Mental Health Technicians are in the forefront of care and treatment of patients with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities. These specialized mental health professionals are active members of interdisciplinary teams and an integral part of the quality assurance process. The Mental Health Technician has a broad range of skills and expertise and is a key player in the many aspects of treating those with mental illness or developmental disabilities. Mental Health Technicians may work in hospitals or assisted living facilities and nursing homes. It is a profession that attracts those who truly want to help improve the quality of life for some of the most needy individuals in today’s society.
High school graduation (or GED) is recommended. Aides are often trained on the job or receive certificates through technical schools; 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 Technician.