County of Alameda

Mental Health Specialist II (#6491)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Hospital Para Prof (008)
$31.67-$36.15 Hourly / $2,375.25-$2,711.25 BiWeekly /
$5,146.38-$5,874.38 Monthly / $61,756.50-$70,492.50 Yearly

Under supervision, provides a variety of paraprofessional counseling services to behavioral health consumers; recommends appropriate referrals; maintains community liaisons to ensure adequate services are made available to consumers and provides facilitation for a variety of consumer-focused specialty groups; participates as part of the treatment team; and performs related duties as required.


This is the entry-level class in the Mental Health Specialist paraprofessional series. The Mental Health Specialist II class is distinguished from the Mental Health Specialist I class in that the latter is a trainee level class.

NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

1. Provide individual and/or group mental health peer counseling to consumers and their families, in collaboration with the primary clinician and/or clinical team.

2. Facilitate peer support groups, educational groups and classes for consumers.

3. Engage consumers and develop relationships based on recovery practices and principles.

4. Under supervision, help in determining health care and wellness needs of behavioral health consumers, and assist consumers and clinicians in the development of effective treatment plans.

5. In collaboration with clinical staff, provide interventions from the treatment plan that may include skill development, budgeting, supporting housing efforts, supporting vocational goals, and supporting physical and mental health needs.

6. Under supervision, assess for crisis and risk; then communicate signs and behaviors to clinical staff in a timely manner. Respond appropriately to crisis situations involving consumers, identify appropriate interventions and take effective actions in collaboration with team and/or supervisor.

7. Serve as an advocate for behavioral health consumers to ensure they receive necessary and timely health care services to treat their behavioral health conditions.

8. Identify essential client resources and refer consumers to other departments, agencies or community resources for appropriate treatment, services and supports.

9. Assist consumers with completion of forms and applications for benefits and other services.

10. Facilitate client health appointments including scheduling and transportation to appointments as needed. Communicate outcome and follow-up plans to primary clinician or treatment team as indicated.

11. Document services provided per departmental Quality Assurance standards and Medi-Cal requirements and submit billing in a timely manner.

12. Perform outreach and provide health education and information to individuals who may be at risk and unaware of prevention methods and services.

13. Assist professional medical staff with treatments and procedures, if trained or licensed.

14. Serve as a resource specialist, with knowledge of a variety of county, community and peer support resources in Alameda County.

15. Participate as an active member of treatment teams, including attendance at staff meetings, case conferences and other meetings as necessary.

Either I

The equivalent of one year of experience in the class of Mental Health Specialist I. (Possession of a California Psychiatric Technician license may be substituted for experience.)

The equivalent of one year of experience performing duties comparable to those of Mental Health Specialist I, under supervision.

Possession of a valid license to practice as a Vocational Nurse in the State of California,


The equivalent of six months of experience performing duties comparable to those of Mental Health Specialist I, under supervision.


Some positions require a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator’s license. Applicants must possess such license prior to appointment to such positions.

Special Requirement:

In compliance with the Administrative Simplification provision of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), employees in this classification are required to possess a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number prior to their first day of employment.

In compliance with the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the Federal Cures Act, Employees in this classification who are required to render direct specialty mental health services in the course of their assignment must successfully be enrolled in Provider Application and Validation for Enrollment (PAVE) web portal prior to commencing employment.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the "Examples of Duties" section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

• Peer counseling and motivational support techniques for helping behavioral health consumers.
• The mental, physical, emotional, and social needs of consumers with mental health, physical health and/or substance abuse issues.
• Principles and techniques of mental health treatment and recovery principles and practices.
• The psychosocial aspects and characteristics of mental illness and severe emotional disturbance.
• Principles of risk assessment, crisis intervention and treatment.
• Harm reduction principles and practices.
• Behavioral health programs, community organizations and resources, and peer support networks in the local community.
• Basic understanding of mental health case management and appropriate coding, charting and documentation requirements for health care providers.
• Elementary psychiatric and medical terminology.
• Familiarity with medications commonly prescribed for consumers.
• Computer applications related to the work.

Ability to:

• Relate and communicate effectively with behavioral health consumers.
• Work effectively with staff and consumers in treatment services and as a member of an inter-disciplinary team of behavioral health care providers.
• Provide a variety of mental health services to a varied caseload of consumers in outpatient settings.
• Interview and secure personal health and social information to help determine consumer needs.
• Analyze problems, identify solutions and respond appropriately to crisis situations involving consumers.
• Maintain and monitor records of assigned consumers.
• Communicate effectively orally and in writing, and write concise reports.

Revised: 4/81
Retyped: 2/85
Retyped: 6/l6/86
Old doc:  0634h
New doc:  /6491.doc
CSC Date:  4/21/81
SG:po Revised 7/16/09
CSC Date: 8/12/09
RY:cs  Revised 7/8/13
CSC Date:    8/7/13     
IL:saa Revised 3/16/23
CSC Date:06/14/23


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees) 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.


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