Tentative Classification Standards issued by the Division of Classification & Compensation are shared with the operating agencies of State government for their consideration and comment. Accordingly, this document that you are viewing is subject to change and will be issued in final form at the completion of the review period.


Occ. Code 5571300


New York State Department of Civil Service

Classification Standard



Mental Health Therapy Aides work in mental health facilities and medical centers and perform a variety of tasks related to the care, nurturing, treatment, education, socialization, habilitation, recovery, healing, and support of individuals diagnosed with a mental illness. Incumbents support, instruct, and assist individuals in developing the necessary skills to attain personal goals, live, be educated, work, and socialize successfully in the community.    


Mental Health Therapy Aides exist in the Office of Mental Health and the medical centers of the State University of New York. 




MENTAL HEALTH THERAPY AIDE: full performance level; under the supervision of a Mental Hygiene Therapy Assistant or other professional or clinical staff, provides direct care services and support to individuals diagnosed with mental illness.  



          Mental Hygiene Therapy Assistants supervise Mental Health Therapy Aides in caring for group of individuals diagnosed with mental illness in facility, residential locations, and community setting of the Office of Mental Health.  Incumbents may also teach, coach, mentor, and evaluate Mental Health Therapy Aides, and other direct care staff. 


Secure Care Treatment Aides treat and care for individuals diagnosed with mental illness who are highly assaultive, suicidal, and dangerous to themselves or others. They provide a safe, secure, and stable environment within which these individuals can be given the intensive care needed for stabilization and treatment.



Direct Support Assistants provide a wide variety of physical and cognitive support activities to individuals with developmental disabilities. In accordance with habilitative plans, they guide and teach individuals vocational, nutritional, social, and personal skills to achieve the highest level of independence for these individuals.




·       Assists and instructs individuals in attending to personal care tasks concerning personal hygiene, grooming, nutrition, and daily living.


·       May personally bathe and groom individuals who are unable to take care of their own personal hygiene needs independently.



·       Ensures that sufficient and appropriate attire is available, assists individuals in selecting clothing and in dressing individuals who require help.


·       Ensures that the food provided or selected is appropriate for those on a special diet prescribed by a dietitian; feeds or assists in feeding individuals who require assistance.



·       Assists and encourages individuals to participate in physical, social, recreational, educational, and other rehabilitation goals to enhance the individual's recovery, and draw individuals into fuller participation in the life of their family and community.


·       Organizes and encourages individuals to participate in, accompanies, and/or transports individuals to social activities such as dances, picnics, shopping visits, field trips to cultural and athletic events, and after school and weekend activities.



·       Accompanies and/or transports individuals to medical appointments as necessary.


·       May assist in developing educational, vocational, and social skills within the framework of the individual's treatment/service plan.



·       May work with the individual and various human services providers to advocate for and assist in meeting the individual's work, housing, and schooling needs.


·       Encourages and coaches individuals to participate in physical activities, exercise, and athletic games, to promote physical well-being.



·       Instructs and supports individuals in the performance of tasks, such as shopping, meal preparation, housekeeping, transportation, and routine household operation and maintenance.


·       May lead skills development or activity groups with individuals and families as appropriate.



·       May perform simple clinical procedures as prescribed; administer medication; supply individuals in all settings with individual doses of prescribed medication and/or monitor individuals' self-administration of medication; count appropriate doses of medication, and maintain medication records; and take and record temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate. 


·       May administer foot baths, irrigations, whirlpool baths, ear drops, and eye drops, change and dress minor wounds following prescribed procedures, and administer first aid treatment in the event of minor burns, cuts, and abrasions.


·       Observes individuals' behavior and specific responses to treatment and rehabilitation programs, support services, and medication; and reports observations verbally or in writing. 



·       Participates in treatment team meetings by communicating observations concerning individuals' progress and reaction to various programs and services; and may suggest alternative programs or procedures to revise an individual's treatment/service plan. 


·       Documents all significant behavioral responses in prescribed format. 



·       Assists in crisis and emergency situations to protect the welfare of individuals, staff, and others. 


·       Observes the physical environment, and performs housekeeping tasks as necessary to ensure the maintenance of a safe, clean, comfortable, and healing environment for individuals. 


·       May assist and supervise individuals in meal preparation, laundry, and light housekeeping tasks; may schedule activities and tasks; and provide training to other staff assigned to provide treatment and care to individuals.





Open-Competitive: High school or equivalent diploma, and successful completion of a one year traineeship. 

Revised:  8/17

NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.