Mental Health Systems
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Summary: Inquire about the workload, stress level, and office culture before accepting a job offer. Experiences at MHS can vary greatly depending on which program you work in. Salary and Benefits: Started at (what I would consider to be) a typical base salary for a county-contracted provider. Received a small raise after one year with the company. Interview Process: Straightforward. The Program Manager asked some basic questions over the phone as part of their screening process, then there were two in-person interviews. The interviews contained (again, what I would consider to be) typical questions about how I would handle certain situations with colleagues, clients, etc. I felt at ease and heard back from the Program Manager soon afterward. Management: Truthfully, most of my frustration was with the home office, not my immediate Program Managers. I feel like the home office doesn't support the programs/employees enough. They would put stress on the Program Managers, who in turn let some of that stress "trickle down" to the people they managed. Clinical Supervision: Low score because 1) the first supervisor I had was incredibly rude, 2) they abruptly left after I had been working there for a couple of weeks, and 3) MHS didn't secure another supervisor for months afterward. Although supervision was paid and offered on-site, the quality of supervision was poor. Office Culture: Due to the "trickle down" effect I mentioned in the Management section, plus the intensity of the population we worked with, office culture was poor. The Program Managers did try to boost morale as best they could, but they would also drill the importance of increasing productivity (billable time). Some employees were up for the challenge, while others were not. It was obvious which employees were burned out and needed to move on. Documentation/Paperwork: Over half of my time seemed to revolve around completing paperwork, both for assessments/client plans/sessions and other things (like chart audits and questionnaires). Maybe this is typical for county-contracted providers, but it felt excessive, and not all of the paperwork counted toward productivity (billable time) requirements, which added to the level of stress I experienced. Job Security and Advancement: Two of my former colleagues (who were also MFT registered interns) have moved up within the company. I do appreciate that MHS tries to hire from within, and that prelicensed employees are eligible for these promotions. I also felt like my job was secure, as long as I came close to meeting the productivity (billable time) requirements. Work-Life Balance: I was never asked to put in overtime with this position. I never took my work home, nor was I asked to do so. MHS did respect my boundaries in this regard.