Mental Health Counselor - Baystate Health

Req#: R27559
Category(s): Behavioral Health, Mental Health Counselor
Full Time / Part Time: Full-Time
Shift: First

Acute Psychiatric Therapy Unit (APTU) at Baystate Medical Center is seeking a full-time Counselor.


Under the direction of the Registered Nurse, performs a wide variety of duties involving patient management, therapeutic interaction, and physical care of patients admitted to the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit. The incumbent is expected to adhere to System and department compliance policies, and any and all applicable laws and regulations. This description covers the essential functions of the position. The incumbent is expected to perform other similar and related duties as assigned.

Job Responsibilities: 

1) Participates in a Multidisciplinary Team approach to patient care.

Is familiar with admission and progress notes of team members to develop a better understanding of patients. Collaborates with the team in evaluating patients, planning therapy, and developing treatment goals. Reports observations of patient status to the team and provides input in the preparation and updating of the treatment plans. Assists team members in providing care to patients and follows through on team decisions. Assists in orienting new counselors and welcomes and orients all new staff to the milieu.

2) Provides a safe environment.

Maintains current certification in Non-violent Crisis Intervention (NCI). Intervenes appropriately during crisis situations by providing direct and indirect support to patients needing restraint and/or seclusion. Maintains safety by monitoring and properly documenting restrictions and restraints & seclusions. Maintains safety by adhering to behavior management principles and techniques.  Conducts daily sharps checks on patients upon arrival to the program and when indicated by the team. Observe potential safety hazards on the unit and report hazards immediately to supervisors.   Maintains safety by adhering to behavior management principles and techniques.

3) Documentation

Documents patient mental status, social behavior, and progress towards identifying goals daily.  Documents the ongoing assessments of the patient by completing (Rounds) Safety Check sheets.  Documents restraints and seclusions in accordance with policies.

4) Provides a therapeutic milieu

Assesses patient mental status social and symptomatic behavior throughout the course of treatment.  Counsels patients with empathy and respect to assist them in formulating treatment goals and dealing with problems as indicated by reports from patients, patient family, and team members.  Refers patients’ physical problems to RN for assessment and intervention.  Collaborates with the Team to initiate and implement a plan of care to meet the ADL needs of patients who are unable to perform these tasks themselves.  Identifies patient knowledge deficits and implements appropriate teaching in collaboration with the team.  Assists in the development and implementation of special approaches and provide 1:1 intervention when indicated.  Adheres to defined boundaries and guidelines regarding self-disclosure with patients.  Facilitates patient groups and demonstrates a willingness to fill in as needed.  Demonstrates adequate understanding and use of Trauma Informed Care principles.

5) Demonstrates accountability for personal and professional growth.

Demonstrates support for the philosophy of the program and adhering to policies, procedures, and standards.  Attends all mandatory in-services on an annual basis.  Collaborates with supervisors to identify their own professional goals and seeks experience to accomplish these goals.  Assists with the identification of program in-service needs.

6)  Demonstrates competency for one-to-one observation of patients based on department and unit-specific needs.

7) (Experience) Counselor II will excel in onboarding and training new staff. Through direct on-the-job experience, he/she will provide an exceptional, high-quality orientation for new staff.

8) (Culture) Counselor II will provide new ideas for groups and unit activities with collaboration from the Social Work and Occupational therapy disciplines.

9) (Quality) Counselor II will participate in at least two of the following. A hospital-driven committee. A champion-based initiative. Instructor/super user for a project within Baystate (for example Hand-Hygiene champion, Fall Committee member, or CPI instructor)

10) (Safety) Counselor II will often be a leader when the de-escalation of patients within the Milieu is required. The level III Counselor will actively work to reduce restraints of all types within the unit

11) May be required to onboard and precept new staff

12) Must complete department-specified de-escalation training within 30 days of hire.

Required Work Experience: 

2 years of healthcare experience


High School Diploma

Bachelor's Degree in Psychology OR 4 years of related psychology experience (preferred)



1st shift 7:00a-3:30p

Every other weekend and holiday rotation

Skills and Competencies: 

Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Excellent computer skills.

Excellent interpersonal skills. Ability to train onboarding staff providing a strong foundation of Behavioral health knowledge.

Age Specific Competencies in- service or equivalent training.

Behavior Management Training/Collaborative Problem Solving.

Restraint and Seclusion in service or equivalent training

You Belong At Baystate

At Baystate Health we know that treating one another with dignity and equity is what elevates respect for our patients and staff. It makes us not just an organization, but also a community where you belong. It is how we advance the care and enhance the lives of all people.



Bachelor of Science: Psychology


Basic Life Support – American Heart Association, Certified Crisis Prevention – Crisis Prevention Institute

Equal Employment Opportunity Employer

Baystate Health is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, ancestry, age, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

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