Location: Mental Health Institute Pueblo,CO
FLSA Job classification: Non-exempt
Job Time Commitment: Full-time (40 hours)
Peer Support Specialists (PSS) are trained, certified professionals in recovery from mental illness/substance use disorder who use their experience to support individuals working toward their own recovery.
The PSS, under general supervision, supports clients in articulating goals for recovery, models effective coping techniques and self-help strategies, aides in system navigation and supports client in advocating for effective services. The PSS works with individuals in groups, and one on one, to support clients and inspire hope and motivation in recovery. The PSS will work alongside a multidisciplinary team within the hospital in order to meet the client's needs, advocate on their behalf and provide needed support in furthering recovery.
PSS Positions are open in both Colorado State Mental Health Institutes located in Denver and in Pueblo. These are locked facilities which require a full background check on any candidate placed within them. Preferred candidates for this position will have completed Peer Support Training and will have experience working in the field of peer support. Candidates must be willing to communicate coping mechanisms with vicarious trauma, how they maintain self-care, and identify potential challenges working in this environment.
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must possess a High School diploma or equivalency
- Must read, write, and orally communicate proficiently in English
- Length of recovery: A minimum of two (2) years out of hospital or inpatient mental health facility
- Desired additional qualifications for PSS candidate:
- Bachelor's Degree
- Completed Peer Support Training and certification in the state of Colorado
- 2 years experience working as a PSS
- Knowledge of trauma informed care
- Lived experience in a hospital setting
- Length of recovery: minimum three (3) years out of hospital or inpatient at mental health facility
- Although recreational and medical use of marijuana is legal in the state of Colorado, CDHS policies prohibit the use of marijuana under all circumstances and will refuse the services of an appointed PSS who test positive for marijuana regardless of medical need, presence of a prescription, or legal status.
- PSS's are required to have an annual influenza vaccination or exemption (medical or religious) and evidence before beginning work. All exempt PSS's must wear a mask at all timeswhile performing duties.
- PSS must provide evidence of the following vaccinations before beginning work: Influenza, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, and a Tuberculin test or equivalent T-SPOT or a QuantiFERON TB-Gold, and a Hepatitis B series or a signed Hep B waiver
- PSS shall enter same-day documentation of patient interaction in the patient chart
- Build professional relationships with clients without the constraints of the traditional expert/patient or expert/family member role. The relationship will be built on mutuality founded on the key principles of hope, equality, respect, personal responsibility and self-determination
- Offer hope through PSS's life experience by using personal stories in a conscious, deliberate and professional way in the service of helping another
- Promote recovery, wellness, and healthy lifestyle behaviors
- Encourage active participation in managing symptoms and assist people with behavioral health issues to identify, encourage, and pursue changes they would like to make in an area of wellness
- Provide support to achieve goals individually and in groups
- Deliver peer-led evidence-based services that support individuals, set and achieve goals, increase healthy lifestyle habits, maximize/prioritize their time with treatment professionals, reduce self-stigma and find or recover lost roles and goals in life (For example: Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), and others.
- Help clients cope with social or emotional barriers as they adjust to the institutions and to stay motivated to reach their goals
- Share strategies and skills for activation of self-care and personal advocacy
- Convey a deep respect and empathy for the impact of the effects of a serious mental health challenge on all aspects of life and provide empathic understanding of another's situation through the shared experience of emotional and psychological distress and improvement.
- Help bridge the gap between clients and health professionals
- Meets defined individual and department goals, and Key Performance Indicators
- Participates in multi-disciplinary team meetings for case consultation and treatment plans. Must be able and willing to report to contracting and on-site supervisors while adhering to rules and regulations of hospital policies and safety protocols
- Promotes, supports, and demonstrates the Colorado State Mental Health Institutes (MHI)mission, vision and values through both behavior and job performance and adheres to policies, procedures, Compliance Plan and Standards of Conduct on a day to day basis
- Effectively interacts and communicates with other MHI staff and clients
- Regular and consistent attendance is required to perform essential functions of the job
- Ability to communicate effectively both orally and written
- Other duties as assigned
- High school diploma or GED required.
- Colorado State Certified Peer Support Certificate or Peer Support Training Certificate, preferred
- Must be a current or former consumer of mental health and/or substance abuse services, plus have a minimum three to five (3-5) years recovery/participation in local or national consumer movement or demonstrable recovery expertise.
- Must have lived experience with mental illness and/or SUD; preferably in the public mental health system
- Must be able to pass a state background check including drug-screen conducted by the State MHIs.
Note: Applicants must also meet Colorado State Agency minimum requirements to be considered for this position
The duties, responsibilities, and conditions described are not necessarily a comprehensive list. Additional tasks and requirements may be assigned to the employee from time to time, as necessitated by business demands. Given the nature of the business, the company retains the right to modify the essential functions of this position at any time.
Note: Applicantsmustalso meet Colorado State Agency minimum requirements to be considered for this position0