New York State of Opportunity

New York State Department of Civil Service Announces Examinations Open to All Qualified Individuals

Mental Health Therapy Aide

Applications Accepted
Tests To Be Held


Exams Included on This Announcement
Exam Number Exam Title Salary Grade Beginning Salary
20-184 Mental Health Therapy Aide G-9 $42,419
20-185 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Chinese Language) G-9 $42,419
20-186 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Korean Language) G-9 $42,419
20-187 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Manual Communication) G-9 $42,419
20-188 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Russian Language) G-9 $42,419
20-189 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Spanish Language) G-9 $42,419


Appointees who work in the five boroughs of New York City or in Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, or Westchester Counties will receivean additional $3,026 annual downstate adjustment. Appointees who work in Dutchess, Orange, or Putnam Counties will receivean additional $1,513 annual mid-Hudson adjustment.

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Minimum Qualifications

On or before the date of filing your application, you must have a High School Diploma or High School Equivalency Diploma or similar equivalency such as a General Education Development Certification or higher degree AND have had one (1) year of full-time direct patient** care experience working in a mental health setting.

**Qualifying direct patient care experience includes, but is not limited to the following: attending to patient's personal hygiene,grooming, nutrition, and daily living needs; assisting and participating in physical, social, therapeutic or recreational programs;case management, service coordination activities, or discharge planning.

Non-qualifying experience includes but is not limited to the following: housekeeping, food service, pharmacy technician or aide,receptionist, scheduler, medical biller and/or transportation.

Mental Health setting is defined as: a psychiatric inpatient unit within a general hospital, psychiatric hospital, psychiatric clinic,community or county mental health clinic, center, or other service; residential mental health treatment center; or ComprehensivePsychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP).


  1. Your high school diploma, or equivalency diploma must have been awarded by a high school or educational institution accredited by a regional, national, or specialized agency recognized as an accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education/U.S. Secretary of Education. If your high school diploma was awarded by an educational institution outside the United States and its territories, you must provide independent verification of equivalency. You can write to the Examination Information Desk of the NYS Department of Civil Service for a list of acceptable companies who provide this service. This information can also be found on the Internet at You must pay the required evaluation fee. You will be required to provide this information at the time of interview. Failure to produce this documentation will result in your disqualification and removal from the list.
  2. If you are an employee of the NYS Office of Mental Health and you meet the minimum qualifications, an application for the promotion examination No. 10-034, Mental Health Therapy Aide will automatically be filed for you.
  3. Drug Testing: Prior to appointment, you will be required to participate in a drug-screening test. Failure to meet the standards may result in your disqualification.
  4. Physical/Medical Requirements: Your physical and medical condition will be evaluated to ensure that you are able to satisfactorily perform the duties of this position with or without reasonable accommodation. A complete statement of the physical and medical standards is available at: A medical examination will be required prior to appointment. Appointees to this position may be required to undergo periodic medical examinations to reassess their ability to perform the essential duties of the position.
  5. Communication Proficiency: If you pass the examination for No. 20-185 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Chinese Language), No. 20-186 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Korean Language), No. 20-187 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Manual Communication), No. 20-188 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Russian Language), or No.20-189 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Spanish Language), you will be required to demonstrate your communication proficiency at a level that will ensure your ability to perform properly the duties of the position. Only enough candidates to fill current vacancies will be called to the proficiency test.
  6. A New York State Driver's License May Be Required: Depending on your assignment, you may be required to possess a valid license to operate a motor vehicle in New York State at the time of appointment and continuously thereafter.
  7. Background Investigation/Justice Center Review: The names of all prospective employees will be:

    • Checked against the Staff Exclusion List (SEL) maintained by the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. Prospective employees whose names appear on the SEL as having been found responsible for serious or repeated acts of abuse or neglect will be barred from appointment and may have their names removed from the eligible list(s) for the title(s);
    • Investigated through a Criminal Background Check (CBC). All convictions must be reported. Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor or any falsified or omitted information may bar appointment or result in removal after appointment. Each case will be determined on its own merits, consistent with the applicable provisions of state and federal laws;

    and may be:

    • Screened against the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR). Prospective employees whose names appear on the SCR may be barred from appointment.

    You will be responsible for payment of all required fees.

  8. Medicaid and Medicare: In order to be eligible for appointment and to maintain employment, you cannot be listed as an excluded individual or entity on any of the Federal and/or State Medicaid and Medicare exclusion lists (or excluded from any other Federal or Federally assisted program). If you are appointed and subsequently listed as an excluded individual or entity on any of these lists (or excluded from any other Federal or Federally assisted program), you may be terminated from your employment.
  9. If you submit an application for examination Nos. 20-185 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Chinese Language), 20-186 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Korean Language), 20-187 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Manual Communication), 20-188 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Russian Language), or 20-189 Mental Health Therapy Aide (Spanish Language), an application will automatically be submitted for you for examination No. 20-184 Mental Health Therapy Aide.
  10. Appropriate part-time and volunteer experience, which can be verified, will be accepted on a prorated basis.
  11. New York State residence is not required.

The Positions

These positions are located in the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) throughout New York State.

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As a Mental Health Therapy Aide, you would provide direct services, treatment, rehabilitation, and support to individuals diagnosed with mental illness that receive services in an institutional or community-based setting. You would help individuals to participate in games and recreational programs; coach and encourage individuals to develop daily living skills; and provide a clean, safe, and comfortable environment. You would work with other staff to develop, carry out, and record care plans,and, in accordance with special instructions you may administer medication. This position may be physically demanding. You would need to be prepared to act to ensure the health and safety of patients and staff in emergency situations. You must be able to do such things as bend, stretch, and stand for long periods of time.

Probation: All Mental Health Therapy Aide appointees will be required to serve and satisfactorily complete a probationary period of up to 52 weeks which begins at the time of permanent appointment. During probation, an appointee???s performance in the prescribed training and development programs will be observed and evaluated. The prescribed training and development programs will include extensive on-the-job training and carefully designed and monitored work experience. An appointee not meeting required standards can be terminated at any time after the initial four (4) weeks.

Initial training will be on the day shift; in order to be included in canvasses for these positions please ensure your shift preference includes day shift. However, you should be aware that at the conclusion of your initial training period the permanent assignment for your position may be to any shift and is likely to be for the evening or night shift with weekend hours required. A candidate must be able to work any shift.

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Subject of Examination

There will be no written test. If you meet the Minimum Qualifications your education and experience will be evaluated against the general background/critical activities of the position. The examination requires completion of an online application - see also How to Apply section. Link)

Your answers to the application will be the only basis for your score. Resumes will NOT be accepted in lieu of a completed application. Do Not Send a Resume.

It is essential that you read, answer, and describe your education and experience as completely as possible on he online application form. Ambiguity, vagueness, or omissions will not be decided in your favor. Failure to complete the application correctly may result in disqualification. If disqualified, candidates must wait 12 months to re-apply.

The information you provide on the application is subject to verification. You may be required to furnish written verification of the education, experience, certification, or licensure claimed. False statements may result in removal from the eligible list or termination of employment.

Your final score must be 70 or higher in order to pass. Rank on the eligible list will be determined after adding any wartime veterans and Civil Service Law Section 85-a credits to your final score.

If you pass, your seniority credit(s), if any, will be included in the computation of your final score. Rank on the eligible list will be determined after adding any wartime Veterans' credits to your final passing score.

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How to Apply

Special online application instructions for this examination are available at: Link)

The NYS Office of Mental Health has an ongoing need for persons qualified for appointment to these positions and will accept applications at any time and will rate applications whenever additional eligibles are needed. It is anticipated that the examinations will be held on a periodic basis throughout the year. For information about this exam contact the following:

NYS Office of Mental Health, Decentralized Examination Unit

44 Holland Avenue, Albany NY 12229

Telephone: 1-877-691-8264

RETEST POLICY: Qualified candidates may retest as frequently as once per year, but a new online application is required each time. Apply at: Link).

Additional Information

New York State is an Equal Opportunity Employer

It is the policy of the State of New York to provide for and promote equal opportunity employment, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment without unlawful discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, religion, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, veteran or military service member status, marital status, domestic violence victim status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, arrest and/or criminal conviction record, or any other category protected by law, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification or other exception.

Appointment to many positions in State government require candidates to undergo an investigative screening. This may include a thorough character investigation, a Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Record History Check, a Child Abuse Registry clearance, or other similar procedures. Candidates may be fingerprinted and may be required to pay any necessary fees for that procedure. Depending on the nature of the job, the criminal convictions discovered, or any falsified or omitted information revealed, the investigative findings may bar appointment or result in removal after appointment.

Eligibility for Employment

You must be legally eligible to work in the United States at the time of appointment and throughout your employment with New York State. If appointed, you must produce documents that establish your identity and eligibility to work in the United States, as required by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Reasonable Accommodations in Testing

It is the policy of the Department of Civil Service, in accordance with the New York State Human Rights Law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, to provide qualified persons with disabilities equal employment opportunity and equal opportunity to participate in and receive the benefits, services, programs, and activities of the Department. It is the policy of the Department to provide such persons reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications as are necessary to provide equal opportunity. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation to participate in an examination must note this on their application. Further information is available from the Test Accommodation Unit of the Department of Civil Service at

New York State Residence Is Not Required For Most Positions

However, you must be eligible for employment in the United States.

Continuous Recruitment/Eligible Lists

Candidates who meet the qualifications and pass this examination will have their names placed on the eligible list in the order of final scores, regardless of the date on which they filed or took the test. Generally, the names of qualified candidates will remain on the eligible list for two years. Appeal of ratings will not be allowed as the opportunity for retest exists. The Department of Civil Service reserves the right to terminate this special recruitment program.

Issued: 02/2022

This announcement is subject to amendment or cancellation without notice. Do not copy it, or post it to any other site, but link to it instead.