Urban Alchemy ,

Mental Health Counselor

1 month ago
Employment type
Full Time
Los Angeles
Closing date

About this organization

We’re a social enterprise that engages with situations where extreme poverty meets homelessness, mental illness and addiction.When a neighborhood, street or intersection earns a reputation as a place to avoid, we turn it around. Urban Alchemy is a peaceful and supportive presence, inviting communities to rebuild and restore a sense of pride and respect in urban spaces.In our experience, the best people to heal society are those who understand what it means to harm it.Few people know how to withstand the trauma and chaos we see on the streets – it’s usually those who have endured it themselves.Most of our team have served life sentences in prison. They’ve spent 20+ years in a confined environment where their survival depends on their ability to read people in unpredictable situations. This teaches them instincts that you can’t learn in a classroom.Employers aren’t bending over backwards to hire returning citizens. But at Urban Alchemy, their skills are sought-after. When they start working here, people often realize that the self-awareness and personal development they gain on the inside are one of the most valuable gifts they can give back on the outside.

About this job

CIRCLE Mental Health Clinician/Counselor will be responsible for leveraging their knowledge and skill in identifying psychiatric symptomatology, assessment, intervention and treatment plans to the team in order to collaboratively and correctly assess the mental health of PEH’s who are the subject of CIRCLE dispatch calls. Upon assessing the individual, CIRCLE Mental Health Clinician/Counselor will collaboratively develop an intervention, with their teams, that is trauma informed, utilizing harm reduction that is rooted in respect and kindness. CIRCLE Mental Health Clinician/Counselor is responsible for utilizing evidence-based practices which validates the importance of lived experience in the ability to relate and effectively communicate with PEH’s and individuals in emotional distress resulting from mental illness, trauma, or ingested substances. CIRCLE Mental Health Clinician/Counselor teams are adept at listening, accurately observing, adjusting their words and body language to engage with individuals, de-escalating the energy of a situation to create a safe and calm interaction, assessing and determining if the situation requires an intervention by your team or

another partner.The Clinician will be supervised by one of several Clinical Supervisors, who will also be available remotely by phone throughout all shifts worked by the Clinician.

Roles & responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively as part of a co-responder model team to address non-violent, behavioral health crises referred to the CIRCLETeam.
  • Communicate with many sources including courts, LosAngeles County Law Enforcement Agencies, DistrictAttorney Offices andVictimsAdvocate Representative, Department of
  • Children and Family Services and other community agencies in the appropriate cases.
  • Provide culturally responsive, trauma-informed, gender-responsive, harm reduction, and person-centered mental health and substance use crisis assessment, intervention, de-escalation, and appropriate follow up as part of the CIRCLE, specifically for individuals experiencing non-violent, behavioral health crises.
  • Maintain strong working knowledge of DSMV diagnostic criteria, particularly for substance use, PTSD/Acute Stress, psychotic, panic, bipolar, mood, and personality disorders.
  • Obtain LADMH 5150 Certification so that in situations that warrant it, initiate a 5150 psychiatric hold by properly assessing and documenting per LADMH protocol, as well as waiting safely while calling and awaiting transport.
  • Assess for suicidality, homicidal intent, violence risk, grave disability, and substance use using appropriate measurements, including C-SRRS, Mini Mental Status Exam, and others.
  • There is some responsibility to work in noisy environments where adults are free to talk loud and expressive; must be able to work effectively and produce quality work under pressure.
  • Engage with individuals in distress to assess the cause of their distress, determine strategies that will be useful in decreasing distress, support individuals to resolve any identified issues, deescalate potential or existing conflicts and/or heightened emotions, and support individuals to connect to supportive services, as appropriate.
  • Show competency in use of Narcan for opioid overdose reversal.
  • Ensure services at the Decompression centers are fluid and adequate to theTherapeutic needs of guests being served.
  • Work collaboratively with other team members and persons in crisis to quickly assess the needs of individuals experiencing mental health crises; and create a response plan.
  • Practice self-awareness and cultural humility as a member of a diverse team; be conscientious and sensitive to power and other interpersonal dynamics with other team members.
  • Demonstrate high levels of emotional intelligence, including the ability to engage and connect with individuals in crisis, a strong ability to remain calm and attentive during crises, as well as to work through several separate crises during a single shift.
  • Demonstrate a high level of resilience and self-care as part of maintaining wellness in a high crisis and first responder position.
  • Maintain timely and thorough administrative and service documentation and records related to client care and program-related monitoring, in accordance to standards specified by CIRCLE policies and oversight agencies.
  • Complete all live and online training in a timely and thorough manner to form a strong foundation for clinical work.
  • Training will include street crisis de-escalation, emotional intelligence, harm reduction, strengths-based psychology, trauma informed care, Motivational Interviewing, ethical boundaries, confidentiality, first aid, CPR, COVID-19 precautions, and others.


  • Licensure (LCSW, LMFT, LPCC) or registration (ASW, AMFT, APCC) with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences or Board of Psychology.
  • Minimum two years of experience providing behavioral health services in a public health, community mental health, crisis services, or other setting serving people who are unhoused.
  • Prior Management Experience.
  • Must be Registered or Waivered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (Active and in Good Standing).
  • Ability to work with clients from diverse cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both written and orally with collaborative entities.
  • Working knowledge of MicrosoftWord, Excel, and Internet; experience working with homeless persons with co-occurring issues (mental/health/disabilities/substances).
  • Be able to report (verbal/written) in accordance with the law all legal issues that surface (Tarsoff, child abuse, vulnerable adult abuse, danger to self/others and grave disability), professionalexperience working within a multi-integrated team.
  • Be able to work with co-occurring populations that present with any stand alone or combination of mental illness, health conditions and substance related concerns.
  • Knowledge of the medical model and evidence-based practices.
  • FirstAid certified within 30 days of employment.
  • CPR certified within 30 days of employment.
  • Must be able to travel to and from worksite and other locations within LosAngeles
  • Ability to work with and honor a highly diverse community served, as well as CIRCLE team members, while showing humility and openness.
  • Willingly open to learn and understand different perspectives, as well as show self-awareness around race, gender, class, sexual orientation, lived experience, and other important attributes.


  • Bilingual in Spanish.

To apply

Email resume to katherinenapoleon@urban-alchemy.us or apply online at www.urban-alchemy.us

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