I worked as a Mental Health Technician in an inpatient psych hospital that served adult, child, and adolescent clients for about 6 months (this was about 3 years ago). All facilities are different, but mine did not require any college training, only a high school diploma or GED and one week of classroom which was held at the facility. We learned therapeutic communication, crisis prevention intervention, CPR, and we learned about various mental disorders and the best way to handle patients with these disorders. We were also taught policies and procedures, etc. On the geriatric unit, we always had at least one mental health tech who had a CNA license and on our child/adolescent unit we had a behavioral health tech with a bachelors degree in education to help with "school" for the children each day.
The usual daily routine for a mental health technician on the child adolescent unit consisted of periodic patient "checks" (every 5 or 15 minutes, depending on the acuity of the childs condition). The tech fills out a flow **** stating the child behavior at the time (ex: SA-situationally appropriate, C-crying, A-agitated, L-labile, S-sleeping, etc.). The techs are responsible for waking the patients up in the morning and assisting with ADLs as needed, getting vital signs and reporting them to the RNs as necessary, and getting the patients in line to receive medications. One tech would then escort patients who were allowed to leave the unit to go to breakfast. The techs continue to do the patient "checks" throughout the day. Techs at my facility also wrote patient notes (a note has to be written for each patient each shift, and at least one by an RN each 24-hour period). Techs assist with admissions, patient searches, belongings searches and inventories, and with group activities.
Hope this helped somwhat