Mental Health (MH) Behavioral Health Specialist I/II

  • Stanislaus County, CA
  • Modesto, California
  • Jul 12, 2022
Full Time Public Health
  • Salary: $51,480.00 - $71,531.20 Annually USD

Job Description

About the Opportunity


Stanislaus County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Behavioral Health Specialist I/II. The entry-level position performs under supervision while the experienced, journey-level position performs with much greater independence.

This recruitment is being conducted to fill vacancies for Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and establish an eligibility list to fill future Full-Time, Part-Time, Extra Help and On-Call vacancies.

Stanislaus County adheres to all Public Health Orders and is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment. To view the current Public Health orders, please visit the California Department of Public Health website here for more information.

To learn more about the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services department, click here .


Incumbents in the Behavioral Health Specialist (BHS) classification may be appointed to specialize in the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) area and/or the Mental Health (MH) area. While the primary focus of incumbents will be similar, both specialty areas will require unique typical tasks and specific abilities as indicated.

Under supervision, the Behavioral Health Specialist provides a variety of services to clients, recommends appropriate referrals, maintains community liaisons to ensure adequate services are made available to clients, and provides facilitation for a variety of client-focused specialty groups. As part of the treatment team, the incumbent will establish and implement client care plans that are client or family member-driven, culturally competent, and promote wellness, recovery, and resilience. Additionally, the position supports the community in SUD prevention services and supportive services.

Behavioral Health Specialists may be assigned to residential facilities, regional teams, various outpatient programs and community-based prevention programs. Incumbents may perform field visits to those under care, may supervise subordinates, and perform related duties as assigned.

For positions in the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) System of Care: State of California - Health and Human Services Agency, California Code of Regulations requires that all non-licensed and non-certified individuals providing counseling in a substance use disorder (SUD) program licensed and/or certified by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) shall be registered to obtain certification as a SUD counselor with one of the certifying organizations currently approved by DHCS.

Unless otherwise provided, this position is part of Classified Service of the County and is assigned to the Community and Health Services bargaining unit for labor relations purposes.

Individuals who are in a full-time classification position are required to serve a twelve-month probationary period, which may be extended an additional six months, for a total of eighteen months. Incumbents may also be subject to overtime, standby, callback, weekend, holiday and shift assignments as identified in their MOU (Memorandum of Understanding).

The Job Task Analysis provides information detailing the physical and functional demands of the classification. For the complete job task analysis, visit the Risk Management website at under the "Disability" tab.

Typical Tasks
  • Accompany clients in court, and/or transport clients in County vehicles;
  • According to department standards and policies, prepare daily records, summarize progress of treatment for clients and keep these records current;
  • Act as a lead worker or directs the work of others and offers training when needed;
  • Advocate for and assist clients in accessing and receiving services;
  • Communicate with various BHRS departments and other agencies;
  • Build partnerships for positive and healthy youth development;
  • Consult with other agencies, law enforcement and community service providers to exchange applicable information, identify services, and discuss referrals;
  • Develop curriculum on various health topics;
  • Engage community members and local agency partners in planning and coalition development;
  • Engage in compliant and ethical behavior in accordance with County and BHRS policy;
  • Facilitate the admission/discharge of clients to the County's acute psychiatric hospital or substance use disorder residential treatment programs when necessary;
  • Formulate specific health education program objectives from broad program goals, assess education and training needs through formal and informal means, and design programs and information to reduce substance misuse and abuse;
  • Interact productively within a multidisciplinary team to provide holistic case management services;
  • Meet regularly with clients and coach them in developing age-appropriate social skills;
  • Assist in establishing clients' eligibility for Medi-Cal or other benefits and advocate for continuation of benefits;
  • Participate in diagnostic and evaluative staff conferences for cooperative planning and treatment;
  • Provide a variety of highly skilled substance use disorder treatment services to a varied caseload of clients;
  • Interview clients to screen/access their substance use to determine their service needs;
  • Interview clients to screen, and determine their service needs, including evaluating risk factors;
  • Provide case coordination and treatment planning and evaluation;
  • Speak to public and/or agency groups to provide education that reduces stigma;
  • Support SUD and MH program compliance with BHRS, State, & Federal reviews and corrective actions by reviewing, monitoring, tracking, etc.; and
  • Support SUD and MH quality services program with BHRS, State, & Federal standards and requirements.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education/Experience)



  • Provide mental health para-professional counseling and crisis intervention to a caseload of serious and persistent mental illness or seriously emotionally disturbed youth and their families;
  • Provide a variety of highly skilled mental health services to a varied caseload of clients at multiple site locations;
  • Provide services that facilitate the recovery process;
  • Effectively interview clients while developing and maintaining the confidence and cooperation of individuals and their families;
  • Plan, organize and conduct structured groups and classes;
  • Assess client's needs and develop effective treatment plans, constantly modeling compassion and respect;
  • Respond appropriately to crisis situations involving clients, making accurate interventions and taking effective action independently;
  • Relate directly with community organizations, schools, parent groups;
  • Supervise others and/or delegate responsibilities, when assigned;
  • Communicate verbally and write concise case reports; and
  • Maintain and track records of assigned clients.



  • Mental health case management;
  • The psychosocial aspects and characteristics of mental illness;
  • The principles and techniques of metal health treatment and recovery theories;
  • Intervention strategies and techniques;
  • The principles and techniques of group, family and individual counseling;
  • Behavioral Health programs, community resources, and other public agencies;
  • The principles and techniques of risk assessment and treatment;
  • Harm reduction;
  • Recovery principles; and
  • Collaborative networks, agencies and community services such as peer support networks.

We recognize your time is valuable, please only apply if you meet the following required qualifications.


  • Fifteen (15) units of college credit* in a related field; AND
    Four (4) years experience in crisis intervention, group/family/individual counseling or in a psychiatric inpatient setting; OR drug/alcohol treatment and recovery program.

  • LVN or Psychiatric Technician license or 30 units of college credit* in a related field; AND
  • Three (3) years experience in crisis intervention, group/family/individual counseling, or a psychiatric inpatient setting; OR drug/alcohol treatment and recovery program.

* California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) and/or National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) hours can be considered in meeting this educational requirement.

  • Bachelors of Arts degree in a related field; AND
  • Two (2) years responsible experience in crisis intervention, group/family/individual counseling, or a psychiatric inpatient setting; OR drug/alcohol treatment and recovery program.

  • Master's degree in a related field such as Counseling, Psychology or Social Work.

For Behavioral Health Specialist II, in addition to the above patterns, you must have the following:
  • One (1) year of experience as a Behavioral Health Specialist I, or the equivalent, in order to qualify for the Behavioral Health Specialist II level; AND
  • BLS CPR for Healthcare Providers.

In addition to the minimum qualifications, applicant screening will focus on the following desirable qualifications. Please list any of these qualifications you may have within the "Duties" section of the online application.
  • Substance Use Disorder registration and/or certification with one of the certifying organizations that meets the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) regulations, OR
  • Prevention and/or education experience, including engaging with the youth community and providing substance misuse and abuse education; OR
  • Lived experience as a consumer of Behavioral Health & Recovery Services or a family member of a loved one who is/was a consumer of Behavioral Health & Recovery Services.

Application and Selection Procedures


Applications cannot be submitted later than 5:00 p.m. on the final filing date. Make your online application as complete as possible so a full and realistic appraisal may be made of your qualifications.

Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of a completed application.

Attaching your resume and cover letter are an optional feature for those who wish to do so in addition to completing the required application. Information on your resume and cover letter will not substitute for the education, work experience and required fields on the County application. The online County application is the primary tool used to evaluate your job qualifications.


Most County recruitments consist of the steps detailed below and are governed by Merit Principles. The examination process ensures that all applicants are given the same opportunity to gain employment within Stanislaus County.

  • Application Review and Screening. Applications are carefully screened based on information provided. Those who submit incomplete applications that lack relevant qualifications or do not submit all required documents will not be invited to move on.
  • Written Examination. Applicants will be invited to participate in a written exam that tests knowledge for the position.
  • Oral Examination. Applicants are invited to a panel interview in which they will be evaluated by County subject matter experts.
  • Eligible Lists. Candidates who pass the examination will be placed on an eligible list for that classification. Eligible lists are effective for six months, but may be extended up to eighteen months.

Application Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a continuous basis. This recruitment may close at any time with no notice.

Apply By:

Oral Examination:

July 22, 2022

Week of August 1

August 5, 2022

Week of August 15

August 19, 2022

Week of August 29

Note: The eligible list generated from this recruitment may be used to fill future full-time, part-time, extra-help and on-call vacancies throughout Behavioral Health and Recovery Services .


Final appointment will be conditional upon successfully passing a County paid pre-employment drug screening (if applicable for position) and a job-related background investigation.

Some positions may require possession or the ability to obtain, and maintenance of a valid California Driver's license or the ability to utilize an alternative method of transportation when needed to carry out job related essential functions.

Stanislaus County supports the good health of its workforce. More information is available at

Cell phones are typically incompatible with the online application format or browser. We recommend using a desktop or laptop computer. If you are still having technical difficulties, please call NEOGOV at 1-855-524-5627.
Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Job Address

Modesto, California United States View Map