Humboldt County Office of Education: Mental Health Specialist

Notice: In July 2022 HCOE classified job descriptions were re-classified. We are working to get the classifications changed on individual job descriptions. A PDF mapping these changes can be found here. For questions please contact the HCOE Personnel Office at (707) 445-7039.

HCOE Job Description

Mental Health Specialist

Position Summary

The Mental Health Specialist is part of the Prevention and Intervention Services Department and provides behavioral and emotional counseling to groups and individuals, assists students in adjusting to school and community life, provides training to school staff on behavioral and mental health and wellness and serves as a liaison to other agencies and students’ parents/caretakers and families.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This position is Certificated Management and requires a strong understanding of mental health systems, educational systems and the importance of collaboration and coordination.  Oversight of providers, supporting districts in scaling-up school-based mental health and assisting with site-based needs and support are unique characteristics of this position.

Supervision Received and Exercised

This position is under the direct supervision of the Director of Prevention and Intervention Services and will assist with the supervision of Behavior Wellness Coaches, fieldwork students and interns.  This position may supervise billable services under the CA multi-payer fee schedule which requires PPS credentialed oversight.

Examples of Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assists students in identifying and solving behavioral, mental health, emotional and educational problems, adjusting to school life and coping with life stressors which affect student wellness at school.
  • Assists in the planning, development and implementation of programs and professional development, which include initiating group and individual activities to support the social-emotional wellness and social skills acquisition and success of students.
  • Provides consultation and training for Social Emotional Learning and other mental health initiatives.
  • Supports students during their transition into the school, as needed, by organizing meetings, school visits and coordinating support with site administration.
  • Supports districts with technical assistance and coaching to scale-up social emotional learning integration into classrooms and school environments.
  • Provides direct support to assigned prevention services and programs.
  • Assists school staff in identifying services through a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) lens.
  • Provides crisis interventions and threat assessments and coordinates community crisis services for students, as needed.
  • Provides training and professional development for staff, community and district/state agencies.
  • Documents services according to the multi-payer fee schedule.
  • Provides trauma-informed, culturally sustaining services to students and families.
  • Recruits, screens and intakes referrals for counseling.
  • Develops and implements professional development for parents related to increasing parent capacity and school engagement.
  • Collects and analyzes data related to students identified as needing more school mental health/behavioral support.
  • Communicates, collaborates and links with community agencies to connect students and families with needed support services.
  • Provides direct client services through initial assessment, individual and group counseling, family and group therapy, and makes referrals as needed.
  • Maintains confidential files, records and documents for prevention-related activities and outcomes.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:

  • Mental health, social emotional and wellness interventions and strategies.
  • Program planning and evaluation design and tools.
  • Policies and procedures, organizational structure and functions and personnel policies and procedures.
  • Ethics, confidentiality and person-centered service delivery.
  • Staff development and professional development resources and the how to implement them effectively.

Ability to:

  • Communicate effectively with children, parents, staff members and representatives of other agencies.
  • Commit to system improvement and increasing access to mental health services for all students.
  • Provide strong leadership, organizational, communication and human relationship skills.
  • Use software and technology to complete necessary tasks.

Education and Experience

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Must possess a valid Pupil Personnel Services Credential: School Psychology, School Counseling or School Social Work.

Preferred Experience:

  • Three (3) years of experience supporting at-risk youth and/or mental health programs.

Working Conditions

May be required to work evenings and weekends.  Position requires the ability to drive throughout the county/region for business purposes.

Environmental Elements

This position will be assigned to an educational setting.  The employee will be expected to work closely with other county offices, district personnel, students, families, outside agencies and private partners.  Assigned school site settings where multiple students and school staff are present.  Employees may be required to walk, stand or conduct work in outdoor educational environments, where there may be loud students or staff, varied temperatures, public interaction and/or upset staff or students.

Physical Demands

Consideration will be given to reasonable accommodation for the following physical requirements:

  • Employee is regularly required to sit, stand, walk, speak and hear;
  • The employee will need to frequently perform repetitive hand/finger movements for activities such as, but not limited to, using a keyboard’
  • The employee is occasionally required to climb stairs, bend, reach with hands/arms, lift, stoop, kneel and crouch;
  • The employee will regularly be required to drive long distances to remote areas of the county and may be required to lift and move equipment up to 25 lbs;
  • Sufficient vision to read printed materials;
  • Sufficient hearing to conduct in-person and telephone conversations;
  • Sufficient mobility to move about the county office and other sites as may be required;
  • Ability to speak in an understandable voice with sufficient volume to be heard at normal conversational distance, on the telephone, and to address groups of varying sizes;
  • Physical and emotional stamina to cope with sometimes stressful situations and conditions.

Other Requirements

  • Must be fingerprinted and a satisfactory Department of Justice records check must be received by HCOE prior to employment.
  • TB testing and/or risk assessment will be required upon employment.
  • Must pass a pre-employment physical (if applicable).
  • May be required to obtain first aid and CPR certificates within the first 6 to 12 months of employment.
  • May be required to drive with or without students; requires a California driver’s license, proof of insurance and possible participation in the DMV PUll Notice Program once employed.

Cert Mgmt Mental Health – Class 1

Administration Office

Natalie Carrigan
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent

Press Inquiries

Natalie Carrigan
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent