POSITION TITLE: Hospital AOD Counselor – Next Steps Program 

Primary Responsibilities/Function: Next Steps is a partnership of three community organizations, MHS (Mental Health Systems Inc.), NAMI San Diego and UPAC (Union of Pan Asian Communities) with NAMI San Diego as the lead agency.  This integrated care program funded by San Diego County addresses the physical health, mental health and substance use needs of participants along with their needs for food, clothing, shelter, transportation and other social services.  Staff provides clients and family members who visit the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital and its Emergency Unit, and designated community clinics and programs with onsite support and resource information that promotes successful recovery and re–entry into the community.  The team consists of trained Peer Specialists, Family Support Specialists, Recovery Specialists or AOD Counselors, Health Navigators, Eligibility Specialists, Nurses, and Behavioral Health Consultants, most of whom have lived experience with serious mental illness, substance use or a co-occurring disorder, or have a family with lived experience. Staff offers services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.  The Hospital AOD Counselor reports to the Next Steps Associate Director and will be on site in the EPU and hospital units as well as the Next Steps office, adjacent to the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital (SDCPH).  

The Hospital AOD Counselor interacts with all patients providing Brief ASAM Screenings and brief individual modalities of alcohol and drug counseling in the SDCPH EPU (may rotate to CRU as needed, to include group modalities).  The AOD Counselor provides patients at SDCPH with orientation, training, substance misuse recovery skills, information and linking to community resources to provide them with the ability to recover from substance misuse.  

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Provide direct services to the patients at SDCPH in the EPU and may rotate to CRU as needed  
  • Provide Brief ASAM Screenings to all patients  
  • Provide orientation to the program and the concept of recovery  
  • Develop and implement crisis and recovery plans  
  • Provide brief individual and group recovery services, information, education, linking to community resources and relapse prevention  
  • Provides a variety of interventions including brief individual counseling, crisis intervention, collateral services and other relevant recovery-related services to patients  
  • Establishes trusting relationships and collaborates with patients, family members and/or significant others to facilitate patient’s recovery  
  • Provides education to patients and their significant others regarding substance misuse  
  • Participates in treatment team meetings in conjunction with clinical staff at SDCPH to help develop treatment plans for clients  
  • Attends daily Hospital Team huddles and provides input to the patient’s treatment plan  
  • Prepares and implements discharge plans  
  • Initiates appropriate and timely interventions  
  • Integrates recovery concepts with sound theoretical and practical applications of brief rehabilitative and individual, group, and milieu counseling principles  
  • Provides input to develop and improve program servicing and delivery  
  • Displays regular and reliable attendance.  Reports to and departs from work on time, as scheduled  
  • Successfully functions as a team member  
  • Accurately documents patient progress and every interaction correctly on forms and into computerized record system in a timely manner  
  • Complies with all NAMI and program rules, policies and procedures including HIPPA requirements to maintain strict confidentiality  
  • Deliver short term support and crisis services as needed  
  • Provide messages of hope and recovery to patients, family members and significant others  
  • Establish and maintain supportive relationships with patients and their families from diverse cultural backgrounds  
  • Other relevant duties as assigned  

Physical Demands: 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. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with qualified disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

  • Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer. 
  • Prolonged periods of standing and walking. 
  • Must be able to lift up to 15 pounds at times. 

Minimum Requirements, including linguistic and cultural skills, education, experiences, licenses and certifications: 

  • Possess a State approved AOD certification through CAADE or CCAPP upon hire  
  • AA degree preferred. Will consider registered AOD counselor through CAADE or CCAPP.  
  • Preferred self-identified as a peer or family member of a peer   
  • Knowledge of San Diego County’s behavioral health and social services  
  • Able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing  
  • Experience in community mental health and the peer recovery model preferred  
  • Able to work with minimal direction and supervision  
  • Comfortable working in a psychiatric hospital based behavioral health service setting  
  • Ability to work under pressure in a fast paced environment  
  • Set priorities and react appropriately to emergency situations  
  • Basic knowledge of computer software (Microsoft Office, Word, Excel), email and web navigation  
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality   
  • Must be able to pass Livescan background check.  
  • Available to be flexible and work weekdays, evenings, weekends and holidays as required by contract.  Contract hours include shifts within a 12 hour period, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  
  • Must be willing and able to drive company car and personal car, have valid California Driver’s License and comprehensive automobile insurance as required by law.  
  • Must have a satisfactory driving record, and be willing to sign an authorization to enroll in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Employee Pull Notice Program.  By participating in this program, NAMI San Diego promotes driver safety through monitoring the driving records of its employees who transport clients.  
  • 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  
  • Clear TB Test  
  • Added Plus: Bilingual and bicultural in Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Tagalog or other Asian language  

COVID Protocols and Work Environment.  As an essential worker providing both telehealth and in-person services, successful candidate will follow CDC guidelines, state guidelines and local mandates for COVID 19 prevention.  COVID-19 Vaccination required for employment. 

Full-time – 40 Hours                 Salary Range: $22 -$25 per hour                 

To apply: Please send cover letter and resume to jobs@namisd.org