Mental Health Counselor I/II (Open)

  • County of San Mateo, CA
  • Redwood City, California
  • Jun 15, 2019
Full Time Human and Social Services Public Health
  • Salary: $5,111.60 - $7,219.33 Monthly

Job Description

San Mateo County Health's Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division is seeking an experienced individual for the position ofMental Health Counselor I/II.Mental Health Counselors (MHC) will, under general supervision, provide intensive case management services and individual therapeutic counseling services to clients with severe emotional and/or social adjustment problems and are expected to be able to develop assessment and treatment plans with minimal supervision.

OASIS (Older Adult System of Integrated Services) is community field-based mental health services provided to older adults at their place of residence. These home visit services include medication evaluation and monitoring, individual counseling/therapy, and case management. This multiple discipline team with language capacity in English, Spanish, and Chinese, consists of Psychiatrists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists, and a Community Mental Health Nurse. Services are available to San Mateo County residents age 60 and over with issues of mobility and mental health conditions that impact their day-to-day functioning

The current vacancy is for a Mental Health Counselor I/II-Limited Term, 40 hours per week Monday-Friday 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM,with the OASIS team located at the 2000 Alameda de Las Pulgas building in San Mateo, but will travel throughout the County.

The Mental Health Counselor will work under the guidance of a supervisor and as part of a multi-disciplinary team to provide skill-based counseling/psychoeducation andintensive case management for elderly and homebound individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring issues. The Mental Health Counselor will provide intensive field based case management services to clients referred by their primary clinician; working with primary clinician to assist clients in psycho education and rehabilitative counseling services such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy skill building, relaxation techniques, mindfulness, motivational interviewing and harm reduction interventions; interview and assess clients' basic needs and eligibility for services; assist clients with enrollment of benefits; psychoeducation and skill building to better manage their medical appointments; transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments; provide skill building for clients to sustain their community living placement; meet with families, offer support, resources and help them to navigate Behavioral Health; complete referral forms, document work in electronic charts; make appointments with various providers for clients; assist primary clinician in emergency crisis intervention; and confer with others regarding the needs of clients.

Theideal candidatewill have experience providing intensive case management for adults with serious mental illness and co-occurring issues; experience working with older adults who are homebound, interviewing and assessing clients' needs and eligibility for services; assisting older adult clients to stabilize and remain in their community living placement 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.

Mental Health Counselor I ($4,915.73 - $6,144.67/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 ($5,553.60 - $6,942.00/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.

This is a limited term, at-will position. The current vacancy is a limited term, at-will position. Limited Term Employees are assigned to assignments not to exceed three years. They receive medical and dental benefits, similar to regular employees, and a defined contribution retirement plan.
Examples Of Duties
EXAMPLE OF DUTIES: (Duties may include but are not limited to the following)
  • Conduct home visits
  • Support primary clinician in the completion of client assessments and treatment plans
  • Provide psychoeducation and rehabilitation counseling in the clients' home/field to build their skills in managing their day-to-day needs and handle crises as they arise
  • Utilize CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Harm Reduction, Relaxation techniques in working with clients
  • Assist clients in navigating community agency appointments with medical practitioners, benefit workers, and housing providers to assist clients in advocating for themselves and to successfully complete the recommended follow-up plan
  • Educate clients about the use of community resources to help them obtain the services needed to maintain their current level of independence
  • Complete all documentation for services performed
  • Ongoing communication with OASIS staff and other providers as indicated
  • With client consent, provide support to clients' family and care givers.
  • Collaborate with other county and community based agencies with client consent to coordinate services
  • Attend older adult focused trainings
  • Perform related duties as assigned.

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.

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

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.
  • 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.
  • Function as a team member.

If you are interested in being considered for this limited term position, the following materials must be electronically submitted in a Word or PDF format and emailed to Mariana Rocha, Clinical Services Manager I, Behavioral Health & Recovery Services,

Cover letter
Responses to these supplemental questions:

1. Describe your experienceworking with adults/older adults withseriousmental illness who are homebound. For each experience include a) your title; b) your role; c) your responsibilities; and d) the population with which you worked.

2. Describe your experienceworking with adult/older adult clients with serious mental illness & co-occurring drug and alcohol abuse. In addition, provide one examplethat best demonstrates your experience. For each experience include a) your title; b) your role; and c) your responsibilities.

3. Describe your experienceworking collaboratively with other providers from different disciplines and agenciesserving the needs of adults withserious mental illness or their families. For each experience include a) your title; b) your role; c) your responsibilities; and d) the types of providers/agencies with whom you worked.

4. Describe your experienceproviding intensive case management to older adults with complex serious mental illness and physical health problems. List the factors you considered in determining the option that best met their needs. For each experience include a) your title; b) your role; c) your responsibilities; and d) the types of services.

Please submit the above listed materials via email to:

Mariana Rocha, Clinical Services Manager I, Behavioral Health & Recovery Services

Apply immediately. Resumés will be accepted until the positions are filled. This posting is open on a continuous basis and selection may be made at any time within the process.

Application materials will be reviewed as they are received and well-qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview.

NOTE: Application materials are only accepted via e-mail.Materials sent via regular mail and/or fax will not be accepted. Submittals that do not include all required elements (responses to supplemental questions, writing sample, graphic design sample(s) and a resume) will not be considered.

At the County of San Mateo, we take pride in the way our employees bring together their diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to serve our community's needs. The County is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.