What Is a Behavioral Health Technician?

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Not all professions in the behavioral health field require a medical degree or even a master’s degree. If you want to help others heal from mental health conditions and addiction but do not want to spend long years earning an advanced degree, there are still plenty of other options. Behavioral health technicians, also referred to as mental health technicians, serve a key role in treating mental health and addiction. You can qualify for this important position without spending six or more years in college.  

To stay updated on the latest behavioral health technician jobs, check out the jobs board on Behavioral Health Jobs. We aim to connect behavioral health professionals with the best job opportunities in the field.  

What Is a Behavioral Health Technician? 

A behavioral health technician is a trained healthcare professional specializing in providing care and support to individuals with mental health conditions, developmental disabilities, or substance use disorders. They work closely with other members of the healthcare team to ensure that clients receive comprehensive and effective treatment. 

BHTs are responsible for implementing treatment plans developed by licensed professionals, monitoring clients’ progress, and helping them develop and maintain healthy coping mechanisms. They also play a crucial role in providing emotional support to clients, helping them manage their conditions and improve their quality of life. 

What Does a Behavioral Health Technician Do? 

The job of a behavioral health technician (BHT) is essential. You are the staff member that a person seeking treatment will interact with the most. Your position is the most hands-on of any job in a mental health and addiction treatment facility.  

As a behavioral health technician, or mental health technician, your job may include: 

  • Serving as a listening ear for patients 
  • Providing caring, non-judgmental support to patients 
  • Offering guidance and encouragement to patients 
  • Assisting patients with daily activities 
  • Observing, documenting, and reporting patient behaviors 
  • Monitoring and keeping track of patients to ensure safety 
  • Maintaining patient records 
  • Performing routine searches and inspections of patients and their rooms 
  • Performing random urine or breathalyzer tests on patients 
  • Administering medication as per doctor’s orders 
  • Assisting in emergencies, such as with restraint for violent patients 
  • Transporting patients to and from locations within the facility (possibly outside of the facility as well) 

As you can see, BHTs serve very active roles in mental health and addiction treatment. If you love working directly with people and supporting them toward happier, healthier living, a behavioral health technician job may be perfect for you.  

How Can You Become a Behavioral Health Technician? 

If the idea of spending a minimum of six years in college does not resonate with you, but you want to help people recover from mental health conditions and addiction, you may want to consider becoming a behavioral health technician. The requirements for a BHT position will vary based on the employer. Here are some of the possible expectations for a BHT so you can begin to prepare yourself for your job search: 

  • Depending on the employer, you will need either a high school diploma or an associate’s degree. Although not usually required, some employers may prefer that you have a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field.  
  • Some employers may require prior experience in a behavioral health setting.  
  • You may need a valid driver’s license if the position includes transporting patients to and from locations off-campus.   
  • Background knowledge of mental health and substance use disorders can give you an edge when applying for BHT jobs. Use the wealth of information available online to sharpen your skills.  
  • Problem-solving skills and the ability to keep calm under pressure are important in this position. People detoxing and recovering from addiction can be unpredictable and upset as they go through the process, so it is essential to learn how to de-escalate situations.  
  • Having excellent interpersonal skills can go a long way as a BHT since you will spend a lot of time interacting with others. For patients in recovery, you will become one of the most familiar faces in their treatment experience. As they go through the range of emotions associated with healing from mental health issues and addiction, your support can provide them with the comfort they need to stay on track.  

Behavioral health is a growing field full of rewarding positions. If you think becoming a behavioral health technician is the right career path for you, start your job search today at Behavioral Health Jobs. 

Behavioral Health Jobs: Keeping You Posted on the Latest Mental Health Technician Job Openings 

If you have discovered a passion for helping others recover from mental health and substance use disorder, visit Behavioral Health Jobs to find the latest BHT job postings. We are dedicated to connecting you with the most up-to-date listings of behavioral health technician job opportunities.  

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