Mental Health Specialist - CHS Mental Health Program and CHS Jail to Community Re-Entry Program

  • Orange County, CA
  • Orange County, California
  • Mar 17, 2020
Full Time Public Health
  • Salary: $21.74 - $29.03 Hourly USD

Job Description

Correctional Health Services

Mental Health Specialist$21.74 - $29.03 Hourly

In addition to performance-based merit increases, this position is scheduled to receive salary range increases on the following dates:
Effective July 3, 2020 - 2.5% increase
Effective July 2, 2021 - 2.5% increase
Effective July 1, 2022 - 3.5% increase

Mandatory Employee Retirement Contributions will decrease on the following dates:
Effective July 3, 2020 - 1.2% decrease
Effective July 2, 2021 - 1.2% decrease

Salary may be negotiable, based on position requirements and successful candidate's qualifications, subject to appropriate authorization.

This recruitment isopen to the publicand will remain open for a minimum of five (5) business days.This recruitment will be open on acontinuousbasis and will close at11:59p.m. (PST)on the day the County's needs are met. Applicants are encouraged to apply immediately.

This recruitment is being held to establish an Open Eligible List to fill current and futureMental Health Specialistvacancies within Health Care Agency, Correctional Health Services. This recruitment may also be used to fill positions in similar and/or lower classifications.

The Orange County , Health Care Agency (HCA) is a dynamic organization dedicated to creating and supporting an environment that promotes the achievement of optimal individual, family and community health. Under the direction of the Agency Director, a new and dynamic executive team with an organizational structure comprised ofsix service areas - Administrative and Financial, Behavioral Health, Correctional Health,Regulatory/Medical Health, and Public Health- is committed to meeting the health needs of the diverse Orange County community.

TheCorrectional Health Services(CHS)program provides medical, mental health, dental, nursing, infection control, health education and pharmaceutical services at a community standard of care to all adult inmates in the County's five correctional facilities and contracts with hospitals for inpatient and specialty care.

CHS Outpatient, Mental Health Observation Unitand Jail to Community Re-entry Program (JCRP) provides mental health services including 24-hour emergency triage and crisis intervention, suicide prevention, CSU treatment beds, individual and group therapy, substance abuse counseling, medication assessment and discharge planning to all adult inmates in the County's correctional facilities.

The HCA is hiring qualified individuals to perform the duties of a Mental Health Specialist (MHS) withinthe CHS's Outpatient, Mental Health Observation units or JCRP services.

Responsibilities of the MHSwill include but are not limited to:

Outpatient and Mental Health Observation Unit Services:
  • Screen clients for current level of functioning and make appropriate referrals for continuation of care
  • Responsible for chart documentation, which may include service plans and progress notes using Electronic Health Record (EHR) system
  • Provide psychoeducation as interventions and supportive services for individuals and groups with a wide range of mental health and substance abuse disorders
  • Able to handle and conduct crisis intervention including triage concerns
  • Evaluate clients effectively for referral to LPS unit or for involuntary hospitalization
  • Able to communicate effectively with law enforcement, families, social services, hospitals, and private citizens
  • Working closely and effectively with a multidisciplinary team to manage mental health services
  • Able to perform all other duties within the scope of a LPT

JCRP Services:
  • Identify and screen for risk factors contributing to mental health problems and the determine the risk for reoffending
  • Assisting clients in identifying needs toward an individualized JCRP discharge plan for re-entry into the community
  • Facilitating and coordinate discharge plan and linkage with Orange County Probation, AB 109, Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) Correctional Programs, community resources and BehavioralHealth Services (BHS)
  • Making in-custody referrals for Medi-Cal enrollment and/or other public benefit programs that client may be eligible to pre-enroll for prior to release
  • Completing all documentation within Electronic Health Record (EHR) system concerning re-entry planning
  • Re-assessing, updating and confirming discharge plan prior to release by coordinating with CHS prescribers for bridge psychotropic meds
  • Able to perform MH screening and crisis intervention assessing clients for MH status and making appropriate referrals to observation unit or LPS unit when needed.
  • Performing individual or group case management duties, and charting written documentation of client behavior and progress
  • Suicide prevention and staff education, individual and group counseling, and attending team meetings
  • Other work as assigned
Incumbents must be available to work every other weekend and some holidays.

The ideal candidate will have at least one (1) year of discharge planning or case management experience in a psychiatric, correctional type of setting, or in clinics (Medication assisted treatment clinics included). Possession of a valid Licensed Psychiatric Technician (LPT) certificate is preferred, but not required. Some assignments may require candidates to be registered or certified by the date of employment as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor or equivalent by an accredited organization.

In addition, the ideal candidate must possess extensive knowledge and/or experience in the following core competencies:

Technical Expertise | Knowledge of:
  • Possessing of a valid CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) - AHA healthcare provider by date of appointment
  • Understanding of relapse prevention and best practices for engaging with the mentally ill and substance abuse clients
  • Planning and linking mentally ill clients to community resources
  • Providing care to clients in relation to their level of functioning (i.e. acute psychiatric housing)
  • Interviewing andgatheringmedical information effectively and accuratelyfromclients
  • Understanding and applying Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines
  • Using Electronic Health Records (EHR) system
  • Using Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook proficiently

Advocacy and Communication
  • Advocating for clients access to available mental health services
  • Using Subjective-Objective-Assessment-Plan (SOAP) format in preparing progress notes and reports
  • Communicating relevant clinical information to other county agencies and/or stakeholders to better facilitate continuity of care

Problem Solving, Critical Thinking and Safety:
  • Analyzing factors that contribute to overall health problems and/or recidivism (i.e. poor medication compliance, drug and alcohol problems, homelessness)
  • Being able to make quick and effective decisions impacting client's healthcare treatment
  • Assessing and evaluating client's presenting symptoms and behaviors rapidly and accurately, including establishing appropriate clinical boundaries with clients (i.e. setting limits)
  • Recognizing factors that are outside of mental health that could be impacting the client's overall functioning and refer appropriately (i.e. drug or alcohol withdrawal, medical issues) skillfully
  • Making sound decisions/judgment or taking actions to prevent any injury/loss of life, financial loss for the County and/or personally and any public relations issues
  • Being alert and aware of personal safety and security while providing care and/or treatment to unstable or unpredictable mentally ill clients
  • Reducing jail-related liability risks by being compliant with Federal and State laws and mandated standards
  • Being familiar with jail security policies and seek consultation with supervisor if unsure

Collaboration and Diversity:
  • Engaging clients in discharge planning and developing a viable plan of self-care by formulating short and long term goal and objectives according to client's level of psychological functioning
  • Participating as a member of a mental health multidisciplinary clinical team by engaging and taking part in meetings, committees or training's providing education, knowledge and insight into clinical cases
  • Being aware ofinfluence of personal biases in working with diverse clients

Personal/Interpersonal Skills:
  • Being flexible to work in numerous clinical areas, including handling difficult and complex mental health cases
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Ability to adapt to changes, and learn new procedures and techniques
  • Willing to work in a correctional environment
  • Having the compassion to provide care without judgment to a segment of clients that have been charged with criminal conduct
  • Maintaining a positive attitude and effectively handle stress in dealing with difficult clients, family members and law enforcement personnel

  • Incumbents are required to pass a comprehensive background investigation prior to a formal offer and acceptance of employment. Incumbents must maintain Sheriffs' Department or Probation Department security clearance for the facilities where they work.
  • Applicants must have no felony convictions or be on any form of probation
  • The Correctional facilities is a 24 hour, 7 day a week facility, incumbents must be able to work on weekends, evenings or night shift and holidays

Click here to view the minimum qualifications for the Mental Health Specialist.

Physical and Mental Requirements
Independent body mobility to stand, walk long distance corridors, climb, or descend multiple stairways quickly, and the ability to bend, stoop and sit for a prolonged time. The strength to lift, carry, push, and pull up to 50 pounds to carry "man down bag" while ascending or descending stairs or to transfer/turn patients. May require significant strength and alertness in a crisis to apply non-violent crisis intervention containment techniques, or to provide CPR.

Manual dexterity to reach, grasp, manipulate small objects, and precision instruments to give injections, take pulse and blood pressure; manual dexterity to hand write or use computer keyboard; sufficient vision to read gauges, thermometers, calibrated measuring instruments, labels on medications, and a computer screen; hear and speak well enough to communicate with patients at normal conversation level in person and over the phone; and to drive a vehicle and flexibility in working a variety of locations and nursing assignments. May require fit testing for N95 respirator/facemask.

Environmental and Working Conditions
Ability to work in a clinic environment or correctional facility; ability to interact and communicate with clients, other health professionals, office support staff, and community partners on a continual basis. In the field, work may involve situations or locations that are uncertain, unpleasant, or hostile; certain positions may be required to interface with jail inmates. It is not uncommon to respond to agitated, hostile, violent or emotionally charged situations or assist a colleague in de-escalating client situations; exposure to communicable diseases, pepper spray or bodily fluids. For assignments in Correctional Health, staff are required to work in a locked facility with juveniles, adult inmates, and/or ICE detainees who have multiple and complex health, social, and psycho-social needs; may work with juveniles, inmates, and/or ICE detainees who have communicable diseases; may be assigned to work weekends, and to work holidays as needed as the institution is a 24-hour, 7 day a week facility and coverage is essential; may be required to work in different facilities; environment can be noisy and sporadically chaotic, and may be exposed to profanity; the Orange County Sheriff's Jail System and Orange County Probation are subject to the "No Negotiations for Hostage" policy

Human Resource Services screens all applications to identify the qualified candidates for the position based on the skills required to meet the needs of the County. After the initial screening, the qualified candidates will be referred to the next step and notified of all further procedures applicable to their status in the competition.

Application Screening(Refer/Non Refer): Applications and supplemental responses will be screened for qualifications that are highly desirable and most needed to successfully perform the duties of this job. Only those applications exhibiting qualifications as listed in the job bulletin will be referred to the next step.

Online Assessment |Written Exam(Weighted 100%): Candidates who meet minimum qualifications will be invited to participate in one or more job-related assessments. Candidates will be notified of their test date and access code, if applicable. Only the most qualified candidates will be placed on the eligible list.

Based on the Department's needs, the selection procedures listed above may be modified. All candidates will be notified of any changes in the selection procedure.

Eligible List: Once the assessment has been completed, HRS will establish an eligible list of candidates. Candidates placed on the eligible list may be referred to a selection interview to be considered for present and future vacancies.

Email Notification
Emailis the primary form of notification during the recruitment process. Please ensure your correct email address is included in our application and use only one email account.

NOTE: User accounts are established for one person only and should not be shared with another person. Multiple applications with multiple users may jeopardize your status in the recruitment process for any positions for which you apply.

Candidates will be notified regarding their status as the recruitment proceeds via email through the site. Please check your email folders, including spam/junk folders, and/or accept emails ending with "" and "" If your email address should change, please update your profile at .

Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for additional Frequently Asked Questions.

For specific information pertaining to this recruitment, please contactLinnyPham@ (714) 834-7324 or .

Orange County, as an equal employment opportunity employer, encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Job Address

Orange County, California United States View Map