Peer Support Specialist

GENERAL FUNCTION:

This member of the Adult Services Team has experience as a recipient of mental health service for severe and persistent mental illness and is willing to share his or her personal, practical experience, knowledge, and first-hand insight to benefit the team and its clients.  The Peer Specialist functions to provide expertise about the recovery process, symptom management, and the persistence required to encourage clients to have a satisfying life.  He or she collaborates to promote a team culture that recognizes, understands, and respects each client's point of view, experiences and preferences.  He or she is responsible to maximize client choice, self determination and decision making in the planning, delivery and evaluation of treatment, rehabilitation and support services.  Provides peer counseling during client contact; carries out rehabilitation and support functions and assists in treatment, education and crisis intervention under the clinical supervision of staff with professional degrees. 

RESPONSIBLE TO:  Program Manager

QUALIFICATIONS:

The Peer Specialist has successfully completed the Washington State Peer Specialist Certification class and has been provided with a documentation of this completion.  A high school diploma is required and two years of paid or volunteer work experience with adults with severe and persistent mental illness is highly desired.  The Peer Specialist, who is or has been a recipient of mental health services for severe an persistent mental illness, should have self-knowledge to manage their mental illness and be well along in their recovery.  Must have a strong commitment to the right and the ability of each person with a severe and persistent mental illness to live in normal community residences; work in market jobs; and have access to helpful, adequate, competent and continuous supports and services.  It is essential that the Peer Specialist has the skills and competence to establish supportive trusting relationships with persons with severe and persistent mental illness and respect for client's rights and personal preferences in treatment is essential. Must obtain a current Counselor Registration for the State of Washington.

TYPICAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Meets regularly as scheduled with Hoquiam Adult Services Team to receive work assignments.
  • Writes and submits progress notes for each client seen on each day of service. Progress notes must meet the standards of content and legibility set for the program.
  • Organizes and schedules work time in order to complete assignments and all related paperwork in a timely manner and according to program standards.
  • Attends required program and agency trainings.
  • Attends ongoing briefing and debriefing consultations as are relevant to the program.
  • Meets with Supervisor on a regular basis as scheduled. Accepts direction and carries out self-care methods to stay healthy.
  • Act as an interpreter to help non-mental health consumer team members better understand and empathize with each client's unique and subjective experience and perceptions.
  • Provide expertise and consultation from a mental health consumer perspective to the entire team concerning client's experiences on symptoms of mental illness, the effects and side effects of medications, clients responses to opinions of treatment and clients experience of recovery.
  • Collaborate with the team to promote a team culture in which each client's point of view, experiences and preferences are recognized, understood and respected, and in which client self-determination and decision making in treatment planning are maximized and supported.
  • Help clients identify, understand and combat stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and develop strategies to reduce self-stigma.
  • Help other team members identify and understand culture-wide stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness and develop strategies to eliminate stigma within the team.
  • Help clients develop interests and personal identity outside of the mental health system.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Ability to lift ten pounds
  • Ability to drive and valid driver's license