Mental Health Technicians: The Backbone of Patient Care

Team Health Cages


Working as a Mental Health Technician means you’re on the front lines of helping people with mental health issues. You’ll work in hospitals or special places just for mental health. You’re work closely with doctors to take care of patients. You’ll help patients with their daily tasks and keep everything clean and safe. You’ll need to pay attention to details and be ready to help when patients need it. You don’t need a lot of schooling, but some jobs might ask for special training. By learning about mental health and how to take care of people, you can start a job where you make a real difference in people’s lives.

In this blog, we discuss these topics:

What is a Mental Health Technician?

A mental health technician helps patients with mental health issues in hospitals or mental health facilities. They work under the supervision of a psychologist or psychiatrist. As a mental health technician, your job is to help doctors with patient care, support patients with daily tasks, and keep the environment clean and safe. You need to pay close attention to detail and be flexible. It’s important to report any worrying events or behaviors to your supervisor or the patient’s doctors.

What Does a Mental Health Technician Do?

The everyday duties of a mental health technician may differ depending on the workplace. Here’s a general overview:

  • Provide emotional and psychological support to patients
  • Attend mental health therapy sessions
  • Conduct mental health assessments
  • Take patients’ vital signs
  • Monitor patients’ responses to therapy and treatment
  • Report any changes in patient status or behavior to the nursing and medical staff
  • Ensure the safety of individuals experiencing mental health crises
  • Assist with basic physical care, hygiene, and cleaning tasks

How to Become a Mental Health Technician

To become a mental health technician, you need a high school diploma or equivalent. Though some jobs require an associate degree in psychology or a certificate in a related field, such as CNA (certified nursing assistant) training, some mental health technician jobs only require a high school diploma and provide on-the-job training. You need to study the basics of mental health, patient care, group dynamics, and psychology to gain the skills and qualifications for this career. You can take the national certification exam given by the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians (AAPT), which may be required in some states.

How does one become a mental health technician?

Being a mental health technician offers both challenges and rewards. These professionals engage closely with patients, facilitating therapeutic and recreational activities and assisting with daily tasks such as hygiene and medication management. Typically employed in psychiatric facilities or hospitals, mental health technicians often develop long-term relationships with the same patients, witnessing their progress and experiencing the satisfaction of contributing to their well-being.

How Should Mental Health Technicians Dress?

Most mental health technicians wear scrubs, which are loose and comfy cotton outfits. These are often given by the hospital or facility where you work. In big hospitals, the color of your scrubs might show which department you’re in. Sometimes, you’ll need to wear extra stuff like caps, gloves, and masks to protect yourself from certain patients. And since you’ll be on your feet a lot, it’s important to wear strong, comfy shoes.

To what extent do Mental Health Technicians earn?

The earnings of Mental Health Technicians can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and employer. Generally, they earn salaries in line with the median annual wage reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which was approximately $35,080 as of May 2020. However, actual earnings may differ based on individual circumstances and specific job roles within the field.

Sample Job Description for a Mental Health Technician

By reviewing this sample job description for a Mental Health Technician, you can gain insight into the qualifications employers typically seek when filling this position. However, it’s important to note that specific requirements may vary between employers, as each organization has its own set of criteria for hiring Mental Health Technicians.

Job Description

Our organization is presently in search of a Mental Health Technician. As part of this role, you will oversee patients under the guidance of a registered nurse or healthcare provider. Your primary responsibilities will include aiding patients in daily living tasks, particularly focusing on personal hygiene activities like teeth brushing and bathing. While we are open to providing on-the-job training, we give preference to candidates with some postsecondary education and a CNA credential. Successful applicants will be required to undergo crisis intervention and de-escalation training following their hire.

Duties and liabilities

  • Oversee patient activities and monitor behavior
  • Record and communicate any changes in behavior
  • Aid patients with daily tasks like eating and personal hygiene
  • Promote participation in group activities
  • Conduct minor cleaning duties


In this blog, you’ll learn about the role of a Mental Health Technician (MHT), including their responsibilities, qualifications, and the steps to become one. It covers the everyday tasks involved in supporting individuals with mental health issues, such as providing emotional support, attending therapy sessions, conducting assessments, and ensuring the safety of patients. Additionally, it outlines the educational requirements, which typically include a high school diploma or equivalent, along with potential certification options. The blog also touches on aspects like appropriate attire for MHTs and potential earnings in the field, providing a comprehensive overview for anyone interested in pursuing a career in mental health support.


Q1. What is the best certification for a mental health technician?

A1. The top certifications for mental health technicians are Medical Assistant, Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT), and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). These certifications showcase your proficiency to potential employers.

Q2. What is the highest-paid technician?

A2. Lead technician, technical specialist, and software support technician roles typically offer the highest salaries among technicians.

Q3. How do I become a mental health technician in New York?

A3. To become a mental health technician in New York, a high school diploma or equivalent is usually the minimum requirement. However, many individuals opt for an associate degree in psychiatric technology to enhance their qualifications.

A4. What are the best future careers?

A4. The most promising career options for 2024 include roles like Data Scientist, AI and ML Engineer, Healthcare Professional, Digital Marketer, Cyber Security Analyst, Human Resources Manager, Full-Stack Developer, Cloud Developer, Project Manager, and Digital Content Creator.

Q5. Which job is associated with more depression?

A5. While depression can affect individuals in any profession, research suggests that careers like social work, disability law, long-term care administration and nursing, mental health counseling, and first responder roles may have higher rates of depression.

Join the Conversation: Mental health topics on our blog:

Leave a Comment