Mental Health/Drug and Alcohol Specialist

  • Title: Mental Health/Drug and Alcohol Specialist
  • Class: Academic Professional
  • Exempt Status: Exempt
  • Level: 5

Nature and Scope of Work

The Mental Health/Alcohol and Drug Specialist is responsible for the coordination of individual and community based mental health and substance abuse services for clients and/or students enrolled in the Steps to Success program. Formulates programs for treatment and rehabilitation of clients, using knowledge of mental health and drug & alcohol counseling and treatment techniques. Assists family in dealing with and providing support for client. Refers clients to other support services, as needed. Monitors condition of client to evaluate success of therapy. Prepares and maintains reports and case histories. Incumbents in this classification interact with Steps staff, state officials, and local mental health and drug & alcohol organizations in developing plans for success for the clients and their family.

Principal Accountabilities

  1. Screens clients for substance abuse and mental health issues. Refers clients for mental health and/or alcohol & drug treatment, monitoring treatment compliance and progress. Coordinates changes in client treatment with clients, Welfare and Steps staff.
  2. Coordinates mental health and substance abuse referral services. Assess immediacy of client need, level of service required, and appropriateness of service. Provides immediate crisis intervention as needed.
  3. Consults and assists State of Oregon Case Managers and program staff in serving clients with mental health and or substance abuse issues nearing disqualification from services and funding. Facilitates intervention meetings between Case Manager, client, and supporting family members.
  4. Researches and evaluates case files. Interviews client and family members to identify clinical and/or drug and alcohol issues. Gathers client and family information through home and family observations. Provides clinical screenings and individualized treatment recommendations for program participants.
  5. Administers group mental health and alcohol and drug screenings. Arranges for laboratory urinalysis for clients. Interprets clinical results.
  6. Acts as a consultant to welfare and Steps to Success staff regarding mental health and/or alcohol and drug issues with JOBS participants. Advises multi-agency case planning team. Advises and provides evidence at case hearings.
  7. Develops training and teaches classes to clients and DHS staff on mental health and drug and alcohol related topics.
  8. Participates in curriculum development. Works with facilitators as subject experts in development process. Identifies and secures any equipment needs.
  9. Participates in clinical team meetings. Organizes and participates in informal case staffing and hearings.
  10. Assists case managers with home visits.
  11. Compiles and maintains clinical case records following federal and state guidelines governing confidentiality and management of records. Prepares general paperwork for tracking clients.
  12. Teaches and facilitates weekly support groups in-house and at interagency sites.
  13. Performs other related duties as assigned.

Work Environment

Work is performed in multiple office settings. Incumbent’s regularly drive to office sites, which requires the use of a personal vehicle. Incumbent’s are involved in meetings with frequent situations involving angry and hostile clients. Occasional evening and weekend hours are required. Occasional extended periods of time sitting at a computer while writing reports required.

Physical Requirements

Ability to transport training materials and equipment that may weigh up to 20 pounds is required. Ability to travel to various work sites in inclement weather.

Minimum Qualifications

Master’s degree in Counseling, Social Work, or Psychology required. Five years clinical experience working with Dual Diagnosis population.


Bachelor’s Degree and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II (CADC II). Experience performing the duties of this job may substitute for the bachelor’s degree requirement on a year for year basis. Five years clinical experience working with Dual Diagnosis population.

Demonstrated experience developing, coordinating, and facilitating training classes. Experience mediating issues involving angry or hostile clients. Demonstrated clinical experience and coordinating and facilitating client participation in classroom support groups, mental health or addictions counseling, or social services. Experience working with women, ethnic minorities, and other disadvantaged populations in a case management and clinical setting.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Knowledge of:
  • Considerable knowledge of current welfare reform philosophy at the local, state, and federal level.
  • Considerable knowledge of adult learning theory, needs assessment, and clinical evaluation including diagnosis and treatment.
  • Considerable knowledge of services provided by various Mental Health and or Alcohol and Drug community based organizations.
  • Knowledge of effective clinical patient management methods and techniques.
  • Knowledge of current and emerging mental health and or alcohol and drug treatment issues.
  • Considerable technical and/or business knowledge required.
Skills in:
  • Skill in operating a computer and various supporting software packages.
  • Skill in project management and independent and team problem solving.
  • Skill in defining and conducting needs assessments and in designing and developing treatment plans.
Ability to:
  • Ability to work with an ethnically and culturally diverse population, including persons with serious and/or chronic mental health, alcohol and/or drug problems.
  • Ability to manage multiple Mental Health and or Alcohol and Drug case loads.
  • Ability to operate a variety of office equipment.
  • Ability to effectively communicate in oral and written form.

Reviewed: 12/2018

  • Revised: 9/16/2004
  • Replaces: Mental Health Specialist; 02/2002