County of Alameda

Mental Health Specialist III (#6492)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Hospital Para Prof (008)
$37.56-$44.68 Hourly / $2,817.00-$3,351.00 BiWeekly /
$6,103.50-$7,260.50 Monthly / $73,242.00-$87,126.00 Yearly

Under general supervision from Mental Health services professional staff, to provide mental health and vocational counseling services to assigned clients, including drug and alcohol and dually diagnosed clients referred to mental health facilities; to gather case history information; to note and record client's needs; to develop treatment and discharge plans for assigned clients; to assist in the implementation of treatment and discharge plans; and monitor client's progress and response to these plans; to provide psychiatric and vocational counseling for individuals and groups; if licensed, to administer and distribute medications; to perform work as required.


This is a journey-level para-professional classification. When assigned to an out-patient facility, incumbents spend the majority of time providing psychiatric counseling to individuals or groups and participate in continuing care coordination for assigned clients and; may provide direct case management or socialization services. When assigned in the Vocational Program, may have operational and coordinating responsibility in a work center or large community work program and; spend the majority of time providing mental health and vocational services to drug and alcohol or dually diagnosed clients individually or in-groups.. Incumbents at this level have greater responsibility for direct patient care than the next lower level class of Mental Health Specialist II.

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. Assists in the orientation and training of Mental Health Specialist I and II's, including training of on-call coaches.
2. Monitors the behavior of overactive clients; may assist in the development of appropriate care plans; provides assistance in the treatment as ordered by the physicians; observes and charts client's behavior; may assist clients with education of personal hygiene practices and meal planning.
3. Makes client referrals; establishes and utilizes information on community resources for persons with mental disabilities; places clients in board and care homes; plans and leads socialization and vocational programs for clients, including field trips to employer and recreational sites, and coordination of travel training; accompanies clients to support agencies and assists them with the process such as requesting assistance from Social Security Administration, Mental Health Advocates, Board and Care providers, Department of Rehabilitation and Social Services, etc.; and coordinates collateral services.
4. Interviews clients and relatives to get case history information; prepares and maintains case histories for use in initial determination of client's needs and evaluations of client's progress; provides on-going documentation of all client's contacts; confers with other professional team members as required.
5. Attends staff meetings and conferences; makes home visits; and confers with families and other interested parties; provides community groups with educational information concerning the mental health programs in Alameda County in the mental health field in general.

When assigned in an Outpatient Center:

1. Conducts board and care or home visits; performs psychiatric counseling, noting behavioral symptoms; confirms or revises initial determination of client's needs in conference with psychiatric or other interdisciplinary staff; provides information to staff psychiatrist for consideration in determining appropriate medication; if licensed, may administer medication and intramuscular injections as ordered.

2. Develops and recommends treatment plans to clients assigned and may provide assistance in the development of treatment plans for all other clients.

3. Makes client referrals; establishes and utilizes information on community resources for the mentally ill or emotionally unstable; assists clients in securing and maintaining housing, to include board and care facilities and obtains information on financial assistance, educational needs, health care, socialization and vocational needs; plans and leads socialization programs for clients such as field trips, etc.

When assigned in the Vocational Program:

1. Assists in the coordination and operations of large on-site or off-site client work project with a variety of mental health and/or substance abuse clients; collaborates with on-site business customers; meets production time lines with client workforce; provides vocational and rehabilitation assistance to clients.

2. Coordinates client's work contracts in a mental health facility or community-based work sites; maintains customer contact; assists in the implementation of quality, inventory and production control.

3. Conducts orientation, training and job coaching of clients; trains clients in industrial work and work-related behaviors and job skills; provides guidance on social, employment and/or other vocational rehabilitation issues.

4. Conducts employer site visits; assists in identifying concerns with inventory control at work site; supervises the proper use of equipment; checks and reports safety violations.
5. Develops and provides extended service plans for clients, including to those in supported employment and; reports any changes of services and client's functioning to appropriate professional counseling staff.
6. Prepares time studies to determine piece rates and performance ratings of clients in accordance with the standards of the Department of Labor and; maintains accurate records of work performed by clients.
7. Checks client's duties and responsibilities, and develops written procedures on how to perform each task; identifies methods to improve the efficiency and quality of the work design and lay out of tasks.
8. Observes client's work progress; evaluates work and prepares written reports; makes a note of anomalies and vocational barriers; confirms or revises initial determination of client's needs in conference with psychiatric, rehabilitation or other interdisciplinary staff.
9. Prepares client's work area as needed; checks the materials needed to ensure that a client's work activities are completed during the work hours and; assigns clients to work activities based on abilities, skills and operational needs.
10. Acts as a liaison between the Vocational Program and employer to ensure that clients are meeting the production goals and to identify additional work for enclave and work projects through on-going effective communication with customers.

Either I

The equivalent of two years of full-time experience as a Mental Health Specialist II.


The equivalent of three years of full-time experience performing clinical services, including providing psychiatric and/or vocational counseling services to assigned mental health, drug and alcohol and/or dually diagnosed clients in a clinical or mental health setting, in which the work is comparable to the Mental Health Specialist II.


Possession of a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's license is desirable.
Possession of a Psychiatric Technician or LVN license may be required.

Special Conditions:

Positions may be required to work some weekends or evenings.

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 on the job.

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:

• Elementary medical, psychiatric and vocational rehabilitation terminology.
• Social adjustment, mentally disordered and addicted behavior, and general psychiatric counseling and vocational techniques in mental health and vocational settings.
• Physical, emotional and social needs of emotionally disordered individuals.
• Familiarity with medications commonly prescribed for psychiatric clients.
• Community resources for the mentally disordered and addicted.
• Elements of good communication.
• Basic computer and software applications, and modern office equipment related to the work.

Ability to:

• Write and speak effectively.
• Prepare and maintain records and correspondence.
• Apply the principles and concepts of psychiatric and vocational rehabilitation counseling.
• Use problem solving-techniques.
• Interview and secure personal and social information, as well as information needed for determining client's needs and vocational barriers.
• Establish and maintain effective psychiatric counseling relationships and work effectively with staff and others.
• Utilize other community resources and health care agencies.
• Utilize supervisory sessions to increase knowledge and skills.
• Work effectively as a member of an interdisciplinary team.

JF:kq  12/19/77
Retyped: 2/85
Old document:  0635h
New document:  6492
CSC Date:  12/27/77
RT:pf  Revised  3/29/02
CSC Date:  6/5/02  
SG:po Revised 7/16/2009
CSC Date:  8/12/09 
 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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