The California Smokers' Helpline (Helpline), also known as 1-800-N0-BUTTS, is a statewide counseling service operated through UCSD Moores Cancer Center. The Helpline was established in 1992 and currently provides telephone-based cessation counseling in English and Spanish for all California residents, and through the Asian Smokers’ Quitline, counseling in Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Korean, and Vietnamese for the whole country (N=30,000 enrollees/year).
The Helpline became the first in the nation to offer free, telephone-based services for tobacco users wanting to quit. The Helpline has served as a model for similar services that are now available in all 50 states. Since its inception, the Helpline has provided free, personalized and confidential services to Californians from diverse communities throughout the state. The Helpline also provides training and technical assistance to a wide variety of organizations throughout California to increase their capacity in tobacco cessation, including health professionals working in tobacco control, public health, health education, behavioral health, health care, and health system administration.
The Helpline is renowned for its quality intervention research that has consisted of large randomized trials testing various counseling protocols designed to help smokers quit. These trials have repeatedly proven the effectiveness of the standard telephone counseling protocol as well as more targeted protocols such as for pregnant smokers, teens, and Asian-language speakers.
The Helpline has also been the setting for conducting research on novel interventions such as using financial incentives to increase counseling adherence among low-income smokers, helping smokers quit through intervention with non-smokers, or determining the role of nicotine replacement therapy in helping smokers quit smoking. The Helpline is expanding its intervention model to include vaping cessation protocols for adults and teens as well as internet and technology-based protocols like texting, chat, mobile applications and online videos.
The Senior Behavioral Health Counselor (SBHC) is a seasoned counseling professional who can apply behavioral change theory with an in-depth understanding of the modification of addictive behaviors in a Helpline setting. The Helpline serves a range of tobacco users and non-tobacco users from varying ethnic, socioeconomic and psychiatric health backgrounds and includes populations such as teens, American Indians, LGBTQ tobacco users, tobacco users with mental health conditions, First 5 clients (pregnant tobacco users and smokers living with children 0-5), nonsmoking family members and friends of smokers (proxies) and those using e-cigarettes and vaping nicotine.
Under general direction from the Helpline’s clinical director, the SBHC will: 1) provide counseling and risk management/crisis intervention and mandated reporting for clients across the state, as needed; 2) assist with hiring, training and consultation for clinical staff; 3) help develop, manage, assess and maintain counseling and tech-based cessation interventions for tobacco smoking, nicotine vaping and other tobacco products; 4) offer technical assistance and training for medical and behavioral health care providers through the Helpline’s Center for Tobacco Cessation; 5) assist with creating clinically-related psychoeducational and promotional materials and preparing scholarly works for presentation or publication and; 6) contribute to the conceptualization, design, implementation and monitoring of intervention studies. Specialized knowledge of industry standards for teen, young adult, and adult tobacco cessation intervention and behavioral health care and technology-based interventions is preferred.
Master’s Degree in related area; or equivalent experience.
A valid California license as a mental health provider in good standing.
A minimum of three (3+) or more years of relevant experience.
Thorough knowledge and understanding of clinical counseling principles, methods, procedures, and standards.
Demonstrated skill in the management of serious incidents including suicide intervention and mandated reporting.
Strong skill in analyzing, planning and implementing clinical interventions based on knowledge of theory of human behavior.
Proven ability to use evidence based therapeutic techniques to treat tobacco dependent clients and those with co-morbid depression, anxiety and other mental health and substance use disorders.
Ability to use good clinical judgment and professional boundaries when assessing, counseling and consulting. Proven ability to evaluate the progress of therapeutic approach and modify as necessary.
Thorough knowledge of legal and ethical issues related to patients' rights.
Highly effective verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills.
Demonstrated ability to develop and present educational programs and/or workshops.
Strong knowledge of business software and specialized applications/systems used in behavioral health settings.
Ability to work in a highly collaborative manner with a diverse client group. Ability to lead groups and manage projects of varying levels of complexity.
Solid experience in assessing clients and determining appropriate therapeutic approach in consultation with other behavioral health professionals as appropriate.
Ability to communicate in English and one other service language offered at the Helpline (Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese), orally and in writing, in a clear, effective and culturally-competent manner to serve the counseling, case management and referral needs of clients from various backgrounds.
Demonstrated experience with tele-health and tech-based interventions
Specific knowledge of intervention strategies for the change of addictive behaviors for tobacco users, including teens, American Indians, First 5 populations, LGBTQ smokers, smokers with behavioral health conditions and non-smoking family members or friends of smokers (proxies).
Knowledge of and experience with behavior change for teens and young adults in a therapeutic setting.
Demonstrated experience in telephone-based smoking cessation programs and tobacco research.
Interest in and knowledge of research design, IRB approval processes and program evaluation
Employment is subject to a criminal background check and pre-employment physical.
Must have flexibility to work occasional evenings and weekends as needed.
Must have reliable transportation to go to community meetings and events.
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