Employment Type
Base Salary
$4515-$4979 Per month


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Position title
Mental Health Specialist 1 - Dual Diagnosis

TITLE: Mental Health Specialist 1 – Dual Diagnosis

PROGRAM: Adult Mental Health

OPENING DATE: November 4, 2020

CLOSING DATE: Open Until Filled

STATUS: Full-time, Exempt

THE CENTER: Mid-Columbia Center for Living (MCCFL) is a recovery-oriented, trauma-informed service provider for persons with serious mental illness, addictions and Intellectual/Developmental disabilities. MCCFL seeks to become consumer-involved, consumer-engaged and consumer-driven. MCCFL furthermore seeks to increase its trauma-sensitive services through participation in the community-wide adaption of The Sanctuary Model over the tri-county (Hood River, Wasco and Sherman) area. The employee must embody principles of recovery, consumer-involvement and trauma-informed care as demonstrated in prior work experience, daily attitude and professional behaviors.

GENERAL STATEMENT OF DUTIES: The Mental Health Specialist 1 provides culturally competent, appropriate, and trauma-informed crisis and behavioral health treatment for assigned clients. This position specializes in providing behavioral health treatment services to consumers who present with Substance Abuse Disorder in addition to other behavioral health issues. This position provides counseling and education for individuals, couples, families and groups. The Mental Health Specialist 1 may provide behavioral health services in other community settings, and it coordinates behavioral health services with other community and State resources. Incumbents must demonstrate cultural sensitivity and understanding of how culture influences and impacts behavioral health services while incorporating this understanding into trauma-informed care.


MENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST 1 ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES: The following list represents the essential responsibilities (functions) of the position.  It does not, however, include all of the duties the position may be asked to perform.

  • Provide psychotherapy, counseling, and case management services to individuals, couples, families and groups. Conduct interviews to accumulate pertinent data; assess presenting issues; develop treatment plans. Counseling and psychotherapy may include working with assigned clients in developing communication skills, providing assertiveness training, providing behavior modification programs, and monitoring the effects of prescribed medication.
  • Provide substance abuse disorder assessment and integrated dual-diagnosis services to assigned clients.
  • Utilize agency clinical software system to prepare current client records of treatment and reports as necessary and required. Maintain timely and cogent progress notes and service plans.  Ensure that client records and other documentation are up-to-date and justify the services provided.
  • Serve as investigator and/or examiner in involuntary commitment procedures.
  • Assist and/or provide back-up support with screening, referral, and crisis services as needed and directed by supervisor. May provide after-hours emergency services on a 24-hour, rotating basis, such as telephone consultation, crisis intervention, and pre-hospital screening examinations.
  • Actively participate in joint case planning and coordination with internal multi-disciplinary team and agency psychiatrists. Collaborate in case planning and service coordination as needed with other community agencies such as schools, group homes, community detention facility, community medical hospital and other DHS programs.
  • Regular and reliable attendance; timely and professional communication; confidentiality.
  • Participate in all team and agency meetings as scheduled.

Knowledge:  Knowledge of the principles and practices and techniques of mental health assessment and treatment including the social, emotional and behavioral aspects of mental illness and substance abuse disorder; knowledge of community health programs and services; knowledge of techniques, tests and procedures employed in evaluating and modifying behavior; knowledge of laws, rules and regulations governing the assessment and treatment of mental health clients; knowledge of clinical manifestations and patterns of substance abuse disorder and associated treatment methods and practices; knowledge of group dynamics and group therapy.

Skill:  Skill in the use of computerized medical systems; skill in the use of standard office software.

Ability:  Ability to understand and effectively apply the concepts and practices of a trauma-informed philosophy in performing the work. Ability to work within strong professional ethics and rules of confidentiality to provide effective assessment and treatment of a variety of mental health disorders.  Ability to work with consumers to develop an effective service plan; ability to write and maintain timely and cogent progress notes, service plans, reports and other professional documents; ability to maintain a strong service orientation; ability to organize and execute work effectively under the pressure of time-sensitive deadlines; ability to speak before groups of various sizes; ability to work with grace and good humor under pressure; ability to work cooperatively with other departments; ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, within Sanctuary Model guidelines; ability to establish and maintain harmonious work relationships with co-workers at all levels of the organization, consultants, contractors, community partners, and consumers.

Any qualifying combination of education, licensure and experience that demonstrates the ability to perform the duties of the position is qualifying.  This would typically include:

  • Master's degree in social work, psychology, psychiatric nursing or another related field AND
  • Two (2) years’ professional experience providing behavioral health counseling.
  • CADC1 certification is required within one year of hire.
  • Professional experience providing Substance Abuse Disorder counseling is preferred but not required.
  • Professional licensure in the State of Oregon as an LCSW or LPC or must have the ability to obtain this licensure within two (02) years of hire is preferred (and may be required for some MHS1 positions).
  • Experience engaging underserved populations in the Native American, Veteran and/or Latino/Hispanic communities is desired.
  • Incumbent must obtain certification from the Department of Human Services as a Mental Health Investigator and Mental Health Examiner. Incumbent must keep certification current and in good standing.
  • Must possess a valid Oregon or Washington Driver's License, maintain an acceptable driving record and be insurable for client service purposes and for travel between business office for meetings and/or trainings. This position must pass all criminal history check requirements as required by ORS 181.536 to 181.537, and in accordance with OAR 407-007-0220 to 407-007-0370.


The Mental Health Specialist must have the ability to quickly assess and respond to concerns related to interpersonal and environmental safety. While performing the essential duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to use office automation including computer and phone system that requires fine manipulation, grasping, typing and reaching. The employee may be required to sit or stand for several hours at a time, depending on environment and need. This position may occasionally be required to lift up to twenty (20) pounds, and to kneel, reach, bend or squat while in the office or in the community. The employee should possess a valid driver's license for vehicle travel between business offices in order to attend required meetings and/or trainings. This employee must be approved to provide transportation for clients using agency vehicles.

Work is performed in a variety of settings, including office environment, community settings and other agency stakeholder facilities. The office environment is typically with moderate stimuli and may often result in exposure to increased sensory experiences. Community settings, such as residence, schools, police precincts, respite facilities, hospitals and other public spaces may pose additional risks or discomforts which require safety precautions.  Universal Precautions and remaining alert to environment are critical to address the potential for violent behavior, safety concerns, biohazards, noise and contaminants.

LEADERSHIP RECEIVED:  This position works within the supervisory leadership of the Clinical Supervisor for its assigned program. The designated supervision emphasizes independence of method and process while indicating accountability for results. Leadership will include triage with staff, guidance and support of clients while demonstrating initiative and responding to concerns within the framework of the Sanctuary Model.

Job Benefits

Health Insurance, Paid Time Off

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Position: Mental Health Specialist 1 - Dual Diagnosis

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