San Diego, CA Next Steps
Job Type

Position:             Supervisor/ Behavioral Health Counselor

Program:             UPAC-Next Steps Program

Classification:    Full Time (40 hours per week), Non-Exempt

Salary:                  $32.00 - $34.00 per hour; Commensurate with Experience

Reports to:          UPAC Agency Lead

Start Date:   As soon as the County Sheriff Background Check is Cleared.  This process may take between 8 - 12 weeks

Summary and Range of Authority:

UPAC subcontracts with NAMI San Diego for the Next Steps Program, which is funded by the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services.  Next Steps provides support to adults who present at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital and other participating sites with serious mental illness, co-occurring substance use disorders or a primary substance used disorder, and their family members. Next Steps assists clients and their family members navigate the complex and overwhelming system of healthcare and social services while providing support and education to family members. This position for Behavioral Health Counselor interacts with participants providing screenings, crisis intervention, brief individual counseling and linkage to community services. The Behavioral Health Counselor provides support to clients for up to three months following discharge from the hospital in order to connect them with resources needed to provide and maintain stabilization. This position will be for a 5-day schedule, but will require some weekends and/or evenings, including work on some major holidays.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Works directly with the participant to:

Provide behavioral health services at multiple community sites throughout San Diego County including mental health clinics, alcohol and drug treatment programs, and primary care clinics

  • Offer mental health consultation, assessment and brief counseling services at the County DUI programs
  • Establish trusting relationships with and collaborate with participants, family members and/or significant others, and staff of partner agencies
  • Provide psychoeducation to participants, family members and significant others
  • Offer clinical oversight for program participants in the community
  • Assist in training community-based team members
  • Provide clinical consultation and guidance to team members
  • Deliver short term support, crisis assessment and crisis intervention services as needed
  • Provided messages of hope and recovery to participants, family members and significant others
  • Assist team members in the provision of support, information and access to needed resources and appropriate services to participants
  • Provide on call support and consultation to team members and to partner agency staff
  • Conduct assessment of high risk participants as needed
  • Review participant files and monitor participant progress in achieving their self-identified goals
  • Document all client interactions correctly on forms and/or into computerized record system in a timely manner.

Required Education, Certifications/Licenses and Language/Cultural Skills:

  • Master’s degree or higher in a mental health discipline
  • Valid California license as an LMFT, LCSW, LPPC, or Psychologist

 Minimum Experience and Qualifications Required:

  • Knowledge of San Diego County’s behavioral health and social services
  • Experience in working and supervising Peer Specialists
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
  • Experience in community mental health with underserved populations
  • Experience with persons experiencing serious mental illness, substance use and co-occurring disorders
  • Familiarity with the peer recovery model preferred
  • Ability to keep strong professional boundaries
  • Supervisory experience including conflict resolution strongly preferred
  • Ability to work with minimal direction and supervision
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment with many interruptions
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Must demonstrate intermediate level of computer literacy and experience using office productivity software i.e. Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Internet browsers, and Outlook.
  • Must pass background check (Live Scan Fingerprint).
  • COVID-19 Vaccination required, unless exempted as a reasonable accommodation as allowed by the law.
  • Must have TB clearance.
  • Must be able to drive for business purposes to other program locations in San Diego County.
  • Must have a valid California driver’s license and comprehensive automobile insurance coverage, as required by law.
  • Will not be debarred or excluded from participation in Federal programs by the General Services Administration and/or the Department of Health and Human Services of the Inspector General.


Additional preferred qualifications which are a plus:

  • Previous experience working in an inpatient psychiatric facility
  • Lived experience as an individual in recovery.  Self-identified as a peer or family member of a peer
  • Bilingual/Bicultural in Asian language or Spanish


Physical Demands and Work Environment:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Spends approximately 70% of work time sitting and meeting with others or working at a desk and/or computer.  Spends approximately 30% of work time standing or walking within the work area or outside the office at meetings and events, also bends, twists, stoops and reaches.  Ability to communicate in writing and verbally. Regularly required to sit and talk or hear. Frequently is required to use hands to touch, handle or feel and reach with hands and arms. Occasionally lifts and/or moves up to 25 pounds. Working conditions are normal for an office environment and event venues.  The noise level is usually moderate.