Activities Specialist 1, Department of Human Services (MHI) - Cherokee

State of Iowa, Mental Health Institute

1251 W Cedar Loop, Cherokee, Iowa 51012

Iowa Department of Human Services

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is seeking an Activity Specialist 1 to join the team at the Cherokee Mental Health Institute (CMHI). CHMI provides active inpatient treatment to adults, adolescents and children who are in need of acute psychiatric services.  

This is a full-time opportunity with a starting pay rate of $22.39 per hour. We also offer a strong opportunity for advancement, growth, and development.  
If you enjoy helping people with mental health and disabilities services, long-term care and treatment, adult, children, and family services then this is a great opportunity for you. 
We have a great total compensation package for all of our full-time employees, including:

  • Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System (IPERS)
  • Retirement Investors Club (RIC) (Employer Sponsored Retirement Plan)
  • Health, Dental and Vision Insurance
  • Vacation Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Paid Holidays (9 days/year)
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Life Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance

For additional information on benefits click here (Download PDF reader).

Desired Qualifications:

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Graduation from an accredited college or university with major course work in art, the behavioral/social sciences, industrial therapy, music, occupational therapy, physical education, recreation, rehabilitation, therapeutic recreation, or other closely related fields;


experience at a level comparable to Activities Assistant or above may be substituted in any equivalent combination for the required education on the basis of one year of experience for each thirty-semester hours of education to a maximum of four years;


employees with current continuous experience in the state executive branch that includes experience equal to two years of full-time work as an Activities Assistant.

For additional information, please click on this link to view the job description. (Download PDF reader)

Additional Qualification Requirements

Designated positions in this job class require applicants to obtain the required Commercial Drivers License and endorsements within a period of time as determined by the appointing authority at the time of hire.

Application Instructions:

Apply online at

Point of Contact Kathy Norris –
The State of Iowa is an EEO/AA Employer
DHS values those with “lived experience” and encourages foster youth, foster parents, and/or parents who were in the DHS system to apply. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are also encouraged to apply (Hearing and Speech Impaired – Relay Iowa 1-800-735-2942 TDD).  

Our agency uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit   


The Activity Specialist 1 position must be able to work with child, adolescent and adult psychiatric patients, work collaboratively within the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Department and with all multi-disciplinary treatment teams, and provide complete coverage of psychiatric rehabilitation assessments, classes and activities as prescribed by the agency and program policies/procedures.

The facility provides several services that are geared toward:

  • Individualized treatment plans that focus on one’s assets
  • May include medication, group counseling and activities therapies
  • Children and adolescent patients continue to attend school
  • Individuals are encouraged to take part, together with staff members, in formulating a treatment plan

Location: Cherokee, Iowa

Open: Wednesday June 22nd

Close: Wednesday July 6th 2022

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