Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician/Community (MHRT/C) - 2008 Guidelines

NOTE: Please continue to contact the Center for Learning for all MHRT/C-related inquiries at (207) 626-5280.

Overview

People who work in the MHRT/Community (MHRT/C) role provide services to adults with serious mental illness. These services include:

  • Community Integration
  • Behavioral Health Home (BHH)
  • Mental Health Psychosocial Clubhouse
  • Assertive Community Treatment
  • Skills Development 
  • Day Support Services
  • Family Psycho-Education

(as outlined in Chapter II, section 17 and 65 of the MaineCare Benefits manual)

You can qualify for MHRT/C certification through a variety of ways, such as:

  • Academic Coursework (Please see Appendix A for a list of where courses are available)
  • Non-Academic Coursework (i.e. relevant trainings or workshops)
  • Credit for work experience (for up to five courses). See the section on waivers in the procedural guidelines for requirements on waivers.

* There are three different levels of certification: Provisional MHRT/C, Level A; Provisional MHRT/C, Level B; and Full MHRT/C certification.*

You will find information and requirements for MHRT/C certification in the procedural guidelines.

Application Process

MHRT/C application materials are reviewed by CFL in the order they are received. You will receive a written response from CFL no more than three weeks after they receive your application. Please note that once you submit your application materials, they becomes the property of CFL and may not be returned to you.

Your application materials must include all of the following items that are applicable to your certification request (for example, if you are requesting MHRT/C credits for academic courses, you must submit a copy of your official transcript. If you are requesting MHRT/C credit for workshops, you must submit workshop certificates, etc):

  • An application for MHRT/C certification
  • Official Transcript(s)
  • Legible photocopies of workshop certificates showing the number of hours you completed
  • Waiver Letters (signed by a master’s level licensed clinician who supervised your work)
  • Practicum or Internship descriptions (must be at least 3 academic credits)

Note: If you are seeking credit for a course that is not listed on the approval list in the MHRT/C Procedural Guidelines, you should submit a syllabus or description of the course.

For more detail, please see the application section of the MHRT/C guidelines.

Provisional Level A Certification

You can earn Provisional MHRT/C Level A Certification with an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in an approved human services field. This website lists all regionally accredited colleges and universities and is updated regularly. If you would like to learn about degrees that have been approved for Provisional Level A certification, please see Appendix C in the Procedural Guidelines. If you have any questions about whether a degree qualifies for Provisional Level A certification, please feel free to contact CFL. Please see Appendix A for a list of where courses are available.

Your Provisional MHRT/C Level A Certification is effective for one year from the date of issue. Therefore, you will have one year to complete the five specific competency requirements for Provisional Level B certification. If you complete these requirements before your certificate expires, you are eligible for Provisional Level B certification and will have an additional two years to complete the remaining requirements for Full MHRT/C certification. Please note that a provisional certificate cannot be reissued once it expires.

Provisional Level B Certification

You can earn Provisional MHRT/C Level B certification after you have completed the five courses listed below. The five courses required for your Provisional Level B certification are:

  • Introduction to Community Mental Health
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation
  • Interviewing and Counseling
  • Crisis Identification and Resolution
  • Cultural Competency/Diversity

 Please see Appendix A for a list of where courses are available. Aside from the five courses listed above, some relevant degrees and programs can qualify you for Provisional Level B Certification. Please see Appendix C in the MHRT/C Procedural Guidelines for the list of approved degrees and programs.

Your Provisional Level B status is effective for two full years from the date that it has been issued.

Full Certification

You can earn Full MHRT/C certification after you have successfully completed the ten courses listed below.

The ten course requirements for your Full MHRT/C certification are:

  • Introduction to Community Mental Health
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation
  • Interviewing and Counseling
  • Crisis Identification and Resolution
  • Cultural Competency/Diversity
  • Vocational Aspects of Disability
  • Substance Abuse with a Dual Diagnosis Component
  • Sexual Abuse, Trauma, and Recovery
  • Case Management
  • Mental Health and Aging

Your Full MHRT/C certification is valid for 2 years starting in 2018. Please see our Updates Page for more details.

Please see Appendix A for a list of where courses are available. Some programs are approved as meeting the requirements for Full MHRT/C certification. Please see Appendix B in the Procedural Guidelines.

If you have questions about a degree, please contact CFL.

You can download a printable copy of these Guidelines in the following formats:

MS WORD   or    ADOBE PDF

Dear Colleagues,

Attached you will find the newly updated Procedural Guidelines for Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician/Community (MHRT/C) Certification.  These guidelines reflect two significant changes in MHRT/C certification, as follows:

  • On April 1, 2007 a new certification for crisis workers took effect.  The MHRT/Crisis Services Provider (MHRT/CSP) certification is now required for all Crisis Intervention Services providers in adult mental health (and Crisis Resolution Services providers in children’s mental health).  This requirement replaced the MHRT/C requirement for crisis intervention and crisis resolution workers.
  • As of January 1, 2009 all individuals seeking Full MHRT/C certification must complete the Vocational Aspects of Disability requirement.  The Group Process course will no longer be accepted as of that date.

These changes were made as part of the Office of Adult Mental Health Services’ ongoing effort to ensure that the mental health workforce receives relevant, up-to-date training that is recovery-oriented.  In the case of the MHRT/CSP certification, the training is now more closely focused on the body of knowledge needed by crisis workers.  The change in the MHRT/C requirements reflects an increased understanding in the mental health field of the contribution employment can make toward recovery.

As you read through these Procedural Guidelines for MHRT/C Certification, it is important to anticipate the impact of the January 1, 2009 Vocational Aspects of Disability requirement.  Please keep in mind the following:

  • Individuals who expect to complete the Full MHRT/C requirements after 1/1/09 must take the Vocational Aspects of Disability Course, not the Group Process course.
  • Not all of the academic programs currently listed as pre-approved for Full MHRT/C will necessarily remain on the list as of 1/1/09.  Those programs that do not add the Vocational Aspects of Disability (or comparable) course will be changed from pre-approval for Full MHRT/C to pre-approval for Provisional Level B MHRT/C.

The Office of Adult Mental Health Services and the Center for Learning staff are available to answer any questions you may have regarding these changes.  You may also refer to www.cfl-muskie.org.

Thank you for your interest in promoting mental health for Maine’s citizens.

Sincerely,

Ronald Welch, Director
Office of Adult Mental Health Services

1992: MHRT Established

The Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician (MHRT) Certification was first established in 1992 so that individuals in DHHS-funded positions providing community support services to adults with mental illness would have the training they needed to provide quality services.  When the certification was first established, there were four different MHRT Certifications: I, II, III, and IV.

2001-2002: MHRT/C Established; Process Streamlined

In 2001-2002, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (DHHS, SAMHS) worked with a variety of stakeholders, in partnership with the Muskie School’s Center for Learning (CFL), to re-evaluate the relevance of MHRT requirements and consider ways to streamline the certification process. CFL and SAMHS conducted research regarding knowledge competencies needed to work in the field of adult community mental health and developed a draft list of MHRT competencies based on that research. CFL then surveyed stakeholders to determine the importance of these competencies and whether they were necessary at the time of hire or one year later.  The survey results were used to develop the final list of competencies required for the Provisional and Full MHRT/Community (MHRT/C) Certification.

At that time, SAMHS and CFL also took steps to streamline the MHRT Certification process as follows:

  • The MHRT IV was eliminated because it was comparable to a Licensed Mental Health Professional and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.
  • The MHRT II and III were changed to MHRT/Community because the scope of work for both II and III was the same.
  • A review process was established so that university and college degree programs could be compared to the MHRT/Community competencies and “pre-approved” for Provisional or Full MHRT/C Certification.

2002

The revised Procedural Guidelines for MHRT/C Certification became effective August 1, 2002. In order to allow provider agencies and individuals pursuing MHRT/Community Certification to accommodate these changes, a two-year transition period was established during which applicants could meet requirements outlined in either the 1999 or the 2002 Guidelines.  That transition period ended on August 1, 2004.

2004: Provisional MHRT/C Level A Established

In 2004, a group of community mental health providers reported continued difficulties with recruitment and retention of qualified staff.  In an effort to ease recruitment difficulties, while still assuring qualified staff, the SAMHS decided to add another level to the Provisional MHRT/C certificate.  This new level (Provisional MHRT/C, Level A) enables providers to recruit and hire individuals who have earned Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degrees in fields that are related to human services, but may not meet the five specific requirements for Provisional MHRT/C Certification. This eliminates the need for transcript review prior to hiring. (A listing of academic programs accepted for Provisional MHRT/C, Level A Certification is included in Appendix C of these Procedural Guidelines).  As a result of the addition of this new level of certification, Provisional MHRT/C Certification was renamed Provisional MHRT/C, Level B Certification.  The requirements for Provisional MHRT/C, Level B Certification were not changed.

Since 2002, CFL has worked with a significant number of Maine colleges and universities interested in creating or modifying programs to meet MHRT/C requirements.  Many more pre-approved courses and programs have been added to the expanding list.  For the most up-to-date list of academic programs pre-approved for Provisional Level B or Full MHRT/C, go to Appendix B and Appendix C of these Guidelines.

2005

In 2005, in response to concern that the MHRT/C requirements did not adequately address the training needs for crisis staff, the Maine Crisis Network (MCN) developed its own 13-module Crisis Training Curriculum (CTC).  After review and analysis, the SAMHS approved a change in requirements for Crisis Intervention Services to adults.

2007: MHRT/Crisis Service Provider Established

On April 1, 2007, a new certification for crisis workers based on the CTC, took effect.  The MHRT/Crisis Services Provider (MHRT/CSP) certificate is required for all Crisis Intervention workers in adult mental health (and Crisis Resolution Services in children’s mental health) in Maine.  This requirement replaced the MHRT/C requirement for Crisis Intervention workers.   

CFL compared the CTC to the MHRT/C competencies to determine reciprocity.  Based on that analysis, individuals with current MHRT/C Certification have the option of testing out of the seven non-core modules of the CTC. Those who earned the MHRT/CSP before April 1, 2014 may earn the MHRT/C by completing the Case Management and Vocational Aspects of Disability requirements.

NOTE: Effective April 1, 2014, individuals with MHRT/CSP certification no longer qualify for the Provisional MHRT/C, Level B certificate due to some changes in the Crisis Training Curriculum.  However, the requirements remain the same for those with Full MHRT/C certification who wish to earn the MHRT/CSP certificate.

Change to Take Place 1/1/2009: MHRT/C Requirement Change to take place January 1, 2009:  Vocational Aspects of Disability

The National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery defines recovery as “…a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential.”  While the process of recovery is an individualized one, research has shown that employment can be a crucial component of mental health recovery for many people.   

Community support workers can play an important role in engaging consumers in discussions about work and in supporting consumers in pursuing the resources and services needed to meet their vocational goals. To better prepare community support workers to provide this support, starting January 1, 2009, all individuals seeking Full MHRT/C Certification must complete the Vocational Aspects of Disability requirement. (Prior to that date, individuals can choose either Vocational Aspects of Disability or Group Process. As of January 1, 2009, the Group Process course will no longer be accepted. )

In consultation with community mental health providers, academic representatives, and consumers, the SAMHS identified six core Vocational Aspects of Disability competencies needed by an MHRT/C to support consumers in pursuing vocational goals.  These new competencies are listed on pages 5-9 of these Procedural Guidelines (See Section IV.)

  1. As of April 1, 2007, Crisis Intervention Workers are required to have the MHRT/Crisis Service Provider (MHRT/CSP) Certification.
  2. As of January 1, 2009, individuals seeking Full MHRT/C Certification must take the Vocational Aspects of Disability (or comparable) course. The Group Process course will no longer be accepted.

A. Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (DHHS, SAMHS)

The DHHS SAMHS has the responsibility for ensuring that the MHRT/Community Certification program operates in a fair and equitable manner. The SAMHS has assigned responsibility for administering MHRT/Community Certification to the Muskie School’s Center for Learning.

B. The Center for Learning (CFL)

CFL serves as the DHHS SAMHS designee.  In that role, CFL reviews certification applications and approves or denies requests for MHRT/Community Certification. CFL also reviews mental health agencies’ requests to be authorized to issue MHRT/C Certifications for their employees.

C. Adult Mental Health Service Provider Agencies

Provider agencies must ensure that certified employees have sufficient training to provide quality adult mental health services.

D. Authorized Agencies

Authorized agencies are defined as adult mental health service provider agencies that have been approved to issue MHRT/Community certificates for their employees. These agencies are responsible for ensuring that employees meet the qualifications for MHRT/Community Certification and for maintaining this documentation in personnel files. In addition, these authorized agencies forward copies of the Recognition of Educational Qualifications forms to CFL for co-signature. These files are reviewed periodically by CFL and SAMHS to ensure compliance with these MHRT/C Procedural Guidelines.

SAMHS will continue to authorize certain agencies to issue their own certificates when specific conditions apply. SAMHS may revoke an agency’s authority to issue its own MHRT/Community certificates if the agency cannot adequately administer the certification program.

Any additional provider agency requesting approval as an authorized agency must submit this request to CFL. Authorized agencies must have an administrative capacity that is independent of the program to review applicants’ credentials (i.e. not clinical or program supervisors).  Human resources departments meet this definition.

The agency’s executive director must designate which human resources or agency staff is approved to review the employees’ applications for MHRT/Community Certification. The agency staff will then sign the Recognition of Educational Qualifications form, which will be sent to CFL for co-signature. Administrative supervisors and treatment staff are not allowed to approve and sign the MHRT/Community forms.  Agencies are responsible for keeping supportive documents as proof of courses and trainings completed until a DHHS QA Certification review has occurred, or as otherwise indicated at the time of the QA review.

CFL staff can provide an orientation and ongoing consultation to authorized agency staff as requested.

Quick Links for this Section:

A.  Scope of Practice
B.  Knowledge Competencies
          Introduction to Community Mental Health
          Psychosocial Rehabilitation
          Interviewing and Counseling
          Crisis Identification and Resolution
          Cultural Competence/Diversity
          Substance Abuse with a Dual Diagnosis Component
          Sexual Abuse, Trauma, and Recovery
          Case Management
          Mental Health and Aging
          Vocational Aspects of Disability 

A.  Scope of Practice for MHRT/C

The MHRT/Community Certificate meets the MaineCare “other qualified mental health professional” requirement for providing specific services to adults. Those services include community integration, intensive case management, assertive community treatment, skills development, day support services and family psycho-education as outlined in Chapter II, Sections 17 and 65 of the MaineCare Benefits Manual.

Note: Starting April 1, 2007, all new hires providing crisis intervention services to adults must be certified as a Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician/Crisis Services Provider (MHRT/CSP) prior to providing services.  The MHRT/C no longer meets the requirement for crisis providers.

 

B.   Knowledge Competencies Required for MHRT/C

The MHRT/C is a competency-based certification.  As described in the Introduction to these Procedural Guidelines, the following knowledge competencies are deemed necessary to work in the field of adult community mental health and are therefore required for MHRT/C Certification.

Introduction to Community Mental Health (required for Provisional Level B)

  • Understands family theory, developmental theory, human development across the life span, counseling theories, and crisis theory
  • Knowledgeable about collaborative planning with people with psychiatric disabilities including the following: goal setting, skill assessment and training, and linking with supports in the community
  • Understands Maine’s laws regarding mental health recipients’ rights
  • Knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Understands benefit and entitlement programs
  • Knowledgeable about etiology, progression, and treatment of major disabling conditions
  • Understands interaction of co-occurring medical issues
  • Understands role of medication in symptom management
  • Understands basic social services and entitlements
  • Knowledge of community provider system
  • Aware of the need to act as a contributing member of an interdisciplinary team
  • Knowledge of confidentiality
  • Interacts effectively with community members and other professionals

Psychosocial Rehabilitation (required for Provisional Level B)

  • Aware of outcomes-based research regarding people with psychiatric disabilities
  • Understands effective psychosocial rehabilitation interventions to help individuals with psychiatric disabilities function successfully in the community
  • Knowledgeable about collaborative planning with people with psychiatric disabilities including the following: goal setting, skill assessment and training, and linking with supports in the community
  • Identifies and respects consumer choice
  • Knowledge of generic community resources including available natural supports
  • Understands strategies that empower consumers

Interviewing and Counseling (required for Provisional Level B)

  • Understands family theory, developmental theory, human development across the life span, counseling theories, and crisis theory
  • Aware of prevalence and common effects of trauma
  • Aware of screening and assessment strategies for trauma
  • Aware of stages of recovery for survivors of trauma
  • Knowledgeable about etiology, progression, and treatment of major disabling conditions
  • Understands role of medication in symptom management
  • Understands ethics and conducts practice in a professional manner
  • Aware of the need to evaluate effectiveness of personal practice
  • Understands effective use of supervision

Crisis Identification and Resolution (required for Provisional Level B)

  • Understands family theory, developmental theory, human development across the life span, counseling theories, and crisis theory
  • Aware of prevalence and common effects of trauma
  • Aware of prevalence and common effects of co-occurring disorders (substance abuse and mental health)
  • Aware of screening and assessment strategies for co-occurring disorders (substance abuse and mental health)
  • Identifies consumer risk factors (i.e. suicide) and takes appropriate action
  • Understands role of medication in symptom management
  • Aware of the need to act as a contributing member of an interdisciplinary team
  • Knowledge of confidentiality
  • Aware of the need to evaluate effectiveness of personal practice
  • Understands effective use of supervision

Cultural Competence/Diversity (required for Provisional Level B)

  • Demonstrates cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • Communicates effectively across cultures
  • Sensitive to gender differences and differing sexual orientations
  • Knowledgeable about changing treatment needs for adult stages of transition 

Substance Abuse with a Dual Diagnosis Component (required for full certification)

  • Aware of prevalence and common effects of co-occurring disorders (substance abuse and mental health)
  • Aware of screening and assessment strategies for co-occurring disorders (substance abuse and mental health)
  • Aware of stages of recovery of persons who have co-occurring disorders
  • Knowledgeable about resources to assist in recovery process for persons who experience co-occurring disorders
  • Aware of the need to evaluate effectiveness of personal practice
  • Understands effective use of supervision

Sexual Abuse, Trauma, and Recovery (required for full certification)

  • Aware of prevalence and common effects of trauma
  • Aware of screening and assessment strategies for trauma
  • Aware of stages of recovery for survivors of trauma
  • Knowledgeable about resources to assist in trauma recovery process
  • Aware of the need to evaluate effectiveness of personal practice
  • Understands effective use of supervision

Case Management (required for full certification)

  • Understands importance of community inclusion and use of natural supports
  • Understands Maine’s laws regarding mental health recipients’ rights
  • Understands benefit and entitlement programs
  • Understands interaction of co-occurring medical issues
  • Knowledgeable about changing treatment needs for adult stages of transition
  • Understands basic social services and entitlements
  • Knowledge of community provider system
  • Knowledge of generic community resources including available natural supports
  • Understands ethics and conducts practice in a professional manner
  • Aware of the need to act as a contributing member of an interdisciplinary team
  • Knowledge of confidentiality
  • Aware of the need to evaluate effectiveness of personal practice
  • Understands effective use of supervision
  • Interacts effectively with community members and other professionals
  • Understands strategies that empower consumers

Mental Health and Aging (required for full certification)

  • Knowledge of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Understands benefit and entitlement programs
  • Understands interaction of co-occurring medical issues
  • Knowledgeable about changing treatment needs for adult stages of transition
  • Knowledge of community provider system
  • Knowledge of generic community resources including available natural supports

Vocational Aspects of Disability (required for full certification)

(NOTE: This course will be required for MHRT/C Certification after January 1, 2009.  After that date, applicants will no longer be given a choice of Group Process or Vocational Aspects of Disability.)

  • Has working knowledge of the National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery and the 10 fundamental components of recovery as they relate to employment (www.samhsa.gov)
  • Understands that research shows that most people with psychiatric disabilities want to pursue employment opportunities and that a consumer can be successful in competitive employment regardless of diagnosis, symptoms, disability status, prior hospitalizations, or co-occurring substance use
  • Familiarity with resources and roles or people involved in the employment support system for consumers with psychiatric disabilities, including job developers, job coaches, and community work incentives coordinators
  • Understands the role of a MHRT/C in supporting an individual pursuing a vocational goal
  • Knowledgeable about the current and evolving research regarding evidence-based practices in employment of individuals with psychiatric disabilities, including supported employment
  • Working knowledge of engagement and motivation techniques to assist consumers in pursuing employment

A Provisional (Level A or B) or a Full MHRT/Community is required to work in a DHHS-SAMHS funded position that requires MHRT/Community Certification.

Individuals with Provisional MHRT/C, Level A Certification, must meet the five requirements for Provisional Level B Certification within one year.  Those who are issued Provisional MHRT/C, Level B Certification are given two years to complete the requirements for Full MHRT/Community Certification (see table below).

There are three different levels of MHRT/C Certification:

  • Full MHRT/C
  • Provisional MHRT/C, Level A
  • Provisional MHRT/C, Level B

Full MHRT/Community Certification

Full MHRT/Community Certification is granted and a certificate is issued when 10 course areas have been completed through a combination of approved courses, workshops, or waivers.  The 10 MHRT course requirements for Full MHRT/Community Certification are as follows:

  • Intro. to Community Mental Health
  • Psychosocial Rehab
  • Interviewing and Counseling
  • Crisis Identification and Resolution
  • Cultural Competency/ Diversity
  • Substance Abuse with a Dual Diagnosis Component
  • Sexual Abuse, Trauma, and Recovery
  • Case Management
  • Mental Health and Aging
  • Vocational Aspects of Disability

In Appendix B, you will find a list of degrees and programs that have been approved for Full MHRT/C Certification.  Full certification is granted to graduates of these programs. 

Provisional MHRT/C Level A Certification

Provisional Level A Certification is granted to applicants with an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree in a human-services related field from a regionally accredited college or university.  Provisional Level A status is effective for a one-year period.

  • The applicant must complete the five course requirements for the Provisional MHRT/C Level B within the one-year period.
  • The SAMHS strongly recommends that those with Level A Certification make the Psychosocial Rehabilitation course requirement a top priority and receive that training as soon as possible. 
  • At least one hour of individual clinical supervision per week must occur during the provisional one-year period.  This requirement is in addition to the supervision required by mental health licensing.

A list of accepted degrees for Provisional Level A Certification is provided in Appendix C of these Procedural Guidelines. For a listing of regionally accredited schools, please see the regional accreditation body that oversees the college or university listed below. These are organized according to the location of the school.

New England Association of Schools & Colleges: https://cihe.neasc.org/
Middle States Commission on Higher Education: http://www.msche.org/
(North Central) Higher Learning Commission: https://www.hlcommission.org/
Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities: http://www.nwccu.org/
Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges: http://www.sacscoc.org/
Western Association of Schools and Colleges:
Junior (Associate Degree programs): http://www.accjc.org/
Senior (Bachelor & above programs): https://www.wascsenior.org/

Provisional MHRT/C Level B Certification

Provisional Level B Certification is granted when the five course requirements listed below have been met through academic courses, non-academic courses, approved workshops and/or training, or waivers based on experience. (However, applicants cannot combine experience with workshops or training to meet an individual course requirement.) The five course requirements are:

  • Intro. to Community Mental Health
  • Crisis Identification and Resolution
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation
  • Cultural Competency/Diversity
  • Interviewing and Counseling 
  • Provisional Level B status is effective for two full years from date of issue.
  • The certified individual and the certified individual’s employer are responsible to monitor certification status and to ensure that the individual becomes fully certified before the expiration date of the Provisional MHRT/Community Level B Certificate.   

A list of accepted degrees for Provisional Level B Certification is provided in Appendix C

Completion Time Frame Requirements for Full MHRT/Community Certification

CertificationRequirementTimeframe
Provisional MHRT/Community Level A  

Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in a human services-related field from a regionally accredited college or university (see list of accepted degrees in Appendix C).

Valid for one year; requirements for Provisional Level B must be completed during that one year.

Provisional MHRT/Community Level B  

Completion of five courses:

  1. Intro to Community Mental Health
  2. Psychosocial Rehabilitation
  3. Interviewing and Counseling
  4. Crisis Identification and Resolution
  5. Cultural Competence/Diversity
    (See list of degree programs pre-approved for Provisional Level B Certification in Appendix C)

Valid for two years; requirements for Full MHRT/C Certification must be completed during those two years.

Full MHRT/Community

Completion of the five courses listed above as well as these additional five courses:

  1. Group Process OR Vocational Aspects of Disability (Note: As of 1/1/09 only Vocational Aspects of Disability will be accepted.)
  2. Substance Abuse with a Dual Diagnosis Component
  3. Sexual Abuse, Trauma, and Recovery
  4. Case Management
  5. Mental Health & Aging
    (See list of degree programs pre-approved for Full Certification in Appendix B)

Full MHRT/C Certification does not expire

 

Options to Obtain MHRT/C Certification

Applicants have the option of meeting the MHRT/C requirements in three ways: academic coursework, non-academic training and/or waivers through work experience.  Academic options are explained in Appendix A. 

Non-Academic

  • Documentation of workshops, training, or course completion in any of the 10 MHRT/C coursework areas may be submitted for approval.
  • Thirty hours are required to meet one MHRT/C requirement.  Applicants cannot be fully credited for a course area if the total number of training hours is less than 30.
  • The training must be relevant to the course competencies required and will be reviewed by CFL on a case-by-case basis.
  • Trainer qualifications and curriculum content that are not pre-approved will be reviewed by a panel from CFL and SAMHS for adherence to the Trainer and Curriculum Standards for Non-Academic MHRT/C Certification.

Waivers

IMPORTANT CHANGE FOR RELEVANT DEGREE HOLDERS, PLEASE SEE THE BOTTOM OF THIS SECTION.

A waiver of an MHRT/C course requirement may be granted when an individual provides documentation of the following:

  • At least one year of directly relevant work experience in the applicable MHRT/C course area
  • A high level of competence in the applicable course area, and
  • Has received clinical supervision during that time.

When submitting requests for MHRT/C waivers, please be sure the waiver request includes the components listed below.  Waiver requests that do not contain all of the information below will not be approved.

  • Supervisor must be clinically licensed at the Master’s level.  Accepted credentials for writing waiver requests are LMSW-CC, LMSW, LCPC-CC, LCPC, LCSW, APRN, CCS (Certified Clinical Supervisor), Psy.D/Ph.D., Psychologist, or MD/DO Psychiatrist.  No exceptions are permitted.
  • Waiver request must be written by applicant’s direct supervisor at the time of the relevant experience. 
  • Supervisor must have provided direct supervision to applicant for a minimum of one full year for every MHRT/C course requested for waiver (i.e. three full years of work experience is eligible for three MHRT/C course waivers).  A maximum of five waivers may be obtained.
  • Supervisor must document dates of supervision and these dates must include at least one full year and have no overlapping time frames (i.e. March 2004-March 2005, April 2005-April 2006, etc.)
  • If requesting multiple waivers, each MHRT/C course must be addressed separately.

For additional information regarding the waiver process, please refer to the sample waiver request form in Appendix G. While this form is not mandatory when submitting a waiver request, applicants are encouraged to use the form as a guide to ensure that all of the correct information is submitted.

Applicants can not combine waivers based on experience with workshops or training to meet an individual course requirement. The applicant can be credited only for those courses, experiences, or trainings that are directly relevant to the 10 required courses with a primary focus on adults with mental illness.

Please Note:  Directly relevant coursework does not include broad, sociological areas of focus.  For example, the coursework for Mental Health and Aging should pertain to mental health issues facing the elderly (such as dementia, depression) rather than focusing solely on grief and loss for all populations.  A course on death and dying would not meet this requirement.

Update as of May 1, 2018, if you have a relevant human services related degree, you need six months of relevant work experience. If you use this option, you can only receive credit for four courses instead of five. Please see our April 20, 2018 newsletter for details a a list of qualifying degrees.

Reciprocity Between the MHRT/C and MHRT/Crisis Services Provider (MHRT/CSP) Certificates

The MHRT/CSP certificate is required for providers of Crisis Intervention Services to adults (and Crisis Resolution Services to children). Those with Full MHRT/C Certification interested in earning a MHRT/CSP certificate must complete ALL core modules of the Crisis Training Curriculum. If an individual does not have a relevant degree, he or she would have to test out of the non-core modules of the curriculum.  Individuals who earned the MHRT/CSP before April 1, 2014 who wish to earn Full MHRT/C are required to complete the Case Management and Vocational Aspects of Disability MHRT/C requirements through academic or non-academic coursework. These two requirements cannot be waived. 

NOTE: Effective April 1, 2014, individuals with MHRT/CSP certification no longer qualify for the Provisional MHRT/C, Level B certificate due to some changes in the Crisis Training Curriculum.  However, the requirements remain the same for those with Full MHRT/C certification who wish to earn the MHRT/CSP certificate.

In extenuating circumstances, an applicant may apply to CFL for an extension to the Provisional MHRT/Community Level B Certification. Extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be granted only if the applicant has experienced a hardship or extraordinary circumstance that prevented the completion of coursework.  Examples of extraordinary circumstances or hardships include: a death or illness in the family or a personal circumstance that necessitated a leave of absence from employment. The applicant must submit evidence of good faith efforts to complete the outstanding MHRT/Community course requirements such as transcripts, workshop certificates, proof of course enrollment for the upcoming semester, and/or letters of waiver for some of the uncompleted courses.

Toggle Content

In the event that an applicant has applied to CFL for MHRT/Community Certification and is not satisfied with the results of the assessment of his or her credentials, the applicant may appeal in writing to the Director of CFL for a review of the initial decision. The Director of CFL will review the decision and respond to the applicant in writing within 30 days.  

If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision of the Director of CFL, he or she may appeal to the SAMHS Training Coordinator. The SAMHS Training Coordinator will consult with a panel consisting of representatives of the SAMHS team including the Office of Consumer Affairs and will respond in writing within 30 days. This decision will be final.

Transcripts submitted from universities outside the U.S. will be evaluated on an individual basis in consultation with University of Southern Maine staff and other resources as needed.  There may be a delay in analyzing these transcripts as a result of the additional work required.

Applications for MHRT/Community Certifications are reviewed by CFL in the order they are received.  In some cases, the review process can take up to three weeks.  Applicants will receive a written response from CFL no more than three weeks after the application is received.  Please note that material sent to CFL becomes the property of CFL and may not be returned to the applicant.

In order to earn credit for academic courses completed, the applicant must submit an official transcript from the college or university that offered the course.  Official transcripts typically bear the seal and/or Registrar’s signature.  Course descriptions may be requested by CFL in some cases.  Please note that the following items are not considered acceptable forms of documentation for academic MHRT/C credit: Grade printouts or course registrations (including Maine DSIS computer printouts), unofficial transcripts, and letters from professors.

Individuals who have earned at least three academic credits for human-services-related internships or practicums may be eligible for MHRT/C credit.  Internships and practicums must be directly related to the MHRT/C course that the applicant wants approved. In addition to the transcript, the applicant must submit a description of the academic experience as well as verification from the academic or field adviser.

Updated: May 24, 2019–The tuition Reimbursement Program is on hold. No applications are being accepted at this time.

The Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS) has limited funds available to reimburse applicants for college tuition expenses for courses taken to earn Full MHRT/Community Certification.  To qualify, the applicant must have a current and valid Provisional MHRT/C, Level B Certificate (individuals with Provisional MHRT/C, Level A Certification are not eligible). In addition, they must currently hold a position that is at least half-time (20 hours or more) and for which MHRT/Community Certification is required.  A grade of C or better is required.  The tuition reimbursement application must be submitted at least 30 days before the start of class.  If approved, tuition reimbursement is provided after successful completion of the course. (See MHRT/Community Tuition Reimbursement Request form in Appendix E.) Given the limited availability of tuition reimbursement funds, applicants are cautioned to not make coursework plans based on an assumption of reimbursement.

For courses taken from professional trainers (non-academic), workshop reimbursement will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Reimbursement is available only for workshops that satisfy the full 30-hour requirement.

There are additional restrictions to the Tuition Reimbursement Program. Please see the complete policy at: The Tuition Reimbursement Policy Webpage.

Mailing Address:

 

Muskie School of Public Service
Center for Learning
Re:  MHRT/Community Certification
12 East Chestnut St.
Augusta, ME  04330

For Guideline Clarification:207-626-5280 or 207-626-5086
For Status Information on Application:207-626-5280
CFL Fax Number:207-626-5022
CFL TTY:207-626-5282
CFL E-mail Address For All Questions:cfl-muskie@maine.edu

Appeals

 
Director of CFL Muskie School of Public Service
Att: Director, Center for Learning
Re:  MHRT/Community Certification
12 East Chestnut St.
Augusta, ME  04330
DHHS-Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services’ Training CoordinatorDHHS Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Att: Training Coordinator
41 Anthony Ave.
SHS 11
Augusta, ME   04333

Guideline Packet

 
Guideline Packet CFL Website http://www.cfl-muskie.org
Guideline Packet DHHS Website*http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/samhs/mentalhealth/index.shtml

*This link will take you directly to the DHHS SAMHS home page where you may click on Training Opportunities, which will bring you to the link for the MHRT-C Procedural Guidelines: Adult Mental Health document.  The CFL website will also provide you with a link to the same document.

May 2019 NOTE: The Tuition Reimbursement Program is currently on hold. No applications are being accepted at this time.

A. Overview and Eligibility Requirements:

DHHS-Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services designates funds that may be used to reimburse you for MHRT/Community (MHRT/C) tuition expenses. In order to be eligible for tuition reimbursement, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Work in a position funded by a DHHS-Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services contract;
  2. Work in a DHHS-Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services funded position for 20 hours (half-time) or more per week;
  3. Have a Provisional MHRT/Community Level B certificate on file with the Center for Learning;
  4. Need the course as a requirement for your present position and for MHRT/Community certification.

Additional requirements for MHRT/C tuition reimbursement:

  1. Tuition reimbursement is only available for directly relevant courses required for MHRT/C certification.
  2. Only the following five course areas are eligible for reimbursement:
    • Vocational Aspects of Disability
    • Substance Abuse with a Dual Diagnosis Component
    • Sexual Abuse, Trauma & Recovery
    • Case Management
    • Mental Health & Aging

For a list of approved courses, please see Appendix A of the MHRT/C Guidelines.

  1. Submit the application to the Center for Learning at least thirty (30) days before the start of the class.
  2. Earn a grade of C or better in all of the MHRT/C courses for which you are seeking reimbursement.

Note: You will be reimbursed after you have successfully completed the MHRT/C course. 

Tuition Reimbursement for Non-Academic MHRT/C courses:

Reimbursement is available only for training workshops that satisfy the full 30-hour MHRT/C requirement. Courses taken from non-academic instructors will be approved on a case-by-case basis. DHHS-Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services and the professional instructor will determine workshop fees.

Tuition reimbursement is limited to one course for each 6-month period in a fiscal year (July through June) up to a maximum of two MHRT/C courses per individual per fiscal year.

SAMHS reserves the right to prioritize tuition reimbursement funds to address unmet needs or needs based on a particular geographic region or district.

Please note: Since the availability of MHRT/C funds changes based on demand, the Center for Learning cannot guarantee that your request for tuition reimbursement will be approved. 

B. Tips for the Tuition Reimbursement Application Process:

  • The request for tuition reimbursement cannot be completed online, as the application will require your signature and the signature of your immediate supervisor.
  • Please fill out the application completely so that your tuition reimbursement request does not have to be returned to you for more detail.  
  • If you are requesting tuition reimbursement for non-academic training, please list the actual start and end dates of the course.
  • You can download a tuition reimbursement application form in Word or Adobe PDF formats.  If you are unable to open either of these documents, you can request a form from Scott Bernier at the Center for Learning.

Contact Information for Scott Bernier at the Center for Learning:
Scott Bernier
Tuition Reimbursement Request
The Center for Learning
12 East Chestnut St.
Augusta, ME  04330
Phone: 626-5280
Fax: 626-5022
TTY: 626-5282

Tab Content

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS), in partnership with University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service, is revising the Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician/Community (MHRT/C) certification program to ensure its relevancy and responsiveness to the changing needs of the population it is designed to serve.

The MHRT/C certification program establishes educational standards and promotes skill-based practice for community based mental health workers. Over time, much has changed in the behavioral health field including the complexity of this community-based position and the qualifications of the individuals seeking to fill these roles. The redesign initiative has engaged several key stakeholder groups to assess needed changes, develop and design new program components, and revise certain procedures, policies, and processes for an applicant to earn provisional and full MHRT/C certification.

MHRT/C Communications

Two informational webinars for providers aired on November 15 and 29, 2017. A summary of questions and answers (FAQs) is linked below, as well as links to recordings of the two sessions and a copy of the PowerPoint slides. A third webinar aired on June 13, 2018.

November 15, 2017 Recording

November 15, 2017 Slides

November 29, 2017 Recording

November 29, 2017 Slides

November Webinar FAQs

June 13, 2018 Recording

June 13, 2018 Slides

June 13, 2018 FAQs

January 17, 2019 Zoom Call with Academic Programs (Opens in YouTube)

June 24, 2019 Slides and Transcript

February 2, 2018: Online Training Module MH101

February 15, 2018: Continuing Education Requirements for Full MHRT/C

March 9, 2018: FAQs-New Certification Requirements

March 23, 2018: FAQs-Continuing Education Requirements

April 20, 2018: Credit for Work Experience

May 11, 2018: Where Things Stand

May 30, 2018: Webinar Reminder

June 8, 2018: Profile of an MHRT/C Certified Professional

July 24, 2018: Profile of an MHRT/C Certified Professional 2

September 17, 2018: Back to School!

October 12, 2018: Older MHRT certificates and Going Paperless

October 29, 2018: Continuing Education

December 21, 2018: More on Continuing Education

January 29, 2019: Academic Program Updates

March 14, 2019: New Continuning Education Checklist

April 30, 2019: In-Service Trainings for Continuing Education

May 30, 2019: Academic Program Updates

June 28, 2019: Year-end Wrap-up

NOTE: Please continue to contact the Center for Learning for all MHRT/C-related inquiries at (207)626-5280.

Prior Learning Assessment and USM

For information on PLA at USM only, contact:
Rusty Dolleman
USM Office of Prior Learning Assessment
Phone: (207) 780-5909
Email: rusty.dolleman@maine.edu 
https://usm.maine.edu/pla

Prior Learning Assessment and UMA

For information on PLA at UMA only, contact:
Haley Brown
UMA Office of Enrollment Services
Phone: (207) 621-3130
Email: hbrown120@maine.edu
http://www.uma.edu/academics/pla

Central Maine Community College

Learning and Advising Center
(207) 755-5380
https://www.cmcc.edu/academics/programs/credit-for-prior-learning/transfer-credit/


Husson University

Adam Smith, Assistant Director of Transfer Admissions
(207) 404-5643
smithad@husson.edu
http://www.husson.edu/prior-learning-assessment


Southern Maine Community College

Stacey Kardash, Assistant Registrar
(207) 741-5597
skardash@smccme.edu
http://www.smccme.edu/academics-a-registration/student-resources/prior-learning-assessment.html


University of Maine

Division of Lifelong Learning Advising Center
(207) 581-3143
dlladvising@maine.edu
https://umaine.edu/dlladvising/prior-learning-assessment-pla/


University of Maine at Augusta

Laurie Ficker, Assistant Director of Enrollment Services and Prior Learning Assessment or
Haley Brown, Coordinator of Career Connections
(207) 621-3241 or
(207) 621-3130
lficker@maine.edu or hbrown120@maine.edu
http://www.uma.edu/academics/pla/


University of Maine at Fort Kent

Tammy Delisle, Career Planning and Internship Coordinator
(207) 834-8647
tammy.delisle@maine.edu
https://www.umfk.edu/learning_center/prior_learning/


University of Maine at Machias

Registrar’s Office
(207) 255-1223
ummreg@maine.edu
https://machias.edu/academics/academics/registrars-office/prior-learning-assessment/


University of Maine at Presque Isle

Registrar’s Office
(207) 768-9581
umpireg@maine.edu
https://www.umpi.edu/academics/prior-learning-assessment/


University of New England

Registrar’s Office
(207) 602-2473
uneregistrar@une.edu
https://www.une.edu/registrar/2015-2016-academic-catalog/undergraduate-catalog/admissions


University of Southern Maine

Dr. Ashley Collins, Director, Office for Prior Learning Assessment
(207) 780-5909
ashley.c.collins@maine.edu
https://usm.maine.edu/pla


Washington County Community College

Admissions Office
(207) 454-1000
admissions@wccc.me.edu
http://www.wccc.me.edu/alternate-ways-earn-credit/


York County Community College

Enrollment Services
(207) 216-4403
http://www.yccc.edu/academics/academic-affairs/prior-learning-credits/​

The redesigned MHRT/C certification program includes a continuing education requirement that will enable certificate holders to continue to expand their knowledge, skills and abilities in the ever-changing field of behavioral health. All those who have earned a Full MHRT/C are required to complete at least eighteen (18) hours of continuing education every two years in order to have their MHRT/C certificates renewed. A minimum of four (4) hours of training is required in the area of ethics. The remaining fourteen (14) hours must be related to any other competencies required for MHRT/C certification. Click here for a list of the MHRT/C Competencies.

At the time of renewal, please submit a completed MHRT Renewal Form with your documentation of this continuing education.

Renewal Form in Word (for use starting in 2020)

Renewal Form in PDF


 

The following is a partial list of organizations that offer training and courses in behavioral health. Please contact the Center for Learning if you have questions about whether these or other courses or trainings meet the MHRT/C continuing education requirement. To see a calendar of upcoming trainings in Maine, see the yellow-highlighted link below for the Maine Behavioral Health Workforce Development Collaborative.

AdCare Educational Institute of Maine, Inc.
Offers online and face-to-face training in substance use disorders, ethics, behavioral health, stigma, cultural competence and recovery

Addiction Technology Transfer Network/New England ATTC at Brown University
A national network with 10 regional centers that offers training in topics mainly related to addictions treatment and recovery

AHS E-Learning Center
Offers two to four hour courses on co-occurring disorders

Behavioral Tech/ A Linehan Institute Training Company
Offers in-person or online training in dialectical behavior (DBT) and other therapies

Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy
Online training in topics such as community integration, WRAP, etc. Some are approved for continuing education credit.

CE4Less

Co-Occurring Collaborative Serving Maine
Offers a variety of online and face-to-face training in topics such as co-occurring disorders, addiction, trauma, recovery, motivational interviewing, domestic violence, and cultural competence

Elsevier DirectCourse’s College of Recovery and Community Inclusion
Online training in a variety of behavioral health topics including community inclusion, cultural competence, recovery and trauma

Health Affiliates Maine
Offers a variety of training in clinical topics such as treatment of LGBTQ people. Continuing education credit may be earned for some.

Health Education & Training Institute
Face-to-face and online training in topics such as motivational interviewing

Health Equity Maine
An online learning portal offers a wide variety of courses in the areas of improving health and healthcare services.

Knowledge Application Program (KAP) SAMHSA
Offers a variety of one-hour continuing education approved courses on topics such as peer support, serving older adults, and peers working in inpatient settings

Maine Behavioral Health Workforce Development Collaborative
Offers a variety of online and face-to-face trainings and courses in behavioral health topics such as ethics, cultural competence, recovery, trauma, and substance use disorders

Maine DHHS, BH Training Resources
Has a listing of several training resources in the behavioral health field

Massachusetts General Hospital – Psychiatry Academy
Offering a variety of free online modules covering a range of health topics

Mental Health Technology Transfer Network
A collaborative network that supports resource development and dissemination, training and technical assistance, and workforce development for the mental health field.

NAADAC – the Association for Addiction Professionals
Offers independent study, certificate programs, and face-to-face training in topics such as addiction counseling, ethics, and co-occurring disorders

NASW Maine Chapter
Click on Continuing Education on the main page

New England ADA Learning
Offers online courses in topics such as disability rights, employment, and accessibility laws

Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMHS)
Creating a Culture of Employment
(applies to Domain 8: Vocational Support)

May 21, 2019 in Augusta
May 22, 2019 in Portland
June 11, 2019 in Brewer

PESI Online Education
Offers live seminars, online courses, and certificate programs in topics such as ethics, mental health disorders, treatment modalities

Resources for Integrated Care
Culturally Competent Direct Care: Meeting the LTSS Needs of Diverse Dually Eligible Beneficiaries-Webinar (July 25, 2019)

Relias Learning
Offers variety of online training in  fields such as behavioral health, counseling, addictions, case management, and intellectual and developmental disabilities

Saco River Education
Maine-based online training agency

STAR (Staffing Training Alternative Resources Inc.) Services
Online trainings such as orientation to mental health topics

Sweetser Training Institute
Face-to-face training in topics such as mental health first aid, evidence-based practices, trauma, ethics, and substance use disorders

New England Public Health Training Center, the Maine Center for Disease Control, and the Maine Mobile Health Program
A growing collection of free online educational training modules to help public health workers and others broaden their knowledge of critical issues affecting the health of Maine people

Training Resource Network
Online, on-demand training in topics such as person-centered planning, supporting effective behavior, orientation to disabilities, normalization, etc

US Dept. of Health & Human Services
Online training on Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals.

US Dept. of Health & Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration
Click on Practitioner Training