Senior Mental Health Counselor

  • Sacramento County, CA
  • Sacramento, California
  • Jun 04, 2022
Human and Social Services Legal Services Public Health
  • Salary: $95,442.48 - $105,235.20 Annually USD

Job Description

The Position

This is a continuous filing exam. The next filing cut-off is at 5:00 pm on:

Third Tuesday of every month.

Note: Permanent full-time and temporary intermittent positions may be available.

*Current recruitment includes (but is not limited to) those listed below. Click on the links for more information about these exciting opportunities.*

Wellness Crisis Call Center and Response Team

Mobile Crisis Support Team

Mental Health Treatment Center - Intake Stabilization Unit

Under direction, to provide professional mental health treatment services for severe mental disorders in in-patient or out patient settings, including assessment, diagnosis, crisis intervention, individual and group counseling, non-medical psychotherapy, and initiation of involuntary holds; to prepare reports and maintain records related to patient or client services; and to perform related duties as assigned.

Senior Mental Health Counselor is assigned the more complex and difficult cases, and the majority of positions in this class require a license. This level typically has responsibility as a lead worker, providing guidance, consultation and direction to lower level professionals and paraprofessionals as a team leader within a given shift or function, and in crisis situations.

Examples of Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of
  • principles and techniques of clinical interviewing, diagnosis, and assessment
  • the most current version of DSM
  • theories, principles and techniques of individual and group psychotherapy
  • psychological, physical and social aspects of mental disorders, chemical dependency, and recovery
  • theories of human behavior and personality and techniques of evaluating, and modifying human behavior
  • planning, development and implementation of comprehensive treatment plans
  • Federal, State and local laws, codes and regulations governing mental health treatment
  • basic techniques of training
  • referral sources and community resources
Ability to
  • conduct accurate and thorough assessments of client status, history, danger to self and others, progress, chemical dependency, and related mental health information
  • prepare diagnoses and evaluations of mental disorders
  • conduct effective professional clinical interviews
  • formulate, implement, and monitor treatment plans
  • conduct group and individual psychotherapy
  • respond appropriately in crisis situations
  • understand, interpret and apply complex mental-health technical materials and applicable laws, codes and regulations
  • establish and maintain effective working relationships with patients, families, staff, and other agencies
  • prepare effective written reports
  • maintain accurate records
  • communicate effectively in oral and written form
  • provide effective training, guidance and consultation to other staff
  • assist in physically controlling and/or restraining violent and/or combative patients

Employment Qualifications

Minimum Qualifications
A Master's degree from an accredited four-year college or university in a mental health related field such as psychology, counseling, social work, or psychiatric nursing.

Either: 1. Two years of post-Master's degree supervised experience in a mental health related setting providing direct services to mentally or emotionally disabled persons., including dual diagnosis and addiction issues for those assigned to substance abuse settings.

Or: 2. Two years of experience in the class of Mental Health Counselor in Sacramento County service.

Note: Persons who were employed by the Sacramento County Health Department and who held permanent status in Sacramento County civil service, in the class of Rehabilitation Counselor as of October 22, 1981 shall be deemed to meet the minimum qualifications of Senior Mental Health Counselor.

Note: The word "experience" referenced in the minimum qualifications means full-time paid experience unless the job announcement states that volunteer experience is acceptable. Part-time paid experience may be accumulated and pro-rated to meet the total experience requirements.

Note: If the minimum qualifications include an educational or certificate/license requirement, applicants must submit proof of requirements with the application. Failure to submit proof of requirements may result in disqualification from the examination. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. For guidelines on submitting acceptable proof of educational requirements, please click here or speak to someone in our office before the cut-off date listed in this notice.

Special Requirements

License Requirements:

Note: Failure to obtain and/or maintain such required license(s) may be cause for disciplinary action in accordance with Civil Service Commission rules.

1. Selected positions require possession of a valid Class C California Driver License, or the ability to arrange for field travel, at the time of appointment.

2. Current certification of training in CPR is required within 6 months of employment for positions assigned to the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center.

In addition to the above,

1. Many positions require current licensure by the State of California to practice as a marriage, family and child counselor (MFT), clinical social worker (LCSW), clinical psychologist, registered nurse, or psychiatrist.

Working Conditions:

1. Duties require exposure to patients who may be hostile, violent, mentally ill, and/or who may have infectious diseases.

2. Positions assigned to the Mental Health Treatment Center work shifts and holidays.

Other Special Requirements

Some positions in these classes may require the ability to communicate fluently in a language other than English. Incumbents in such special skills positions utilize the language skill in performing the duties of the class and may serve as a consultant to others in planning and delivering effective mental health services to individuals of different language and cultural backgrounds.

The Civil Service Commission approved the use of selection certification for a special skill for the class May 8, 1980, revised the types of special skills applicable to this class March 12, 1987, and approved the use of selective certification for special language skills on April 9, 1987.

Probationary Period

The probationary period for this classification is six (6) months.

Application and Testing Information


Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply immediately. All applicants must complete and submit an online County of Sacramento employment application by 5:00 PM on the posted cut-off date. Click here to apply.

County of Sacramento
Department of Personnel Services
Employment Services Division
700 H Street, Room 4667
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone (916) 874-5593; 7-1-1 California Relay Service

Inter-Office Mail Code: 09-4667
  • Employment applications and all documentation requested in this announcement must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the cut-off date.
  • Employment Services is not responsible for any issues or delays caused by an applicant's computer or web browser. Applicants will be automatically logged out if they have not submitted their applications and all documentation prior to 5:00 p.m. on the cut-off date.
  • Your application should highlight all relevant education, training, and experience, and clearly indicate how you meet the minimum qualifications for the position as of the cut-off date.
  • Application information must be current, concise and related to the requirements in this job announcement. You may only apply for this recruitment once. Duplicate and incomplete applications will be disqualified.
  • A resume may be included with your application, however it will not substitute for the information requested on the application.


Applicants are required to provide a full and complete response to each supplemental question. The Supplemental Questionnaire is located in the tab marked "Supplemental Questions". Please be descriptive in your response.

Note:Responses of "See Resume" or "See Application", or copy and paste of work experience are not qualifying responses and will not be considered.
  • Supplemental Questionnaires must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the cut-off date. Employment Services is not responsible for any issues or delays caused by an applicant's computer or web browser. Applicants will be automatically logged out if they have not submitted their applications and all documentation prior to 5:00 p.m. on the cut-off date.
  • The supplemental questions are designed to elicit specific information regarding a candidate's experience, education, and training. Responses should be consistent with the information on your application and are subject to verification.
  • Please provide place of employment, pertinent dates, and concise, descriptive and detailed information for each question.
  • If a job included responsibilities applicable to several questions, separate the different functions of the job to answer all the questions completely.
  • Resumes or referral to the application or other questionnaire responses will not be accepted in lieu of completing each question.
  • If you have no experience, write "no experience" for the appropriate question.
  • For many individuals, it is more efficient to develop responses to the supplemental questions in a word processing document and then paste them into the final document to be submitted. Changes or corrections to your Supplemental Questionnaire cannot be made once your application packet has been submitted.
  • If the Supplemental Questionnaire is used in the Formula Rate exam, failure to complete all of the questions or incomplete responses will result in a lower score. While scoring the Supplemental Questionnaire, the candidate's application and/or attachments will not be reviewed , therefore, a candidate's responses to the questions should be accurate, thorough, detailed, and complete.


All candidates meeting the minimum qualifications by the cut-off date will have their Supplemental Questionnaire scored in the Formula Rate Examination.

This examination will evaluate the relevance, level, recency, progression and quality of candidate's education, training and experience. The candidate's application or other materials will not be included in this examination. Therefore, the candidate's responses to the supplemental questionnaire should be thorough, detailed and complete. The score from the Formula Rate Examination will determine the ranking on the eligible/employment list for this job.

All candidates competing in the testing process will receive written notice of their examination results by email. Notices can also be accessed in their inbox. Applicants achieving a passing score will be placed on the eligible list in rank order. The rank is determined by the test score attained from the examination.


Click here for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

For information regarding County jobs:
Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Remote-eligible (Remote work is a type of flexible working arrangement that allows an employee to work from remote location)


Job Address

Sacramento, California United States View Map