This member of the ACT multidisciplinary team has experience as a recipient of mental health services for severe and persistent mental illness and is willing to use and share his or her personal, practical experience, knowledge, and first-hand insight to benefit the team and its clients. The Peer Specialist functions as a fully integrated team member to provide expertise about the recovery process, symptom management, and the persistence required by clients to have a satisfying life.
The Peer Specialist collaborates to promote a team culture that recognizes, understands, and respects each client’s point of view, experiences and preferences. The Peer Specialist is responsible to maximize client choice, self-determination and decision-making in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of clients, families and team staff. The position is a part time, 15 to 20 hours per week, depending upon demand for its service. Will consider changing the position to full time as the demand for peer support increases.
Major Functional Areas and Description of Duties
- Provide peer counseling and support, drawing on common experiences as a peer, to validate clients’ experiences and to provide guidance and encouragement to clients to take responsibility and actively participate in their own recovery. This includes providing 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, client’s responses to and opinions of treatment, and client’s experiences of recovery.
- Serve as a mentor to clients to promote hope and empowerment and develop strategies to reduce self-stigma.
- Help clients identify, understand, and combat stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. 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.
- Increase awareness of and support client participation in consumer self-help programs and consumer advocacy organizations that promote recovery.
Shared Duties in ACT
When the Peer Specialist has appropriate professional credentials, he or she may perform a number of professional duties under clinical supervision such as case management, Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) and functional support services.
- Assist in the provision of direct clinical services to clients on an individual, group, and family basis in the office and in community settings to teach symptom-management techniques and promote personal growth and development by assisting clients to cope with internal and external stresses.
- Perform mentoring, problem solving, encouragement and support to clients.
- Provide ongoing assessment, problem solving, side-by-side services, skill teaching, support (prompts, assignments, encouragement), and environmental adaptations to assist clients with activities of daily living including performing household activities, money-management skills, personal hygiene, and grooming tasks.
Social and Interpersonal Relationships and Leisure Time
- Provide side-by-side support, coaching and encouragement to help clients socialize (going with a client to community activities, including activities offered by consumer-run peer support organizations) and assist in planning and carrying out leisure time activities while promoting empowerment and greater independence.
- Organize and lead individual and group social and recreational activities to help clients structure their time, increase social experiences, and provide opportunities to practice social skills.
- Provide mentoring, advocacy, coordination, and side-by-side individualized support to clients.
- The Peer Specialist may have a college degree in a human services field or in another area, have a high school diploma, or have at least two years of paid or volunteer work experience with adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses.
Experience and Knowledge Required
- Must have good oral and written communication skills.
- The Peer Specialist who is or has been a recipient of mental health services for severe and 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 mental illness to live in community residences; work in market jobs; and have access to helpful, adequate, competent, and continuous supports and services.
- The ideal candidate will possess a New Hampshire Peer Specialist certification.
- Must have at least one year or greater in recovery absent of any psychiatric crisis or hospitalization.
Physical Demands and Working Conditions
Persons need a driver’s license with a clean driving record, vehicle and auto insurance and are willing and able to transport clients as needed. Most time will be spent at the client’s home, work place, or community setting.
Directions for Applying for the Position
Interested candidates should submit their cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Center for Life Management is an equal opportunity employer.