Mental Health Specialist

  • Orange County, CA
  • , California
  • Jun 28, 2021
Full Time Public Health
  • Salary: $47,507.20 - $63,440.00 Annually USD

Job Description



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 1, 2022 - 3.5% increase

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

This recruitment is open to the public for a minimum of five (5) business days and will remain open on a continuous basis until 11:59 p.m. (PST) on the day the County's needs are met. Applicants are encouraged to apply immediately as this recruitment may close at any time without further notice.

This recruitment is being held to establish an Open Eligible List to fill current and future Mental Health Specialist (MHS) vacancies within Health Care Agency, Behavioral Health Services. This recruitment may also be used to fill positions in similar and/or lower classifications.


The County of Orange 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 of five service areas - Administrative and Financial, Behavioral Health, Correctional Health, Regulatory & Medical Services, and Public Health - is committed to meeting the health needs of the diverse Orange County community.


The Behavioral Health Services provides a culturally competent and participant-centered system of behavioral health services for all eligible county residents in need of treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse and mental health care.


Some of the opportunities listed below requires shift work and candidates must be able to work day, night, swing, and weekend shifts.


The Outreach and Engagement (BHS O&E) Team serves participants who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and experiencing mild to serious behavioral health and/or substance use conditions. The MHS provides services focused on linking individuals to needed resources and services. This is accomplished through establishing and maintaining trusting relationships with the homeless community and collaborating with other service providers. The services are conducted in the community and include outreach, education, crisis management coordination, case management, skill-building workshops, referral and linkage to resources, and transportation support. The MHS is also responsible for tracking and documenting participant engagement and data in order to demonstrate participant engagement and outcomes.


The Adult and Older Adult Behavioral Health (AOABH) Team provides recovery mental health services and episodic treatment services which emphasize individual needs, strengths, choices, and involvement in service planning and implementation. Adults who have a serious and persistent mental disorder and may have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder and impairment in their ability to function in the community or who have a history of recurring substantial functional impairment, hospitalization or symptoms can access services. The MHS provides services including assessment, evaluation, collateral services, individual and group services, substance abuse treatment, medication support, rehabilitation, linkage and consultation, placement, plan development, crisis intervention and specialized residential services.


The Orange County Center for Resiliency, Education and Wellness program with the Prevention and Intervention Division (P&I) provides early intervention services to transitional age youths, 12 through 25 years old, who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis. The MHS is responsible for screening referrals to determine program eligibility; facilitating groups; providing case management support to participants; completing documentation; conducting community outreach and presentation; and participating in program meetings.


The ideal candidates will have at least a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college in a behavioral science field such as psychology, counseling, or social work and at least four (4) years of experience providing participant-related services to persons experiencing mental health, substance abuse, or alcohol disorders. The ideal candidate for Outreach and Engagement position will also possess two (2) years of experience working with the homeless or those at risk of being homeless and experiencing behavioral health conditions. Bilingual skills in the following languages are also desirable: Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Farsi. The ideal candidate must also possess a valid driver's license as they will need to be able to drive to various sites in the community to provide services and attend appointments with participants.

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

  • Providing participants services in the field
  • Coordinating and linking participants to mental health services with various community resources
  • Collecting data on intervention activities, participant demographics and outcome measures
  • Meeting with participants to assess needs, address barriers to accessing services, and create individualized action plans for participants
  • Facilitating coping skills groups to target population
  • Attending trainings to increase knowledge and staff capacity about resources, services and how to engage the target population

  • Maintaining confidentiality of participants and services and ensuring excellent customer service is provided
  • Communicating effectively in writing and orally, adjusting communication styles to fit audience accordingly
  • Using a computer to complete program forms and to log data
  • Communicating issues effectively and with sensitivity and diplomacy while building relationships with participants and referral sources
  • Maintaining brief, ongoing communications to develop trust with participants
  • Performing effectively and consistently in challenging conditions
  • Establishing and maintaining healthy relationships with participants, peers and community partners
  • Responding calmly to stressful circumstances, knowing when it is appropriate to involve others


Please click here for more information regarding the minimum qualifications for the Mental Health Specialist and details of this classification.


Physical Characteristics : Possess vision sufficient to read standard text, read a computer monitor and to drive; speak and hear well enough to communicate clearly and understandably in person, over the telephone and in small groups; independent body mobility to stand, sit, walk for long periods, stoop, and bend to access a standard office environment; manual dexterity to use hands, arms and shoulders repetitively to operate a keyboard, to write and drive a vehicle.

Environmental Conditions: Will be required to interact with participants/patients in emotional and occasionally hostile situations, work in an office environment, work in a secure facility and/or in the field, drive to community sites and to meetings, and occasionally work evenings/weekends to attend meetings/special events; and will have the ability to work in the field and interact with the public, other County employees, including supervisors and managers, staff and management in other governmental and regulatory agencies, and service providers in a variety of situations which may be emotional, stressful and/or difficult.


Human Resource Services (HRS) will screen all application materials to identify qualified applicants. After screening, qualified applicants will be referred to the next step and notified of all further procedures applicable to their status in the competition.

Veterans Employment Preference
The County is committed to providing a mechanism to give preferential consideration in the employment process to veterans and their eligible spouses and will provide eligible participants the opportunity to receive interviews in the selection process for employment and paid internship openings. Please click here to review the policy.

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 candidates that meet the qualifications as listed in the job bulletin will be referred to the next step.

Online Assessment/Technical Skill Assessment (Weighted 100%)
Qualified candidates will be invited to participate in a job-related assessment. Candidates will be notified of their date and access code, if applicable. Only the more qualified candidates will be placed on the eligible list.

Based on the Department's needs, the selection procedure listed above may be modified. All applicants 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 is 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 .


Click here for additional Frequently Asked Questions.

For specific information pertaining to this recruitment, please contact Gazala Yerunkar at (714) 834-5292 or


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

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Job Address

, California United States View Map