Mental Health Support Specialist (MHSS)

  Student Overview:

If you are reading this section you are most likely interested in learning about the role of the Mental Health Support Specialist (MHSS). People who work in the role of the MHSS provide daily living support and residential services to individuals with mental illness. In order to be a Mental Health Support Specialist you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or a GED.

The MHSS course meets one of the requirements for Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician MHRT I certification. MHSS consists of approximately 35-hours of training and it is regularly offered throughout Maine by various agencies and trainers. The MHSS course may be waived in certain circumstances. Please see the MHRT I requirements for details.

Information for Students:

Below is a link for approved MHSS trainers, as well as a schedule of MHSS courses currently offered in Maine.

Mental Health Support Specialist (MHSS) Information for Trainers:


If you are a Mental Health Support Specialist trainer (MHSS) trainer, you have a variety of requirements. Some of your responsibilities include:

  • Offering the MHSS course to participants at least one time per year.
  • Notifying the Center for Learning at least 30 days before you teach the MHSS course.
  • Collecting course evaluations from participants and submitting them to the Center for Learning.
  • Submitting Validation forms (confirmation of the dates that you taught the class and the names of participants who attended) to the Center for Learning.

By clicking on the following link, you will find detailed information about MHSS training policies and procedures.

Please note that in 2006, the Direct Support Professional and Mental Health Support Specialist curricula were compared.  It was determined that the following three modules are interchangeable between the two curricula: Confidentiality, Documentation, and Sexuality.


As per the letter dated 5/14/12, the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services has adopted a new MHSS evaluation policy. The revised policy includes the following:
1) Trainer(s) will assign one student to distribute the evaluations, collect them once completed, and place them in an envelope provided ahead of time by Muskie. The envelope will have instructions for both the designated student and trainer.
2) Trainer(s) will leave the room while students complete their evaluation form.
3) Trainer(s) may reenter the room after all evaluation forms have been collected and sealed by the designated individual.

Please notify the Center for Learning (using the MHSS Trainer Notification form) within 30 days prior to offering a course so that we can ensure you have the envelope and instructions prior to the end of your course.

Forms for Mental Health Support Specialist (MHSS) Trainers:


  Below are links to the various forms that you will need as a trainer.

Use the Evaluation Form when you are ready to ask students to provide feedback about the course (All UPDATED May 2017):

MHSS Student Evaluation Form

MHSS Evaluation Word MHSS Evaluation Adobe
Use the Curriculum Modification Form if you wish to change the order of the MHSS modules or add material to the standardized curriculum:

MHSS Curriculum Modification Request Form

MHSS Modification Word
MHSS Modification Adobe

Use the Training Notification Form to notify the Center for Learning that you will be teaching the MHSS class:

MHSS Training Notification Form

Training Notification Word
Training Notification Adobe

Ask students to complete the Student Information Form so that they can receive their certificate once they finish the course:

MHSS Student Information Form

MHSS Student Word
MHSS Student Adobe

Use the Training Validation Form to inform the Center for Learning of the dates that you taught the MHSS class and the names of students who participated:

MHSS Training Validation Form (updated June 2014)

Training Validation Word
Training Validation Adobe


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