Mental Health Specialist I (#RS2001)
$25.93-$31.52 Hourly / $4,494.84-$5,463.51 Monthly / $53,938.12-$65,562.12 Yearly


Under direct supervision, performs paraprofessional work in providing care, counseling and other services to Mental Health clients and patients; and does related or other work as required in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3 of the Civil Service Rules.


This is the entry-level class in the Mental Health Specialist series.  An employee in this class may be assigned to one or more of the following: provide patient care and counseling on the Inpatient Unit; provide case management for a non-complex client caseload; provide group and individual counseling for emotional, drug, alcohol or other mental health problems; assist in managing a mental health or related program.


  • Provides direct patient care to clients in a 24-hour psychiatric facility or day treatment program; observes patients physical and psychological status; helps evaluate progress; records clinical notes on patient.
  • Assists professional staff in developing and modifying treatment plans; implements treatment plans.
  • Provides case management to mentally ill or elderly clients under the supervision of a team leader or experienced case manager; may provide counseling, money management or other related services.
  • Arranges for and provides transportation for clients.
  • Provides basic client counseling in groups as well as on an individual basis.
  • Performs administrative duties as required.


Education:  Completion of 45 semester units from an approved college or university of which a minimum of 30 must be in Psychology, Social Work, Nursing or related Social Science.

License: Possession of a valid California Driver License is required.


Basic concepts of mental illness, mental health and substance abuse; techniques of dealing with the physical, emotional and social needs of emotionally disturbed individuals or substance abusers; clinical terminology.


Learn to develop and maintain the confidence and cooperation of clients and patients; learn to recognize symptoms of mental or emotional disorders and substance abuse; analyze situations accurately and take appropriate action; understand and follow oral and written instructions; express ideas clearly and concisely both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships.


Mobility – frequent operation of a keyboard, sitting for extended periods, walking and stair climbing; frequent driving may be required; occasional standing for long periods of time; frequent lifting of 5 pounds or less; rarely to infrequently lifting up to 50 pounds; infrequently pushing/pulling in excess of 20 to 30 pounds; infrequently balancing, stooping/bending, and/or crouching/squatting as required in a behavior management situation;   Visual – constant use of overall vision, hand/eye coordination, depth perception and reading/close-up work; frequent need for color perception and field of vision/peripheral;  Dexterity – frequent holding, reaching, grasping, repetitive motion and writing;  Hearing/Talking – constant hearing of normal speech, talking in person and talking on the telephone; frequent hearing on a telephone/radio; occasional hearing of faint sounds and talking over a public address system;  Emotional/Psychological Factors – constant public contact, decision-making and concentration; frequent exposure to emergency situations; occasional exposure to trauma, grief or death; Environmental and Other Conditions – occasional to frequent need to adapt to changing work environments; frequent work with persons who may exhibit aggressive behaviors and who may be infected with communicable diseases; occasional exposure to noise, varied outdoor weather conditions; occasional working alone, working shifts to include weekends/nights/holidays, and/or work-related travel.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: RS2001; EST: 10/9/1985; REV: 4/14/2021;