Mental Health Consultation

What are the Qualifications and Desired Experience for a Mental Health Consultant?

  • Licensed Clinicians (LMFTs, LCSW, LPC, PsyD, PhD) with practical experience providing direct service interventions in home visiting and community based settings.
  • Early Childhood Mental Health Training and Understanding of Infant Mental Health practices.
  • One on one case consultation experience, Group consultation, and Case review facilitation skills.
  • Mental Health Consultant has the ability to listen, join with teams/program.
  • An understanding of the Consultative Stance
  • Experience supporting home visitors and teams with complex mental health needs, clients, and staff.
  • Ability to support and implement screening tools (based on program needs.)
  • Experience providing referrals and linkages.
  • Organized, Team players, Creative joiners with strong tolerance for adjustment to change.


Where is the Mental Health Consultant “housed?” Should it be in Public Health, Behavioral Health Care Services or a Community-based Organization?

The most effective approach is to have the Mental Health Consultant co-located within the Public Health/Home Visiting program or in the agency that implements the home visiting program. It supports the establishment of a trusting relationship between the home visitors and mental health consultants. The home visitors and mental health consultant get to know each other and learn how to problem solve together. However, each county is different and the relationship between the social safety net entities (Social Service Agency, Health Care Services, Public Health, Behavioral Health) impacts how the services are implemented. An example follows:

  1. The Mental Health Consultant was funded through the local First 5 program.
  2. The MHC was placed in the Public Health Department and was able to form a working relationship with the home visitors in several home-based programs. The Public Health Department worked with Human Resources to develop appropriate job descriptions and after three years the position was established within the Public Health Department.


How do you establish Mental Health Consultation to serve all Home Visiting programs?

It requires a team of Mental Health Consultants assigned to multiple programs. Initially, programs start with 1 person that works with a couple of programs. If the MHC supports are to be provided to all home visiting programs a team of mental health consultants will need to be hired and a Mental Health Supervisor will need to “hold” the team as it interfaces with home visiting programs.


Can you have a Mental Health Consultant supervise other programs?

A Mental Health Consultant does not supervise Public Health Programs. The MHC works with the program manager/supervisor and program staff to provide mental health consultation based on staff observations and concerns of parental functioning.