Mental Health Technician, Occupational Certificate

Program Information

Are you a caring person, a good listener, and compassionate to others’ needs? Psychiatric aides and technicians observe and record patient behavior and present their findings to counselors, nurses, and other professional staff. They intervene in crisis situations, actively moderate client behavior, and assist with feeding, moving, dressing patients, personal hygiene, and activities of daily living. If this sounds like you, San Jacinto College’s Mental Health Counseling career path is for you.

The San Jacinto College Mental Health Services program:

  • Is specifically designed to train mental health technicians, both psychiatric aides and technicians;
  • Prepares students to care for mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed individuals following physician instructions and hospital procedures;
  • Provides psychiatric aides and technicians with the skills to observe and record patient behavior and present their findings to counselors, nurses, and other professional staff; and
  • Offers training to intervene in crisis situations, actively moderate client behavior, and assist with feeding, moving, dressing patients, personal hygiene, and activities of daily living.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of our program will be able to work in substance abuse and mental health facilities in both private and nonprofit organizations and find opportunities in:

  • Hospitals,
  • In-patient psychiatric hospitals,
  • Out-patient hospitals,
  • Veteran affairs clinics,
  • Nursing homes,
  • Research facilities,
  • Pain management clinics,
  • Drug rehabilitation centers, and
  • Counseling centers.

Earning Potential

Psychiatric Technician: $35,1491 per year

For more information, students may contact 281-998-6150, x7146 or mentalhealthservices@sjcd.edu

Campus

North Campus

Information

The Mental Health Services program is designed to train mental health technicians and prevention specialists in preparation to meet the requirements for testing as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). Each program offers a practicum class that allows students to apply classroom skills in a treatment setting.

Prevention Specialist

We are now offering a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Occupational Certificate. This 20-hour certificate prepares students to apply to be a Texas Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS). The curriculum is approved by the Texas Department of Health Services.

The coursework, combined with the capstone experience at a prevention approved training center enables students to work in the area of drug prevention in a variety of settings that include:

  • K-12 schools,
  • Juvenile justice settings (alternative schools or youth offender programs),
  • Local community coalitions, and
  • At-risk programs.

Once coursework is completed, students will need 2,000 hours (1 year) of prevention work experience and pass a state exam to obtain their license as a Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS).

Mental Health Technician 

The Mental Health Technician (Psychiatric Aide/Technician) Occupational Certificate prepares students to work with individuals with psychiatric or substance use disorders following physician instructions and hospital procedures. Psychiatric aides and technicians observe and record patient behavior and present findings to counselors, nurses, and other professional staff. They intervene in crisis situations, actively moderate client behavior, and assist with feeding, moving, and dressing patients as well as personal hygiene and activities of daily living.

Potential work opportunities include:

  • Aides within inpatient/outpatient psychiatric facilities,
  • Day treatment centers,
  • Counseling centers, and
  • Rehabilitation facilities.

Substance Abuse Counseling 

The Substance Abuse Counseling Occupational Certificate and Certificate of Technology prepare individuals to enter the field of human services and provide specialized services to individuals and their families experiencing the effects of substance abuse. Graduates will be able to identify appropriate assessments, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals who are, or have been, engaged in substance abuse. The program, plus 4,000 hours of paid work experience, provides individuals with the necessary educational and employment requirements to become eligible for testing as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC).

Potential Work opportunities include:

  • Hospitals,
  • Rehabilitation centers,
  • Outpatient clinics,
  • Veteran’s affairs clinics,
  • Alternative schools,
  • Research facilities, and
  • Pain management clinics and counseling centers.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

The combination of the certificates and general education courses leads to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Mental Health Clinical and Counseling Psychology. Students who do not have an associate degree (or higher) in a behaviorally related field will not be eligible for full licensure in the state of Texas. A student can complete the Certificate of Technology course work, enter the workforce as a counseling intern, and continue course work towards an AAS before receiving his or her LCDC.

Students may view application and information packet on the Mental Health Services webpage.

Plan of Study

North Campus
6MH-TECH

Plan of Study Grid
First TermCredits
SCWK 1313 Introduction to Social Work 3
CMSW 1341 Behavior Modification with Cognitive Disorder 3
SCWK 1303 Ethics for Social Service Professionals 3
 Credits9
Second Term
PSYT 2331 Abnormal Psychology 3
PSYT 1372 Basic Nursing Skills for Psychiatric Technicians 3
PSYT 2301 Psychology of Group Dynamics 3
 Credits9
Third Term
PMHS 2366 Practicum-Mental Health Services Technician 3
 Credits3
 Total Credits21

Capstone Experience: PMHS 2366 Practicum-Mental Health Services Technician

Note: Students must pass each course listed in the degree or certificate for Mental Health Services with a grade of C or higher to be eligible to receive a degree or certificate.