Senior Mental Health Worker

Heartland Alliance

Job Description

Senior Mental Health Worker 

Summary:  This position provides a broad range of comprehensive mental health and addictions services within guidelines established by the Organization and specific programs, based on motivational enhancement strategies, stages of change, reduction of behavior-related harm, and trauma-informed practices.  Applies skills and experience to enhance service delivery and program enhancement.  Populations served will vary by program but may include people who are homeless, children, adults, families, immigrants, refugees and individuals with serious mental illness, history of trauma, and/or substance use disorders.  Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Engages individuals, families and groups in a therapeutic relationship within which mental health and addictions services can be provided;
  • Completes a comprehensive psycho-social assessment in collaboration with the treatment team with special emphasis on participants’ current functioning, strengths, and abilities;
  • Collaborates with the participant to develop an individualized treatment plan, inclusive of the participant’s goals and treatment recommendations which will enhance the participant’s quality of life with regard to mental health and substance abuse issues;
  • Maintains a strong therapeutic alliance with participants through assertive case management, advocacy and resource assistance, including but not limited to medical health needs, housing, vocational services, benefits and entitlements;
  • Assesses and works to enhance skill-building/development with regard to activities of daily living including but not limited to grocery shopping, money management, hygiene, household resources, etc.;
  • Provides psycho-social education and support in relation to mental health and/or substance use disorders.
  • Assesses, identifies and responds to emergency or crisis needs of program participants;
  • Ensures a therapeutic, safe environment for all participants and staff by utilizing de-escalation techniques and violence prevention skills.
  • Works with supervisor to develop new program components such as group activities and service enhancements.
  • Provides individual, family, and group counseling and/or facilitation, as assigned.
  • Provides medication monitoring and training, as assigned.
  • Shares skills, knowledge development and experience with multi-disciplinary treatment team.
  • Completes accurately and in a timely manner all necessary forms, case records and statistical reports in accord with program guidelines and contractual obligations.  Submits such documentation to the supervisor/manager within the designated time lines.
  • Meets productivity standards as determined by program and/or contractual requirements.
  • Participates and contributes actively in multi-disciplinary treatment team meetings, regular supervisory and team/unit meetings, in-house and external training sessions, conferences, seminars and independent study. 
  • Develops and maintains appropriate relationships with external social service, mental health and addictions service providers.
  • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, NASW (and/or other appropriate professional associations), private funding sources, Organization plans/policies and program guidelines.  Participates in periodic evaluative reviews and/or in-house and external staff training to ensure that he/she understands and continues to adhere to such standards.  Initiates requests for assistance from Supervisor to address new issues or complex concepts affecting adherence to professional standards.
  • Other duties may be assigned.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Transportation of program participants and/or Organizational property may be required.
  • In residential programs, household maintenance responsibilities may be assigned including cleaning of common areas, assistance with room turnover and helping participants maintain a clean and safe living environment.

Qualifications:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and/or Experience:  Bachelor’s Degree in counseling and guidance, rehabilitation counseling, social work, education, vocational counseling, psychology, pastoral counseling, family therapy, or related human service field and 3 years of relevant experience or equivalent combination of education and experience; Bachelor's degree in any other field with 5 years of supervised clinical experience in a mental health setting or equivalent combination of education and experience; Practical nurse license or a certificate of psychiatric rehabilitation from a DHS-approved program plus a high school diploma or GED and 5 years of experience in providing mental health services; Recovery support specialist or a family partnership professional certificate or CADC, plus 4 years of experience in providing mental health services; An occupational therapy assistant licensed with at least 4 years of experience in a mental health setting; High school diploma or GED and 8 years supervised clinical experience in mental health or human services. Funder may require CADC within 2 years of hire.
  •  Additional Experience: Training in rehabilitation counseling, including vocational, work readiness and educational support may be required.  Special training and certification in substance abuse treatment and/or treating clients with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders may be required.
  • Language Skills:  Fluency in a second language may be required.  Ability to read and interpret documents such operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.  Ability to write routine reports and correspondence.  Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization.
  • Other Qualifications:   A valid driver’s license may be required.   May be required to have access to a personal vehicle and use it for organizational purposes This includes the ability and willingness to travel throughout the Chicago-land area and to transport others.
  • Mathematical Skills: Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.  Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.
  • Reasoning Ability:   Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.  Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.

Competencies:  To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies.

  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment.
  • Ability to work with diverse populations with complex needs.
  • Ability to engage participants without personal bias or judgmental attitude.
  • Excellent problem-solving, resource development and crisis intervention skills.

Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The employee may be required to remain on Organization premises during breaks and/or meal periods and may be required to stay on Organization premises until their replacement arrives.
  • May be required to visit clients in their homes or in institutions.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear.
  • The employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms.
  • The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 40 pounds. 

Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and ope r ates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and fami ly military rights, e x-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of l iv ing conditions and human relations, height, we ight, or HIV infection, in accord wi th the organization's AIDS Policy Statemen t of S e

ptember 1987.

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