POSITION TITLE: Wellness Advocate/Peer Support Specialist  

Company Description: 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 illnesses. This job is located at San Marcos, California office.   

Primary Responsibilities/Function: IHOT North is a partnership with MHS (Mental Health Systems, Inc.) and UPAC (Union of Pan Asian Communities) and NAMI San Diego, that provides in-home and community support to individuals impacted by serious mental illness and their families in the service area of North San Diego County/San Marcos. In-Home Outreach Teams (IHOT) provide services to adults living with mental illness who are reluctant to seek treatment and supports their families/caregivers. The goal is to assist individuals living with psychiatric and co-occurring issues to function, socialize, and work in environments of their choice with the least restrictive environment possible through fostering client self-determination. 

The Peer Support Specialist utilizes his or her experiences as a recipient of mental health services to enhance recovery efforts of clients within the IHOT program. He/she serves as a member of a multidisciplinary team and shares practical and personal experience, knowledge and insight related to illness management, life skills, and the lifelong process of recovery. The Peer Support Specialist actively promotes greater understanding of clients’ points of view and preferences. He or she maximizes client choice while also advocating on behalf of clients when appropriate. The Peer Specialist also fulfills duties related to supportive counseling, rehabilitation, and collateral interactions with natural supports. 

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Demonstrated ability to relate to the needs and concerns of peers seeking mental health services. 
  • Provide messages of hope and recovery. 
  • Provide lived mental health expertise and consultation to other staff members in order to enhance empathy and professional effectiveness. 
  • Provide support, information and access to needed resources and appropriate services. 
  • Offer education on outpatient mental health treatment, especially if this is first psychiatric hospitalization or clinic visit; accompany client on first visit to outpatient clinic, if needed. 
  • Ensure that participant has transportation resources to attend first meeting at outpatient clinic. 
  • Address the needs and concerns of participant with support in client attaining goals, accessing resources and appropriate services and access to needed resources and appropriate services. 
  • Document all participant interactions correctly on forms and/or into computer tracking system according to procedure in timely and accurate fashion. 
  • Responsible to remain calm during any potential emergencies or crises based on practices provided in training. 
  • Responsibilities may include assisting client such as driving to court appointments, assisting with benefits applications, acquiring ID, assisting with access to social service needs, and escorting clients to medical appointments. 
  • Linking participants with programs to assist with the activities of daily living, as well as programs based on whole-person approach that may be outside of mental health needs. 
  • Some evening and weekends are required as a part of the rotating on-call shift. 
  • Responsible to have regular work attendance, arrive on time and complete work projects on time.  
  • Participates successfully as a part of the IHOT team and complies with all NAMI SD and MHS program procedures and policies including HIPAA standards. 

Accountability: Reports to NAMI San Diego Chief Operating Officer and MHS Lead Clinician at the worksite. 

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 10 pounds at times. 

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

  • Self-identified as a peer. 
  • Grounded in his/her personal recovery. 
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality.  
  • Have an understanding of San Diego County’s mental health services. 
  • Understanding of social services available throughout San Diego County. 
  • High School Diploma. 
  • Must be able to pass criminal background check. 
  • Must be willing and able to drive personal car, and have valid California Driver’s License and comprehensive automobile insurance as required by law. 
  • Must have satisfactory driving record, and provide 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. 
  • Clear TB Test required. 
  • Able to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing using lived experience as a peer. 
  • Basic knowledge of computer software (Microsoft Office, Word, Excel) and web navigation. 
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality.  
  • Added Plus: Bilingual Bicultural in Spanish, 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.  Remote workforce may be explored upon hiring.  

Salary: $17.85 hourly                                                    Full time (40 hours/week) 

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