POSITION TITLE: Peer Support Specialist (Hospital Team) – 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 (The 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 reentry into the community.  The team consists of trained Peer Specialists, Family Member Specialists, Recovery Services (AOD) Counselors, Nurses, Behavioral Health Consultants and Health Navigators 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. 

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Demonstrate ability to relate to the needs and concerns of individuals seeking mental health services, substance use services or co-occurring disorders services. 
  • Welcome and orient newly admitted individuals to the San Diego County Emergency Psychiatric Unit and County Psychiatric Hospital. 
  • Offer message of hope. 
  • Provide individuals with support and encouragement. 
  • Share lived experience when appropriate. 
  • Model recovery. 
  • Connect or reconnect individuals with family support when possible. 
  • Attend hospital treatment team meetings and clinical rounds. 
  • Participate in the development of hospital treatment plans and discharge plans. 
  • Attend daily hospital team huddle meetings. 
  • Collaborate with hospital team colleagues. 
  • Lead hospital groups as assigned. 
  • Provide information about community resources. 
  • Offer education on outpatient behavioral health services, especially if this is the first psychiatric hospitalization. 
  • Assist individuals in linking to resources needed upon discharge. 
  • Able to remain calm during emergencies and crises and respond appropriately. 
  • Document all client interactions accurately on forms and/or into the electronic health record in a timely manner. 
  • Other 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. 

  • Seeing, Hearing, & Speaking 
  • Stooping/Bending 
  • Moving around & between offices/clients 
  • Driving 
  • Lifting/carrying heavy items 
  • Pushing/pulling/dragging items 
  • Using hands/fingers 
  • 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: 

  • Minimum High School Diploma or GED, some college preferred. 
  • Self-identified as a peer. 
  • Grounded in his/her personal recovery. 
  • Successful completion of Peer Employment Training program and/or Career Pathways in Behavioral Health. 
  • Work experience as a Peer strongly preferred. 
  • Knowledge of San Diego County’s behavioral health and social services. 
  • Able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. 
  • Basic knowledge of computer software (Microsoft Office, Word, Excel), email and web navigation. 
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality.  
  • Available to work weekdays as well as evenings, weekends and holidays as required by contract.  
  • Willing and able to drive a personal car. 
  • Possess a valid California Driver’s License and comprehensive automobile insurance as required by law. 
  • Have a satisfactory driving record.  
  • Willing to sign an authorization to enroll in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Employee Pull Notice Program. 
  • Is not 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. 
  • Must be able to pass Livescan background check.
  • Clear TB Test. 
  • Added Plus: Bilingual and bicultural in Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, 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                           

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