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Orange County

Mental Health Specialist


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Ad number:#266892311
City:Santa Ana, CA
Compensation:$20.19 - $26.96 Hour


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This recruitment is open to the public and the eligible list established through this recruitment will be used to fill current and future Mental Health Specialist positions within the County of Orange. This recruitment may also be used to fill positions in similar and/or lower classifications.

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.

Orange County's 3 million residents enjoy a nearly perfect climate in which parks and beaches provide abundant opportunities for outdoor activities. Orange County is the home of exciting professional sports, a wide range of tourist attractions and quality venues for visual and performing arts. Orange County boasts a thriving business economy and a well-educated work force. The County of Orange is a regional service provider and planning agency whose core businesses include public safety, public health, environmental protection, regional planning, public assistance, social services and aviation.
Please click here for more information about the County of Orange.

The Health Care Agency 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 services areas- Administrative and Financial, Behavioral Health, Correctional Health, Regulatory/Medical Health Services, and Public Health- is committed to meeting the health needs of the diverse Orange County community.

Examples of duties will include but are not limited to:

• Provides mental health services to consumers with a chronic and persistent mental illness
• Conducts direct client services including outreach, meetings one on one for assessment and referrals
• Provides field or home visits to conduct in-home behavioral services to help client maintain stability in home
• Facilitates psychosocial and educational group meetings
• Conducts case management services including referral and linkages to community services
• Coordinates services with health care providers

The Mental Health Specialist job duties in Behavioral Health Services and Public Health Services will vary depending on the needs of the department.

HCA has multiple openings for Mental Health Specialist in the following programs:


Adult and Older Adult Behavioral Health (AOABH)
This program provides recovery mental health services and episodic treatment services which emphasize individual needs, strengths, choices, and involvement in service planning and implementation.

Authority and Quality Improvement Services (AQIS)
This program participates in a variety of quality improvement and compliance activities across all divisions (Adult Mental Health Services, Children & Youth Services, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services).

Children, Youth and Prevention Behavioral Health Services (CYPBHS)
This program provides services to underserved or isolated people at risk of developing behavioral health conditions.


Disease Control and Epidemiology
This program is responsible for monitoring the incidence of reportable communicable diseases in the community; preventing communicable diseases and promoting disease prevention; and assuring access to treatment of communicable diseases such as sexually transmitted disease (STD), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and tuberculosis (TB).

The ideal candidate will be familiar with recovery oriented services; prevention and early intervention services; and prevention of communicable diseases and HIV and promotion of disease prevention. The ideal candidate will also be able to work effectively with a multidisciplinary team and work evening hours.

Some assignments in the BHS programs will require candidates to be registered or certified by date of employment as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor or equivalent by an accredited organization. Some assignments will also require and maintain a valid California driver's license and proof of car insurance by date of appointment as incumbents are required to drive their own personal vehicles for conducting services to clients and County business, and will be reimbursed through the mileage claim process.

In addition, the ideal candidate will possess the knowledge, skills and abilities that demonstrate the following competencies:

Knowledge of:

  • Case management
  • Substance use disorders
  • Community resources available to assist program clients
  • Housing resources for mentally ill clients, including Shelter Plus Care.
  • Resources available for clients that are newly diagnosed or living with HIV
  • Child and adolescent development, group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migration, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins

Technical Experience:

  • Conducting assessments to determine criteria eligibility for program participation and services
  • Providing both individual and group interventions such as psycho-educational groups, parent training
  • Completing documentation requirements in a timely manner governing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements and other agency related protocols
  • Abiding the code of conduct and following policies and procedures
  • Providing crisis assessments and interventions including 5150 assessments within a clinic and/or community based setting
  • Being proficient with Excel spreadsheets and Word documents.
  • Providing bilingual/bi-cultural services in the field (i.e., school, home, community, centers)
  • Providing outreach services to community services for reengagement and retention in HIV care
  • Utilizing social media and new technology (e.g. Facebook, various applications and websites) to facilitate public health investigations


  • Responding calmly to stressful work situations
  • Maintaining emotional control, even under ambiguous or stressful circumstances
  • Collaborating effectively with community partners and with other county related agencies/programs

Communication, Confidentiality, and Customer Service:

  • Maintaining confidentiality of clients and services as required by HIPPA
  • Demonstrating effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Writing accurate and comprehensive individual assessments and/or case reports
  • Establishing strong trust and rapport with clients to enhance linkage and retention
  • Providing excellent customer service

Please click here for the minimum qualifications for the Mental Health Specialist.


Physical Characteristics: Possess vision sufficient to read standard text and a computer monitor; speak and hear well enough to communicate clearly and understandably in person to individuals and groups and over the telephone; possess body mobility to stand, sit, walk, stoop and bend routinely to perform daily tasks and to access a standard office environment; possess manual dexterity sufficient to use hands, arms and shoulders repetitively to operate a keyboard, utilize office equipment and to write.

Mental Requirements: Possess the ability to independently reason logically to analyze data, reach conclusions and make recommendations; possess the ability to remain calm and appropriately focused in rapidly changing and difficult situations involving conflict, complex issues, controversy and diverse stakeholder groups and interests; possess the ability to deal calmly and effectively with emotional interactions.

Environmental Conditions: Work is performed in an indoor environment as well as travelling to other locations. Work environments may include high levels of noise, dust and/or unpleasant odors. Work in an office environment, in the field and/or a secure facility, interact with clients/patients in emotional and occasionally hostile situations, may drive to community sites and to meetings, occasionally work evenings/weekends to attend meetings/special events.

Human Resource Services (HRS) screens all applications to identify the qualified candidates for the position based on the skills required to meet the needs of the County. After the initial screening, the qualified candidates will be referred to the next step and notified of all further procedures applicable to their status in the competition.

Online Assessment | Written Exam (Weighted 100%): Candidates who closely match the ideal candidate profile based on the bulletin requirements will be invited to participate in an online assessment. Candidates will be notified of their test date and access code, if applicable. The most successful candidates will be placed on an eligible list.

Based on the Department's needs, the selection procedures listed above may be modified. All candidates 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.

 Additional Information:


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 more information regarding the Mental Health Specialist position, please contact Lynda Hurtado at (714) 834-3723 or

 EEO Information:

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


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