Mental Health Specialist - Lead

  • 1450 20th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description


Since 1976, St. Joseph Center has been meeting the needs of low-income and homeless individuals and families in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, and surrounding communities.  The Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization that assists people without regard for religious affiliation or lack thereof through comprehensive case management and integrated social service programs.  The Center enjoys broad-based community support as well as a sponsored relationship with its founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.  St. Joseph Center serves approximately 6,000 individuals annually.

Brief Description of Principal Activities

Multifaceted intervention, prevention, and education services are carried out at four sites on the Westside of Los Angeles.  St. Joseph Center’s integrated programs provide clients with concentrated and coordinated access to services according to the nature of their needs.

Job Description

Job Summary

The Mental Health Specialist - Lead works as a team member with several social service professional and paraprofessional staff ensuring the delivery of quality care in accordance to the rules and regulations established as well as adhering to the mission of St. Joseph Center. 


The Lead Mental Health Specialist’s key areas of responsibility include: 

Key Areas of Responsibility:

  • Utilize a harm reduction and housing first model when working with clients to have a “No wrong door” approach to services
  • Provide mental health support to individuals
  • Provide mental health assessment and interventions to the severe and persistently mentally ill
  • Develop and maintain strong ties to the community, law enforcement, and other service providers
  • Provide weekly supervision to Case Managers
  • Oversee the timely submission of required documentation and outcomes for supervisees
  • Assist with maintaining all program and documentation requirements per funder, agency, and program, as needed
  • In the absence of the Program Manager, oversee essential daily duties (ie: lead team meetings, provide consultation as needed, etc.)

Essential Duties:

  • Build trust and rapport with individuals
  • Perform outreach and respond to referrals to assess client eligibility for program
  • Assist MHS I in conducting initial intake interviews; collect and complete all required agency and funder documents
  • Identify the potential needs for clients, including linkage to substance abuse treatment, medication, medical treatment, legal counseling, housing, public/private conservatorship, vocational assessment and training and/or any other needs
  • Assist with coordinating services with multidisciplinary team (mental health specialists, case managers, peer advocate, medical team, psychiatrists)
  • Provide bus tokens, bus passes, taxi vouchers, and/or direct transportation as needed
  • Assists with various clients as necessary
  • Participate in case conferencing meetings and other community meetings
  • Coordinate and collaborate with other service providers or programs
  • Utilize a harm reduction model when working with clients with chemical dependency or abuse issues
  • Participate in one-on-one supervision

Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned. The duties and responsibilities listed are designed to provide typical examples of the work performed; not all duties and responsibilities assigned are included here, nor is it expected that all similar positions will be assigned every duty and responsibility.



Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Must be highly motivated and a self-starter.  The ability to communicate with and relate to a diverse group of people including clients, community, and other staff.  Must have excellent organizational skills and the capability to work in a fast paced environment.  
  • Strong knowledge of homeless services and resources.  Demonstrated knowledge and experience with Harm Reduction, Motivational Interviewing, Critical Time Intervention, and Housing First.
  • Strong knowledge of case management principles and intervention techniques specific to hard-to-reach, difficult to serve populations.
  • The ability to conduct home and field visits.
  • A bilingual background is a plus.


  • Two years of experience post graduate school providing services to highly vulnerable populations.
  • Demonstrate experience with providing mental health assessments using diagnostic criteria from the DSM-IV
  • Supervisory experience preferred.


  • Master’s Degree from an accredited college or university in social work, human services or a related field.

Direct Reports:

  • Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include assisting program manager with interviewing and training employees; planning, assigning and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

Computer Skills:

  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Ability to use widely supported internet browsers.

Certificates, Licenses and Registrations:

  • BBS licensure or current registration may be required.
  • Valid California Class C Driver License or the ability to utilize an alternative method of transportation when needed to carry out job-related essential functions.
  • Valid automobile liability insurance.

Travel Requirements:

  • Travel to clients and transport clients as needed.
  • Travel to meetings at multiple St. Joseph Center sites and at community partner locations as needed.

Additional Information

Status: Full-Time/Exempt

Salary: DOE

Employment with St. Joseph Center is contingent on completion of satisfactory background check.

St. Joseph Center endorses and supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants or employees who need accommodations. If you require an accommodation due to a disability to complete this application OR you are experiencing issues submitting your application and accompanying materials please contact Human Resources at 310-396-6468.

For consideration, please submit cover letter and resume. St. Joseph Center is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. All applicants for employment are invited to voluntarily self-identify their gender, race, ethnicity, and veteran status, by completing the EEO Information. Providing your EEO Information is voluntary and refusal to self-identify will not subject applicants to any adverse treatment. Similarly, applicants who do self-identify will not be subject to any adverse treatment based on the information they provide.

St. Joseph center invites you to review the current "EEO is The Law" poster as part of the application process. A link to the current poster is located here.