Peer/Family Support Specialist (Full-Time) – PeerLINKS program

The PeerLINKS program serves individuals 18 years of age or older, who have serious mental health challenges (SMI), and use acute, crisis-oriented mental health services but are not connected with treatment or community resources. Our participants are referred to us by specific psychiatric hospitals, crisis homes and emergency rooms.

Peer/Family Support Specialists are individuals who are living with behavioral health challenges or have a close family member living with behavioral health challenges. You will be assigned to work with approximately 15-20 participants. Your participants will have varied backgrounds including being members of the LGBTQIA community, Veterans, TAY, and Older Adults. You will be their main point of contact for your assigned participants and will maintain regular contact with them while they are in our program.

All of our participants have serious mental health challenges and the majority are also experiencing homelessness, have struggles with substance use, and may have involvement with the justice system. The majority are not connected with services and have no support network, thus, initially they may be experiencing significant symptoms (for example, hearing voices, including command hallucinations, visual hallucinations, etc.) and you may be their only source of support.

Our Peer/Family Support Specialists (PFSS) meet one-on-one with participants in a variety of locations, such as: shelters, embankments, parking lots, residential treatment programs, independent living homes, libraries, parks, mental health clinics (e.g. Jane Westin), clubhouses, and other sites that serve individuals experiencing homelessness with behavioral health challenges (e.g. Neil Gooday/St. Vincent’s Day Center, Rachel’s Women’s Center, etc.). Our PFSSs also meet with participants when they are still in the psychiatric hospital, crisis home, or emergency department.

In addition to being out in the field, you will also spend a portion of your workday in our energetic, open concept office with our diverse team. There you will work on documentation, make calls, send texts, research resources and attend trainings and meetings

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

You will provide Enhanced Peer Support Services / Case Management, which includes: Connecting your participants with a variety of resources and services, including: mental health treatment, treatment for substance use, applying for benefits such as Cal-Fresh and General Relief, obtaining federally funded phones, etc. Sharing your lived experience with your participants (when appropriate) to provide a sense of connection and hope; developing rapport and building trust; relating to their needs; and modeling recovery.

Additional essential responsibilities include: Crisis Intervention (including interactions with PERT or law enforcement), Care Coordination with a variety of providers, Advocacy and Education, Transporting Participants to appointments in your personal vehicle, and extensive Documentation

Minimum Requirements:

  • Must have lived experience: 1) you are living with mental health challenges (including past struggles with substance use) and are grounded in your recovery OR 2) you have a close family member/partner who is living with a mental health challenges (including substance use) and you have lived through this experience with them.
  • Completion of Peer Employment Training (PET) at the date of employment or within 90 days of hire; priority will be given to applicants who have already completed the training.
  • Must have experience providing peer support, case management or closely related experience, such as: housing specialist/navigator, AOD services/counseling, and employment services.
  • Experience working with individuals living with serious mental health challenges, substance use, experiencing homelessness, or with justice involvement.
  • Ability to work independently and within a team environment and exercise good judgment
  • Must be proficient in using computers, word processors, web navigation, and spreadsheets.
  • Must be willing to transport participants in your own vehicle; must have a reliable vehicle with current insurance, have a satisfactory driving record and be willing to enroll in the DMV Pull Notice Program.
  • Must be willing to obtain volunteer status at UC San Diego and Scripps Mercy, which includes providing proof of immunization to Varicella, MMR and tDAP, as well as clearing a TB test.

Additional, Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of San Diego County’s behavioral health and social services.
  • Experience supporting participants experiencing SI/HI, as well as experience making reports to and working with Adult Protective Services, Child Protective Services, etc.
  • Experience with documentation on mHOMS, CCBH/Cerner, HMIS, or other related databases preferred.

Full-time – 40 Hours                                                    Hourly Salary: $17.00

To ApplyPlease email your resume to PeerLINKS@namisd.org.