Behavioral Health Specialist, Prevention

Job Type

Full Time




New York
New York
United States


The Behavioral Health Specialist (LMSW/MHC) will be responsible for engaging HIV-positive individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders with the necessary biopsychosocial services to assure optimal health outcomes. The Behavioral Health Specialist will provide field and office based psychosocial assessments, mental health counseling, diagnosis, and assessment-based treatment plans, using the modalities of individual, conjoint (couples), and family therapy with mentally ill individuals, couples, and families managing substance use/dependence. The Behavioral Health Specialist is responsible for providing mental health counseling to clients on an individual and family basis. S/he will offer Overdose Prevention training to all family members accessing Family Counseling. The BHS will also offer Group Counseling Group services. The BHS will offer services both at mobile sites and in the office. As the mobile sites are co-located with the Harlem United mobile medical unit, which has a Buprenorphine provider, the BHS will work closely with the provider to connect eligible and ready clients to Buprenorphine treatment. Candidate must be willing to work up to 75% FTE in the field. Valid Driver’s License required.


Essential Job Functions

The following duties are mandatory requirements of the job:

·        Work with the Integrated Harm Reduction team on connection to care activities for syringe exchange clients. Conduct preliminary interviews/screening for program to assess client’s immediate needs, including medical, medication assisted treatment, housing, insurance, mental health, linguistic, transportation and other supportive services.

·        Conduct initial psychosocial assessments, mental health counseling/psychotherapy, assessment-based treatment planning, diagnosis, crisis intervention, linkage to Buprenorphine treatment and psychiatric services; clinical management and care coordination to support mental health and medical treatment retention

·        Provide brief interventions and short-term psychotherapy services. Engage with participants by providing office and field based mental health support and a range of clinical services as required including (but not limited to):

o   home and hospital mental health treatment;

o   crisis intervention;

o   interdisciplinary collaboration;

o   integrated coordination of providers and services;

o   advocacy for adequate social, economic, and environmental supports and services

·        As part of an interdisciplinary team, refer and connect client to appropriate services/service providers; schedule intake/initial appointments at indicated facilities

·        Refer and connect client to appropriate services/service providers; schedule intake/initial appointments at indicated facilities

·        Conduct case conferencing and care coordination with service providers to ensure optimal service delivery to clients. Establish a clear bi-directional process with medical care providers for the receipt and provision of relevant information on the medical and psychosocial status of enrolled clients.

·        Identify resources and promote program; serve as liaison to community by conducting presentations on all program activities. Participate in community walkabouts, health fairs, tabling events, and Harlem United events.

·        Conduct outreach to engage injection drug users in program services; Identify and locate clients who are out of care or need support to remain in care.

·        Provide case management services including intake, needs assessment, service planning, service plan implementation, service coordination, timely monitoring and follow up, reassessment, crisis intervention, and case closure.

·        Accompany clients to medical appointments. Make home and field visits to contact agencies, do outreach, case finding, and locating clients to ensure program participation and accessing of services.

·        Act as liaison between the client and internal/external service providers to ensure client engagement and trust.

·        Meet projected service targets, including numbers of clients to be served and expected amount of service encounters.

·        Track and record in internal care coordination database and funder databases all client encounters, referrals and the outcomes of those referrals. Ensure the maintenance of appropriate, accurate, and clear documentation of all outreach, education, case management and group activities. Conduct chart reviews.

Other Responsibilities

The following duties are to be performed as assigned by the supervisor:

·        Support all activities of the Integrated Harm Reduction Program, including syringe exchange and street outreach.

·        Conduct administrative work. Monitor completion of forms, records, and documentation.

·        Actively participate in confidentiality trainings, on-going skills enhancement trainings, and network meetings. Attend all required trainings per funder and agency.

·        Assist in preparation for programmatic audits and site visits to ensure proper and consistent charting of all client activity.

·        Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor, including additional support to other Prevention programs as needed.

Education and Certification

·        Required: Master’s degree in clinical social work or mental health counseling. Three years experience in direct clinical practice with marginalized populations.

·        Desired: Undergraduate degree, Psychology, Mental Health, Social Work, or related field.

Special Skills and Knowledge

In addition to the above-listed job responsibilities and educational requirements, the ideal candidate for this position possesses most or all of the following:

·        Knowledge and demonstrated application of harm reduction, motivational interviewing and stages of change.

·        Previous experience in HIV/AIDS services including counseling and testing, case management, entitlements and benefits.

·        Candidate must be knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS and prevention issues among the various target populations, including injection drug users. 

·        Bilingual Spanish-speaking preferred.

·        Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential; candidate must have strong organizational and time management skills, and ability to pay attention to details and follow through on complex projects.

·        Knowledge of community networks and resources in the Greater New York area, particularly in Upper Manhattan, and the South Bronx.

·        Candidate must have a strong sense of commitment to Harlem United’s mission.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply