilitation plans in order to meet goals agreed upon by the clients/patients; interview patient and relatives in order to gather case history data; prepare and maintain psychosocial case histories for use in diagnostic evaluations and evaluations of patient progress; consult frequently with professional team members; provide outreach counseling and refer clients to appropriate mental health program service resources; counsel individuals or groups regarding resources or services available for treatment and to help combat relapses; participate with program staff in individual client and program conferences, in staff development and professional growth activities; plan and present informational services to community target groups and organizations to explain mental health programs and services; serve as lead or co-facilitator in group, individual or other treatment modality; and perform related duties as assigned.
 Examples Of Duties:
EXAMPLE OF DUTIES: (Duties may include but are not limited to the following)
  • Conduct home visits.
  • Perform initial diagnostic evaluation noting behavioral symptoms which may indicate organic and/or mental disorders.
  • Confirm or revise initial diagnosis in conference with professional staff.
  • Determine and develop appropriate treatment plans for all clients in the caseload.
  • Conduct individual, group and family therapy sessions for clients.
  • Participate in developing individual and group treatment plans utilizing a variety of psychotherapeutic modalities.  
  • Make client referrals and plan discharge procedures.
  • Establish and utilize knowledge of community resources for mentally or emotionally unstable clients.
  • Assess progress of clients on a selected basis and propose modifications to rehabilitation plans in order to meet goals agreed upon by the clients/patients.
  • Interview patient and relatives in order to gather case history data.
  • Prepare and maintain psychosocial case histories for use in diagnostic evaluations and evaluations of patient progress.
  • Consult frequently with professional team members.
  • Provide outreach counseling and refer clients to appropriate mental health program service resources.
  • Counsel individuals or groups regarding resources or services available for treatment and to help combat relapses.
  • Maintain a system of follow up for previously discharged persons.
  • Participate with program staff in individual client and program conferences, in staff development and professional growth activities.
  • Plan and present informational services to community target groups and organizations to explain Mental Health programs and services.
  • Confer with lay and professional members of the community to identify community mental health counseling needs and develop community counseling plans for staff approval.
  • Serve as lead or co-therapist in group, individual or other treatment modality.
  • Conduct treatment groups in schools and other community settings.
  • Participate in the organization of community groups and the development of special projects.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.

 Qualifications:

Note: The level and scope of the knowledge, skills and abilities listed below are related to job duties as defined under Distinguishing Characteristics.

Education and Experience:
Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to qualify is:

Mental Health Counselor I: One year of experience in a community mental health setting, performing crisis intervention or related counseling services or completion of 60 semester units from an accredited college or university with emphasis in one of the behavioral sciences.
 
Mental Health Counselor II: Two years of experience in a community mental health setting, performing individual or group therapeutic counseling services to clients and developing therapeutic assessment and treatment plans.

Knowledge of:  Mental health needs and problems of the general population; rehabilitative counseling techniques including role playing, behavioral modification and recreational therapy; social aspects of mental and emotional disturbances; basic techniques and dynamics of individual and group therapy; community resources available for treatment of clients; problems, needs, attitudes and behavior patterns of clients having basic emotional and/or social adjustment problems; and individual, couple, family and group counseling principles.

Skill/Ability to:  Apply the techniques used in individual and group therapy; develop and evaluate creative approaches to the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of mental disorders; obtain and record social, physical, educational and work histories; write clear, accurate and concise reports; interpret data; conduct group and individual counseling; establish and maintain the confidence and cooperation of clients including those of varied ethnic and social backgrounds; speak effectively before groups; exercise tact; and function as a team member.
 Application/Examination:
Anyone may apply. Current San Mateo County and San Mateo County Superior Court employees with at least six months (1040 hours) of continuous service in a classified regular, probationary, SEIU or AFSCME represented extra-help/term position prior to the final filing date will receive five points added to their final passing score on this examination. 

The examination process will consist of an application screening (weight:pass/fail) based on the candidates' application and responses to the supplemental questions. Candidates who pass the application screening will be invited to a panel interview (weight: 100%).  Depending on the number of applicants, an application appraisal of education and experience may be used in place of other examinations or further evaluation of work experience may be conducted to group applicants by level of qualification. All applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement through any subsequent phase of the examination.  All examinations will be given in San Mateo County, California and applicants must participate at their own expense. 

IMPORTANT: Applications for this position will only be accepted online. If you are currently on the County's website, you may click the "Apply Online" button above or below. If you are not on the County's website, please go to http://jobs.smcgov.org/ to apply. Online applications must be received by the Human Resources Department before midnight on the final filing date.

~TENTATIVE RECRUITMENT SCHEDULE~
Application Deadline:
October 6, 2017
Application Screening:  October 11, 2017
Combined Panel/Department Interview:  October 25, 2017

The County of San Mateo does not require job applicants to disclose conviction history information until after the applicant successfully completes all examination phases for the recruitment. All passing applicants will receive instructions by email only from Human Resources staff to complete and submit a conviction history questionnaire online within a specified deadline of two business days.  Failure to do so within the timeframe will disqualify you from the rest of the process.  Please visit this link at http://hr.smcgov.org/conviction-information-applicants-faqs to find out more information about the conviction history questionnaire so that you can prepare accordingly.
 
Note: Positions in criminal justice agencies currently required by law to pass background checks are exempted from this bill, and applicants may be required to submit conviction information at the time of application.

 
San Mateo County is an Equal Opportunity Employer
 
HR Contact: Carolyn Burns (092117) (Mental Health Counselor II - G118)
 

 
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