POSITION TITLE: Peer Support Specialist – 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: 

  • Demonstrated ability to relate to the needs and concerns of individuals seeking mental health services, substance use services or co-occurring disorders services 
  • Provide messages of hope and recovery 
  • Offer welcome and orientation to any newly admitted clients to the San Diego County Emergency Psychiatric Unit and County Psychiatric Hospital daily 
  • Provide welcome and orientation to clients at designated County funded mental health clinic sites in San Diego 
  • Offer support, information and access to needed resources and appropriate services 
  • Provide information about available community resources upon discharge 
  • Offer education on outpatient services, especially if this is first psychiatric hospitalization or clinic visit 
  • Accompany client on first visit to outpatient clinic/program if needed 
  • Ensure that client has transportation resources to attend first meeting at outpatient clinic/program 
  • Address the needs and concerns of clients with support and access to needed resources and appropriate services 
  • Document all client interactions correctly on forms and/or into computer tracking system in a timely manner 
  • Must be able to remain calm during any emergencies or crises  
  • Responsibilities may include assisting clients by driving them to court appointments, preparing benefits applications, acquiring IDs, aiding them with access to social services, and escorting them to health services appointments 
  • Link clients with programs to assist with the activities of daily living, such as personal hygiene, laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping, and budgeting money 
  • 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 
  • Self-identified as a peer 
  • Grounded in his/her personal recovery 
  • Successful completion of Peer Employment Training program 
  • Knowledge of San Diego County’s behavioral health and social services 
  • Prior work experience with persons experiencing serious behavioral health challenges strongly preferred 
  • 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 be work occasional evenings, weekends and holidays as required by contract.   
  • Willing and able to drive company car and personal car to transport clients and visit community organizations  
  • Possess a 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.  
  • 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 
  • Must be able to pass Livescan background check.  See San Diego County Disqualification list below.  
  • Clear TB Test 
  • Added Plus: Bilingual and bicultural in Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Tagalog or other Asian language 

Full-time – 40 Hours                           

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

PLEASE SEE SAN DIEGO COUNTY CONTRACTOR BACKGROUND CHECK DISQUALIFICATION LIST BELOW. 

Convicted of felony. 

Convicted of theft of theft related crime: including but not limited to petty theft, forgery, possession of stolen property, embezzlement, battery, assault, welfare fraud. 

Convicted of a crime of moral turpitude: including but not limited to peeping tom, prostitution, sex offense (registered sex offender). 

Demonstrating pattern of criminal behavior. 

Exhibiting patterns of anti-social behavior. 

Convicted of alien smuggling. 

Active warrants or administrative cases shall be disqualified temporarily until proof of resolution is provided. 

Any criminal charges pending, that if convicted would be disqualifying will be grounds for temporary disqualification pending the disposition of those charges.