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, started in 2015, 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.
Below are a few of the updates and anticipated effective dates. Check back often to see what’s new!
- MHRT/C Competencies
The MHRT/C competencies have been revised and are organized into eight Domains. Domains I, II, and III are priority domains and will be required for provisional certification, depending on a new applicant’s educational qualifications. Click here for a complete list of the competency domains.
- New Certificates
Beginning January 1, 2018, all MHRT/C certificates will be issued through the USM Muskie School’s Center for Learning (CFL). Newly issued Full MHRT/C certificates will have an expiration date, and can be renewed every two years upon completion of 18 hours of continuing education within that two-year period. (Please see the next bullet.)
If your name has changed since your MHRT/C (or MHRT II/III) was issued, please send us documentation of your name change such as a copy of your marriage license or your divorce decree.
We will be reissuing new certifcates over the next several months.
- Continuing Education
Continuing education will be required to renew a Full MHRT/C certificate every two years. This educational training can be an academic course, a non-academic training or workshop, or a conference; it can be face to face or online, or an agency sponsored in-service learning session. Continuing education must address the competencies found in the eight domains (see bullet #1). Eighteen hours of continuing education will be required, with a minimum of four hours in ethics. The MHRT/C certificate holder will be required to complete and submit a renewal application with documentation of the continuing education.
- Academic Programs
Maine colleges and universities are currently reviewing their existing programs and revising curricula to align with the updated competencies required for MHRT/C certification. We expect approved courses, certificates and degree programs will be available by fall semester 2019.
- Maine’s Mental Health System 101
A free online module titled “Maine’s Mental Health System 101: An Introduction to Our History, Values, Services, and Roles” is now available. The module is designed as an overview of Maine’s system and takes about an hour to complete. Click on this link to see the module.
- Ethical Standards
Another enhancement to the certification program is an expanded focus on ethics. Domain III, “Ethics and Professional Conduct”, contains several competencies related to ethical practice, confidentiality, informed consent, professional behavior and more. Continuing education also includes an ethics requirement.
7. Code of Conduct
In line with a focus on ethics, an MHRT/C Code of Conduct was recommended by the MHRT/C Redesign Advisory Committee over concerns about unprofessional behavior and a lack of ethical guidelines and standards for MHRT/Cs. An Ethics Subcommittee convened to lay the foundation for the new Code of Conduct, which will become part of agency contracts in FY19. The Code of Conduct can be found here.
8. Provider Information Webinars
We held two informational webinars for providers 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.
We will update this page as frequently as possible. Stay tuned to learn about the various pathways to certification, non-academic training options, updated guidelines, resources and more.