Employment Information

Prospective Employee Frequently Asked Questions and Helpful Information:

Aiken Barnwell Mental Health Center (ABMHC) is always on the lookout for great employees. Here is some information that you may find helpful as you consider employment at ABMHC.

1) Where can I find information on job opportunities at ABMHC?
Aiken Barnwell Mental Health Center lists its job opportunities at careers.sc.gov.

2) Can I email or fax my resume to ABMHC?
Please apply online at careers.sc.gov.
For more information contact Human Resources at 1-803-641-7700 x 602 (Lisa Davis) and x 604 (Vickie Key).

3) What benefits does South Carolina offer employees?
For details about benefits, visit the following web sites:

4) What evidenced- based practices does ABMHC utilize?

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adults and Children
  • Multi-Systemic Therapy
  • Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP)
  • Illness Management & Recovery
  • 2 A’s and 1 R Tobacco Quit Referral Program
  • Food Education for People with Serious Mental Illness
  • Double Trouble Recovery and Shared Decision Making

Other specialized services include:

  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation Therapy
  • School-based,
  • Co-Occurring (Mental Health/Substance Abuse
  • Peer Support
  • Integrated Care with Primary Care
  • Homeshare
  • Care-Coordination

5) What is the typical day like for a clinician at ABMHC?

Clinicians conduct clinical assessments to identify and clarify treatment needs of clients served and provide individual, group and family therapy to specified population utilizing various treatment modalities. Clinicians develop and implement treatment plans with clients and serve on the Interdisciplinary Team, collaborating with other members of treatment team. Each clinician has a required direct service goal (time spent providing billable services to clients) and is responsible for documentation of services. Daily (8:30-9am), clinicians have the opportunity to participate in a multi-disciplinary clinical staff meeting to discuss new intakes and urgent and emergent issues. Clinicians book appointments (30 min. to 1 hr.), seeing an average of 7 clients per day (varies depending on need).

6) What is the work environment like?

  • Flexible
  • Team oriented
  • Fast-paced
  • Client oriented
  • Recovery oriented
  • Community oriented

7) What opportunities would I have for training?

Since ABMHC is a Community Mental Health Center of the South Carolina Dept. of Mental Health, employees have the opportunity to work with diverse populations diagnosed with various mental health issues requiring brief to long-term treatment. ABMHC may provide on-line training as well as regional or on-site opportunities to enhance clinical practice.  SCDMH also has a training division. This organizational component provides agency wide training in a variety of ways to include on-line learning, live classes in a traditional classroom setting and video conferencing. This division also provides training programs that focus on professional and career development. These programs include Leadership Development, Mentoring/Succession and the Supervisory Mini-series for new supervisors. In addition, there are numerous Continuing Education Offerings that provide continuing education credit licensed staff can use toward re-licensure.

8) What opportunities would I have for professional growth?

ABMHC encourages employees to develop in ways that support the mission and goals of the Center and the Agency (SCDMH). Career management is a partnership, involving the employee, the supervisor and the Agency:

  • Employees are responsible for career management, including increasing their skills and experience, and maintaining a high level of performance.
  • Supervisors are responsible for actively recruiting talented and qualified job candidates, utilizing effective on-boarding techniques with new hires, utilizing the performance management system to inspire excellence, and encouraging and supporting staff in career development.
  • The Agency is responsible for creating and providing opportunities for growth based on performance excellence, talent and potential.

Each employee has the opportunity to complete a self-assessment and career plan in conjunction with his or her supervisor to identify developmental opportunities to enhance skill sets and competencies needed for professional growth.

Methods of Career Development & Training

1. On the Job Experience

Committees- Committees are part of everyday activity in this organization. They can also be effective learning tools, with the right focus. Committees made up of staff from different areas of the agency/organization will enhance learning by allowing members to see issues from different perspectives as well as have the opportunity to discuss issues or trends that may have impact on the agency/organization in the future.

Conferences/Forums-Employees will have the opportunity to attend conferences that focus on topics of relevance to their position and the agency/organization. Upon their return, the employee may be asked to make a presentation to other staff as a way of enhancing the individual's learning experience and a way of enhancing the agency/organization.

Adverse Incident Forms-Day to Day activities are always a source of learning opportunities. Examples of critical incident forms may be shared and discussed with employees.

Field Trips- Employees may have the opportunity to visit other sites operated by agency/organization. It helps the employee gain a better understanding of the full range of programs and clients that the agency/organization serves.

Job Aids- Tools such as manual, checklists, phone lists, procedural guidelines, decision guidelines, etal may be provided to employees.

Job Expanding-Assignment of new additional job duties may be given to an employee once he/she has mastered current job duties satisfactorily.

Job Rotation- employees may be given the opportunity to work in a different area of the organization. The employee keeps his or her existing job but fills in for or exchanges responsibilities with another employee.

Job Shadowing-employees may have the opportunity to follow another employee and observe him or her at work.

Learning Alerts- Newspaper articles, government announcements, and reports may be used as learning alerts and discussed at staff meetings.

"Stretch" Assignments- A stretch assignment may require an employee stretch himself or herself past his or her current abilities.

Special Projects-Employees may be given an opportunity to work on a project that is normally outside his or her job duties.

2. Relationships and Feedback

Coaching - coaching refers to a pre-arranged agreement between an experienced manager and his or her employee. The role of the coach is to demonstrate skills and to give the employee guidance, feedback, and reassurance while he or she practices the new skill.

Mentoring - mentoring is similar to coaching. Mentoring occurs when a senior, experienced manager provides guidance and advice to a junior employee, the protégé. The two people involved here have usually developed a working relationship based on shared interest and values.

Networking-Some professional specialties have informal networks designed to meet the professional development need of the members. Members meet to discuss current issues and share information and resources.

3. Training

It is the policy of Aiken Barnwell MHC & SCDMH to offer diverse courses in a variety of media menus that will enhance the professional, technical and developmental skills of the agency's workforce. Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Continuing Medical Education Units (CMEs), Nursing Continuing Education Units (NCEUs) or training hours are awarded when appropriate, for successful completion of the offering.

Annual ABMHC Training Calendar

An Annual Training Calendar is developed by the Performance Management Team based on:

A. Competencies as defined by SCDMH in Directive 855-06 Employee Management Performance System Appendix A and Competencies as defined by ABMHC Employee Development Toolkit Appendix D.

B. Findings from the annual training needs assessment conducted at the beginning of each calendar year to determine specific knowledge and skills required by employees.

C. Agency's goals as defined by SCDMH's & ABMHC's strategic plan to include providing opportunities for training on topics of state-wide impact and evidenced based practices

D. Request (s) from staff supervisor, Future is Now Committee (FIN) & agency's leadership Courses, Seminars, Workshops- formal training opportunities may be offered either internally or externally. A trainer, facilitator, and/or subject matter expert may be brought into the organization to provide the training session or an employee may be sent to one of these learning opportunities during work time.

4. Off the Job Learning

Courses offered by Colleges/Universities- an employee may choose to take courses (at his or her expense) offered by local colleges and universities to enhance knowledge of specialty areas.

Professional Associations- professional associations like networks may provide employees an opportunity to stay current in their chosen field.

Reading Groups-A group of staff may meet to discuss books or articles relevant to the workplace/organization. Meetings usually take place outside normal working hours, such as lunch time or right after work.

Self-Study-self-paced independent reading, e-learning courses, and volunteer work all provide learning opportunities. The employee engages in the learning activity by choice and at his or her desired pace of learning.

Distance Learning Opportunities -A monthly listing of on-line Distance Learning opportunities will be furnished to all employees via SCDMH's Department of Education, Research and Training. Listing will include opportunities that furnish CEUs, CME's, NCEUs and training hours.

5. Other

e-Learning a variety of learning opportunities can be accessed this way. The choices range from formal training offered by college and universities, to an informal walk-through of a given subject, to reading reports on a topic. e-learning can take place on or off the job. On-Line learning experiences via Pathlore Learning System will be offered to make training more accessible as well as to reduce the travel costs for the agency and organization statewide.

9) How do employees communicate with one another to carry out their work? Employees communicate in a variety of ways: Multi-disciplinary clinical staffings, e-mail, telephone, administrative meetings and Microsoft Lync.

10) In addition to assigned job duties, what additional opportunities exist in the organization for employee participation? Ongoing committees include:

  • Public Relations and Community Events
  • Grants
  • Rewards and Recognition
  • Customer Service
  • Employee Wellness

In addition to these ongoing committees, there are time-limited goal-oriented committees that employees may have the opportunity to participate in. Moreover, employees may have the opportunity to participate in Community Service Network meetings and local coalition meetings, depending on job duties and needs.

Do you want to be part of an exciting team that makes a difference in the lives of others on a daily basis?

Consider joining the team at ABMHC!

ABMHC is committed to the belief that prevention works, treatment is effective and people recover.

ABMHC is accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

ABMHC is the mental health authority in Aiken and Barnwell counties.

ABMHC employs a diverse group of talented, skilled and licensed professionals.

ABMHC utilizes a holistic, person-centered and multidisciplinary approach to treatment.

ABMHC provides care-coordination to all adults, emphasizing the importance of a holistic approach to treatment.

ABMHC has strong partnerships with stakeholders (client, family, community, legislative, faith-based, healthcare and others).

ABMHC has an active Public Relations and Community Outreach program, designed to educate stakeholders and the public about prevention, treatment and recovery services.

ABMHC has partnerships with local colleges and universities to provide internships.

ABMHC provides clinical supervision for licensure upon approval from the clinical supervisor and the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

ABMHC provides evidenced-based practices (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Wellness Recovery Action Planning, Trauma-focused CBT for adults/children, Multi-systemic Therapy, Double Trouble Recovery and many more).

ABMHC is home to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health's premier Peer Support Program.

General Overview of Key Roles and Responsibilities / General Nature of Work for Master Level Clinicians

Conduct clinical assessments to identify and clarify treatment needs of clients served. Provide individual group, and family therapy utilizing various treatment modalities. Develops and implements treatment plans with clients. Serves as a member of the Interdisciplinary Team and collaborates with other members of the Treatment Team.

Essential and Core Functions:

1) Conducts required clinical assessments for assigned clients;

2) Develops and writes treatment plans based on clients’ stated strengths, abilities, needs and preferences. Ensures all necessary signatures are obtained for all required documentation;

3) Conducts and documents periodic reviews of client plans/progress with goals and objectives. Revises treatment plan based on client needs/progress. Ensures all necessary signatures are obtained for all required documentation;

4) Participates as a member of the client’s assigned Interdisciplinary Team and documents client’s individual progress accordingly. Interacts professionally with the clients, co-workers, families and/or community members;

5) Responds accordingly to cases of an emergency nature, providing necessary interventions and notifying appropriate personnel;

6) Actively participates in staff meetings and clinical supervision in accordance with Quality Assurance requirement. Discusses client’s and family’s progress towards goals contained in the treatment plan;

7) Participates in in-service training to enhance and maintain professional competence;

8) Adheres to the policies and procedures at ABMHC/SCDMH;

9) Ensures excellent customer service delivery, and

10) Maintains appropriate intervention hours via face to face contact with clients.

Pre-requisites & Qualifications for the position

1. Master’s degree from an accredited university and program in a clinical mental health discipline, such as Psychology, Counseling, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy or Rehabilitation Counseling. The Master’s degree must include clinical coursework in the foundations of behavioral health and the provision of mental health services (individual, group and family therapy, abnormal psychology, psychopathology, assessment, cognitive behavioral therapy, crisis counseling, ethics, psychodiagnostics, brief therapy or clinical practicum/internship). Other coursework may count as determined by a review of the transcript. Must be eligible for licensure with SC Labor, Licensing and Regulation Board (SCLLR).

Competencies/Skill Sets Required

Clinical core competencies are organized around seven primary domains: General Clinical Competencies, Screening/Admission to Treatment, Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis, Treatment Planning and Case-Management, Therapeutic Interventions, Legal Issues/Ethics and Standards and Research and Program Evaluation.

General Clinical Competencies

    • Understands the behavioral health care delivery system, its impact on services provided and the barriers and disparities in the system;
    • Understands the principles of human development, human sexuality, gender development, psychopathlogy, psychopharmacology, and family development and processes (family, relational and system dynamics);
    • Understands the major behavioral health disorders, including the epidemiology, etiology, phenomenology, effective treatments, course and prognosis;
    • Understands the clinical needs and implications of persons with co-morbid disorders (e.g., substance abuse and mental health, heart disease and depression);
    • Understands the effects that psychotropic and other medications have on clients

and the treatment process;

    • Understands recovery-oriented behavioral health services (e.g., self-help, peer to peer services, supported employment);
    • Works collaboratively with stakeholders, including family members, other significant persons and professionals not present;
    • Monitors personal reactions to clients and treatment processes, especially in terms of therapeutic behavior, relationship to clients, process for explaining procedures and outcomes;
    • Advocates with clients in obtaining quality care, appropriate resources and services in their communities;
    • Provides psychoeducation to families whose members have serious mental illness or other disorders;
    • Knows current and existing literature, research and evidenced-based practices relevant to clinical practice and delivery of mental health services;
    • Establishes an environment of respect and rapport;
    • Knows state and federal laws and regulations that apply to the Agency;
    • Knows professional ethics and standards of practice;
    • Knows policies and procedures that apply to the Agency;
    • Understands the process of making an ethical decision and recognizes ethical dilemmas in practice setting
    • Monitors issues related to ethics, laws, regulations and professional standards;
    • Informs clients and legal guardians of limitations to confidentiality and parameters of mandatory reporting;
    • Develops safety plans for clients who present with potential self-harm, suicide, abuse or violence;
    • Understands the legal requirements for working with vulnerable populations;
    • Takes appropriate action when ethical and legal dilemmas emerge;
    • Practices within defined scope of practice and competence
    • Monitors attitudes, personal well-being, personal issues and personal problems to ensure they do not impact delivery of clinical services adversely or create potential for misconduct;
    • Implements a personal program to maintain professional competence;
    • Pursues professional development through self-supervision, collegial consultation, professional reading and continuing educational activities;
    • Utilizes time management skills in sessions and other professional meetings;
    • Obtains consent to treatment from all responsible persons;
    • Completes case documentation in a timely manner and in accordance with relevant laws and policies;
    • Recognizes when clinical supervision or consultation is necessary, and
    • Utilizes consultation and supervision effectively.

Clinicians should be proficient with screening, clinical assessment, diagnostic skills, treatment planning and therapeutic interventions. In addition, clinicians should be able to demonstrate:

    • Organizational commitment and awareness
    • Teamwork
    • Flexibility
    • Creativity
    • Effective communication
    • Problem Solving
    • Customer Service
    • Basic technology skills
    • Data systems management skills
    • Safety/Risk Management knowledge