Activities Therapist

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Activities Therapist needed for UNC Health Youth Behavioral Health (YBH), in Butner, North Carolina.

Youth Behavioral Health Hospital (YBH) is a 56-bed, 24-hour, locked psychiatric facility located in Butner, North Carolina. There will be four units dedicated to serving children and adolescent with mental health diagnoses, dual diagnoses, substance misuse and complex behaviors. YBH philosophy is grounded in a milieu-based, trauma-informed and therapeutic setting. This facility aims to serve patients with a complex history, including aggression and psychosis. Safety is a key component of the care provided as well as introduction of positive coping skills, healthy living and positive leisure activities. Therapy services will work among a large interdisciplinary team including Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, and Nursing Services.

We are seeking an Activities Therapist with child and adolescent mental health experience to work on a multidisciplinary therapy team. The Activities Therapist shall be responsible for organizing, developing, and directing quality activities for patients in the milieu. The Activities Therapist will direct meaningful activities for patients in group and individual settings, ensuring that the recreational, physical, intellectual, spiritual, and social needs of each patient are met.

The Activities Therapist will participate in a variety of professional growth activities and mentorship intended to develop and improve patient care delivery and departmental performance. Additionally, the Activities Therapist will be encouraged to serve as a clinical educator for health and human services students.

The Activities Therapist shall also demonstrate accountability for and contribution to program development, quality improvement, problem solving, and productivity enhancement in a flexible team environment.

The selected candidate will work Monday – Friday with occasional weekend and holiday coverage.

Highly Preferred:

Experience in hospital based mental health therapy services

Experience with children and adolescent mental health


1. Must perform proficiently in all competency areas including but not limited to: general activities duties,, supervisory responsibilities, care plan and documentation responsibilities, patient rights, and safety and sanitation principles and techniques of therapy as applies in an acute care psychiatric facility

2. Must demonstrate understanding of basic medical and psychiatric terminology as well as basic regulations governing the treatment of people in psychiatric health facilities.

3. Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing while appropriately and descriptively charting patient progress and behavior. Maintain detailed records of activity programs and participation of individual residents, identifying progress toward established care plan goals.

4. Adapt treatment programs by graduating tasks to meet patient’s level of function

5. Develop, organize, and implement a program of adjunctive therapy activities to meet the social, emotional, physical and other therapeutic needs of patients as identified on the patients’ plan of care and within the specified budget.

6. Must be able to make regular in-room visits to patients uninterested or unable to participate in group activities

7. Must exhibit excellent customer service and a positive attitude towards patients. Coordinate and verify that assistance is provided to residents for activities and events as necessary. Create an ongoing calendar of activities, which creatively meets multiple needs and is accessible and appealing to both men and women of all ages and abilities.

Education Requirements:
●  Bachelor’s Degree in human services field required
Licensure/Certification Requirements:
●  No licensure or certification required.
Professional Experience Requirements:
● No prior experience required.
Knowledge/Skills/and Abilities Requirements:


A variety of individual and group facilitation techniques • Demonstrated proficiency in arts/crafts/music is preferred • Knowledge of one or more therapeutic activity area such as recreation/occupational/music/art therapy; individual and group behavior and effective ways of working with clients; knowledge of the general nature of physical or mental illnesses/disabilities and/or developmental disabilities; • Ability to apply and adapt skills and knowledge of activity areas to planned sessions of therapeutic activities; Ability to foster interest, initiative, responsibility, and experimentation in clients and discourage inappropriate responses; • Experience facilitating therapeutic groups. • Familiarity working with forensic and/or psychiatric consumers preferred.

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Job Details
Legal Employer: STATE

Entity: UNC Medical Center

Organization Unit: UNCH YBH Recreational Therapy

Work Type: Full Time

Standard Hours Per Week: 40.00

Work Schedule: Variable

Location of Job: Butner:NC:27509

Exempt From Overtime: Exempt: No

Salary Range: $18.07 – $22.59 per hour (minimum to midpoint)

Pay offers are determined by experience and internal equity


This is a State position employed by UNC Health Care System.



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