County of Alameda

Senior Mental Health Specialist (#6493)

Bargaining Unit: Unrep - HCSA Tech/Para Mgmt (U45)
$36.32-$43.54 Hourly / $2,905.60-$3,483.20 BiWeekly /
$6,295.47-$7,546.93 Monthly / $75,545.60-$90,563.20 Yearly

Under general professional supervision, to orient and provide supervision for Mental Health Specialist I, Mental Health Specialist II, and other para-professional classifications who provide mental health services to patients; to assign and coordinate the work of a team in a mental health clinic; to represent the service with other agencies; to personally perform mental health counseling services for assigned patients referred to mental health facilities; and to do related work as required.


Incumbents of this class are distinguished from the journey class, Mental Health Specialist III, by spending the majority of their time in activities other than giving services to individuals or groups of mental health patients. Depending on the size of the center or in-patient facility, these duties and responsibilities may involve having lead or supervisory responsibility for a combination of professional and para-professional staff members, assigning work and responsibility for the orientation of new and subordinate para-professional staff; or may involve participating in the establishment and development of programs, and having liaison responsibility.

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. May act as leader for a team in a mental health center or service site; assists subordinate para-professional staff with non-routine cases; guides para-professional staff members in methods and modes of individual and group treatment, the development of treatment plans; and procedures related to service delivery.

2. Assigns and coordinates work for designated staff; performs administrative duties as required.

3. Orients, trains, and supervises staff as assigned; participates in identifying training needs and recommending training resources for subordinate para-professional staff.

4. Participates in amending or revising treatment plans in the community or in-patient settings, providing mental health counseling services for groups or individuals; interviews patients and relatives to gather case history information; prepares and maintains case histories for use in determination of patient needs and evaluations of patient progress; confers with other professional team members as required.

5. Attends staff conferences; represents the team in meetings or discussions; provides community groups with educational information concerning the mental health programs in Alameda County and the mental health field in general.

6. Participates in planning, developing, and implementing mental health activities under supervision of the clinic chief or mental health center directors; participates in coordinating services.

Either I


Possession of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in a subject related to the mental health field,



The equivalent of one year of experience in the Alameda County class of Mental Health Specialist III.



The equivalent of two years of college with course work in the behavioral sciences,


The equivalent of three years of experience performing in a capacity comparable to the duties of Mental Health Specialist III, one year of which must have been in a supervisory or administrative capacity.



Possession of a Bachelor of arts degree in behavioral science with the equivalent of one year of a supervised field placement in the mental health setting,



The equivalent of two years of experience performing in a capacity comparable to the duties of Mental Health Specialist III, one year of which must have been in a supervisory or administrative capacity.


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

Special Requirements:

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.

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 and psychiatric terminology.
• Social adjustment, mentally disordered behavior, and general psychiatric counseling techniques in mental health settings.
• Physical, emotional, and social needs of emotionally disordered individuals.
• Familiarity with medications commonly prescribed for psychiatric patients.
• Community resources for the mentally disordered.
• Para-professional nursing and treatment procedures for mentally ill or mentally retarded patients, including the care of nursing equipment and supplies.
• Hospital and ward routine, first aid, patient hygiene and bedside care.
• Elements of good communication.
• Techniques of effective orientation and supervision, and knowledge of training resources.
• Principles of personnel practices.

Ability to:

• Write and speak effectively.
• Prepare and maintain records and correspondence.
• Apply the principles and concepts of psychiatric counseling.
• Use problem-solving techniques.
• Interview and secure personal and social information, as well as information needed for determining patient needs.
• Establish and maintain effective psychiatric counseling relationships and working 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.
• Supervise and orient para-professional personnel.

Revised: 12/77
Retyped: 2/85
Revised: 4/5/89
Old document: 0636h
New document: Jobspecs/6493
CSC Date: 4/26/89
SG:po Revised 7/8/09
CSC Date: 7/29/09


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)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance 
  • 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

  • 11 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Management Paid Leave**
  • 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.

** Non-exempt management employees are entitled to up to three days of management paid leave. Exempt management employees are entitled to up to seven days of management paid leave.