The Mental Health Aide assists the professional staff in providing services to adults who have serious mental illness. Responsibilities include evaluating a patient’s living situation, arranging transportation for medical appointments, teaching basic living skills, and obtaining crisis intervention services. By exhibiting empathy and tact in working with adults with serious mental illness and their families from a variety of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, the Mental Health Aide makes extraordinary differences in patients’ lives everyday.
High school graduation (or GED) is recommended. Aides are often trained on the job; training takes six to eight weeks to complete. For those who wish to become supervisors, an Associate of Science degree in Mental Health/Mental Retardation or Drug and Substance Abuse Counseling is recommended. In addition, formal nursing assistant programs can help prepare a person for a position as a mental health aide.