68X - Mental Health Specialist

Army Mental Health

US Army soldier salutes

Mental Health Professionals are in short supply in the military and are highly sought after especially during extended periods of deploying into combat zones.  After more than a decade of war, mental health of our soldiers has become a front and center area of concern among Army commanders and staff.
De-stigmatizing visiting a mental health professional is an ongoing task within all branches of the military and has been moving in the right direction, but now filling the need for these mental health professionals is just as challenging.

If you are a caring, compassionate person with the ability to listen, with an interest in psychology, you maybe perfect for the Army Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 68X - Mental Health Specialist.  

Here are some helpful prerequisite skills or traits that will be useful if you seek this career path:

  • Have a calling and thoroughly enjoy helping and caring for others
  • Ability to communicate effectively and work under stressful conditions
  • Interest in chemistry, biology, psychology, general science and algebra
  • High attention to detail and strong ability to listen

Basic Job Description

The Mental Health Specialist is an important member of the Army health care team.  These mental health medical assistants help with the management and treatment of inpatient and outpatient mental health activities. The Mental Health Specialist is primarily responsible for providing mental health treatment to patients under the direct supervision of an Army psychiatrist, social worker, psychiatric nurse or psychologist, Being part of the team that initially screens and interviews future patients requires delicate skill and training.

Duties performed by Soldiers in this MOS include:

Training Information

Job training for a mental health specialist requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 20 weeks of Advanced Individual Training, including practice in-patient care. Training length varies depending on your medical specialty.  

The MOS 68X will be skilled in the following tasks after receiving initial training as a Mental Health Specialist:

Under close supervision, the Mental Health Specialist will collect and record psychosocial and physical data, and assist with care and treatment of psychiatric, drug, and alcohol patients.  The MOS 68X will also counsels clients/patients with personal, behavioral, or psychological problems.

Further training enables the Mental Health Specialist to be trained to manage the psychiatric in/out patient settings, counsels clients/patients with personal, behavioral, or psychological problems and assists with management of mental health activity.

The Mental Health Specialist also assists professional staff with management and supervision of patient treatment in inpatient and outpatient mental health activities. Assists professional staff in the supervision of patient treatment programs, personnel matters, supply economy procedures, fiscal, technical, and administrative matters.

ASVAB Score Required: 101 in aptitude area Skilled Technical (ST) - Determined from General Science (GS), Verbal Expression (VE), Mechanical Comprehension (MC) and Mathematics Knowledge (MK).

Security Clearance: None

Strength Requirement: moderately heavy

Physical Profile Requirement: 111121

Other Requirements

  • None

Similar Civilian Occupations

  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
  • Psychiatric Technicians
  • Social Workers
  • Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorders Counselors