Position Title: Peer Specialist
Program: Next Steps Program
Classification: Non-Exempt. Full Time
Summary and Range of Authority: The Next Steps program provides support to adults and family members who present at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital and other participating sites with serious mental illness, co-occurring substance use disorders or a primary substance used disorder. Next Steps assists clients navigate the complex and overwhelming system of healthcare and social services while providing support and education to family members. Under the supervision of the Program Manager, the Peer Specialist will interact with clients and family members to provide screenings, crisis intervention, brief individual and group drug and alcohol counseling, linkage to community services as well as provide program administrative support.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Demonstrated ability to relate to the needs and concerns of peers seeking mental health services.
- Provide program participants and family members with messages of hope and recovery.
- Provide welcome and orientation to any newly admitted clients to EPU daily.
- Provide welcome and orientation to clients at designated mental health clinic sites in San Diego.
- Provide support, information and access to needed resources and appropriate services.
- Provide information about available community resources upon discharge.
- Offer education on outpatient mental health treatment, especially if this is first psychiatric hospitalization or clinic visit.
- Accompany client on first visit to outpatient facility of needed.
- Ensure that client has transportation resources to attend first meeting at outpatient clinic.
- Network with other service providers to facilitate linkage to community services.
- Address the needs and concerns of clients with support and access to needed resources and appropriate services.
- Document all client interactions correctly on forms and/or into computer tracking system according to procedure.
- Must have ability to use training and remain calm during any potential emergencies or crises.
- Responsibilities may include assisting client such as driving to court appointments, assisting with benefits applications, acquiring ID, assisting with access to social service needs, and escorting clients to medical appointments.
- Link clients with programs to assist with the activities of daily living, such as personal hygiene, laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping, and budgeting money.
- Will be expected to have a caseload of 20 or more clients.
- Some weekend and/or evening shifts required; including work on some major holidays and at least one to two overtime shifts per pay period.
- Attend required staff meetings and trainings.
- Other duties as assigned.
Required Education, Certifications/Licenses and Language/Cultural Skills:
- Must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
Minimum Experience and Qualifications Required:
- Self identified as a recovery peer.
- Must be grounded in his/her personal recovery.
- Understanding of the San Diego county’s mental health services program.
- Understanding social services available throughout San Diego.
- Experience with providing linkage to community resources.
- Ability to maintain strict confidentiality regarding client information and other sensitive or proprietary information.
- Ability to communicate effectively in written and spoken English, with ability to communicate mental health principles to clients, families and providers.
- Ability to work independently and collaborate as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
- Must be able to work with an electronic health record system.
- Must feel comfortable working in an inpatient and outpatient psychiatric hospital setting.
- Must demonstrate basic level of computer literacy and experience using office productivity software i.e. Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Internet browsers, and Outlook.
- Must pass background checks: Live Scan Fingerprint, and County of San Diego Sheriff Background Check. NOTE: The timeline for Sheriff Background Check may take between 8-10 weeks. UPAC will not provide an official offer of employment until the candidate has successfully cleared the Sheriff’s Background check
- Must have TB clearance.
- Must be able to drive for business purposes to other program locations in San Diego County.
- Must have a valid California driver's license and comprehensive automobile insurance coverage, as required by law.
- Will not be debarred or excluded from participation in Federal programs by the General Services Administration and/or the Department of Health and Human Services of the Inspector General.
Physical Demands and Work Environment:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Spends approximately 70% of work time sitting and meeting with others or working at a desk and/or computer. Spends approximately 30% of work time standing or walking within the work area or outside the office at meetings and events, also bends, twists, stoops and reaches. Ability to communicate in writing and verbally. Regularly required to sit and talk or hear. Frequently is required to use hands to touch, handle or feel and reach with hands and arms. Occasionally lifts and/or moves up to 25 pounds. Working conditions are normal for an office environment and event venues. The noise level is usually moderate.