NAMI San Diego (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a nonprofit organization that provides free education, support services, and advocacy to improve the quality of life of everyone affected by mental health challenges.
The NAMI San Diego PeerLINKS program serves individuals 18 years of age or older, who have a serious mental illness, are in need of resources or support, and have had multiple, recent visits to Psychiatric Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, or Crisis Homes. The goal of the PeerLINKS team is to Link our participants with needed services, while INcreasing their Knowledge and providing Support. Our team’s approach is to meet our participants where they are in their recovery, as well as in the community, and work to support their goals and their preferences. We do not tell our participants what to do; instead, we provide options and help them think through their options. Additionally, we empower participants to take an active role in their well-being and recovery.
Upon joining PeerLINKS, participants are assigned to a Peer/Family Support Specialist, who provides peer support, community information, assistance with navigating resources and healthcare system, as well as applying for benefits.
Peer/Family Support Specialist’s Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
- Meet with participants in psychiatric units, crisis home and in the community.
- Relate to the needs and concerns of individuals seeking behavioral health services.
- Develop rapport and build trust with the persons we serve.
- Provide support, information and access to needed resources and appropriate services.
- Assist participants in navigating the behavioral healthcare system.
- Provide peer support and messages of hope and recovery.
- Conduct assessments and collect data in timely fashion, as contractually required.
- Document all participant interactions accurately on program forms and/or into computer tracking system in a timely manner.
- Accompany and possibly transport participant to first visit to outpatient clinic/program, if needed.
- Additional responsibilities may include driving to court appointments, assisting with benefits applications, acquiring ID, assisting with access to social service needs, escorting participants to medical appointments, and providing psychoeducation.
- Support the coordination of care for participants and their families in both hospital setting and community setting. This includes establishing rapport with participants, their family members, and providers to promote hope, recovery and wellbeing.
- With the support of the program’s Behavioral Health Clinician, may need to intervene in crisis situations.
- Comply with all NAMI San Diego policies and procedures including HIPAA standards.
- Contribute to the general operation of the program as a team member.
- Maintain knowledge of best practices by reading appropriate publications, attending seminars and other trainings.
- Ensure facilities’ upkeep and safety by maintaining neat and clean work areas including securing work area by close of business day.
- Follow administrative chain of command.
- Attend agency and program meetings.
- Participate in the staff team in the provision of support, information and access to needed resources and appropriate services.
- Other tasks as assigned.
Required Background and Skills:
- Must have lived experience as an individual living with mental illness, co-occurring disorders, or a family member.
- Must have a strong, positive viewpoint toward mental health.
- Completion of Peer Employment Training (PET), Peer Support Specialist or Family Support Specialist training strongly preferred, or must be able to complete within 90 days of hire.
- Excellent interpersonal skills.
- Ability and desire to work as part of a team.
- Must be able to work in a fast-paced work environment.
- Ability to keep information confidential and be discrete.
- Demonstrated ability to work with diverse populations.
- Ability to relate to the needs and concerns of individuals seeking behavioral health services.
- Intermediate knowledge of computer, email and web navigation.
- Comfortable using technology such as tablets and databases.
- Must be willing to transport participants in their 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, which includes providing proof of immunization to Varicella, MMR and tDAP, as well as clearing a TB test.
- Willingness to support NAMI San Diego’s mission and values.
Additional, Preferred Qualifications:
- Knowledge of San Diego County’s behavioral health, AOD, and social services, strongly preferred.
- Volunteer or employment history using personal experience to assist a client/participant, preferred.
- Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
- Ability to communicate effectively in writing and verbally.
- Must have ability to use training and remain calm during any potential emergencies or crises.
- Demonstrate and articulate working knowledge of recovery principles and health and wellness principles.
- Demonstrate sensitivity to cultural and socio-economic factors that inform service provision to persons with psychiatric, substance use or co-occurring disorders.
- Bilingual in Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Arabic is strongly preferred.
Full-time – 40 Hours Hourly Salary: $16.50
To apply: Send cover letter and resume to: PeerLINKS@namisd.org and please include “Peer/Family Support Specialist position” in the subject line.