County of Los Angeles Los Angeles County
Chief Executive Office

Class Specification: MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE

ITEM NUMBER: 8111

APPROVAL DATE: 07/20/2011

REVIEW DATE: May 22, 2012

DEFINITION:
Provides a variety of peer support, advocacy, and other recovery services to clients transitioning to community living.

CLASSIFICATION STANDARDS:
Positions allocable to this class work under close technical and administrative supervision of professional staff, and are typically assigned to mental health clinics, urgent care and wellness centers, Inter-Agency Screening Committees, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) multi-disciplinary teams, the Patients' Rights Bureau, Full Service Partnerships, System Navigation and Outreach Units, and the Consumer Empowerment and Advocacy Program.   Positions perform a variety of direct supportive services for clients in connection with mental health or social services matters, such as answering questions and providing information regarding available mental health/social services and potential financial resources; coordinating group facilitations; and providing other support and assistance as appropriate.  Incumbents must demonstrate knowledge of the application and provision of community and support resources; and the ability to make referrals to appropriate agencies. Mental Health Advocate is distinguished from Community Worker by the latter's allocation to positions that require a broader scope of responsibility and greater latitude of independent action.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:
Within the context of the program population served, communicates, represents, and promotes the mental health services consumer's perspective within the continuum of care.

Orients consumers' family members, significant others, and caregivers of mental health consumers to the mental health system in order to assist these parties to navigate the system and receive necessary services.

Facilitates consumer, family member, and caregiver access to departmental and community resources and services provided by other community and public agencies by assisting with scheduling appointments and transportation; or by accompanying the consumer to meetings that affect their receipt of services in order to provide advocacy and support in meeting consumers' needs.

Assists clients in developing independent living skills in activities such as housekeeping, cooking, shopping, budgeting, using public transportation, and attending to personal grooming and hygiene, etc. through demonstration and coaching.

Assists clients with housing needs by facilitating access to residential care or permanent housing.

Facilitates clients' participation with multi-disciplinary teams by assisting in formulating service goals and plans for achieving such goals.

Conveys community and client cultural patterns and attitudes to mental health professional staff.

Assists clients with obtaining and completing appropriate application forms for various benefits and services.

Leads recovery dialogues and discusses common transitional experiences.

Acts as interpreter for client population.

Recruits and trains volunteer mentors for clients transitioning into community living settings.

Participates in conferences/meetings within the Department of Mental Health.

May accompany clients to appointments and self-help activities.

Attends seminars and in-service trainings in connection with related duties as assigned. 


MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:

TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE:
Six months of full-time paid or volunteer experience in mental health advocacy, performing duties such as interacting with clients or patients concerning mental health or social service matters, answering questions and providing information about mental health/social services and disability benefits, and coordinating group facilitations -OR- Completion of a recognized peer, parent, or family advocate training program.

Work performed part-time will be prorated on a month-for-month basis.

LICENSE:
A 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.

PHYSICAL CLASS:
2 - Light.

COMMENTS:

Title change effective May 22, 2012 FROM: Mental Health Peer Advocate TO: Mental Health Advocate.