Giving You the Care You Need

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 patient in a group therapy

Role: To provide peer support to clients with mental health challenges. This position promotes socialization, recovery, self-sufficiency, self-advocacy, development of natural supports, and maintenance of skills learned in other support services. The Certified Peer Specialist Services (CPSS) serves as an advocate for and on behalf of clients’ rights and benefits, and provides expertise and consultation from a Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and/or Deaf-Blind mental health consumer perspective to other providers.

Examples of work responsibilities:

  • Assist clients with symptom management and recovery by modeling wellness, personal responsibility, self-advocacy, and hopefulness through the sharing of his or her story, in the process of role modeling and determine how the needs of individuals can be met.
  • Help other providers to better understand and empathize with each client’s unique experience and perceptions.
  • Provide guidance and encouragement to clients to actively participate in their own recovery.
  • Teach clients self-advocacy skills.
  • Promote personal growth and development with mental health issues.
  • Assist, teach, and support clients regarding activities of daily living, vocational skills, housing access, maintaining financial supports, and building support networks.
  • Provide side-by-side support, coaching, and encouragement to help clients socialize and carry out leisure-time activities on evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Organize and lead individual and group social and recreational activities and provide other opportunities to practice social skills.
  • Link clients to other external sources of help, when needed.
  • Assist clients in identifying with other consumers who have done well in recovery.
  • When appropriate, share with clients his/her own experiences with mental illness and recovery.
  • Attend and participate in team meetings and supervision meetings.

Minimum Qualifications:

Education: High School Diploma or GED.
Experience: Credentialed as MN Department of Human Services

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required:

  • Knowledge of relevant laws, regulations, and policies regarding social service provision, reporting requirements, data practices, and client rights.
  • Knowledge of and sensitivity to cultural differences and special needs of various marginalized groups, and the ability to consult with other providers regarding these.
  • Knowledge of community resources including functions of other social service agencies.
  • Knowledge of vulnerable adult laws and similar rules and regulations.
  • Knowledge of peer recovery philosophy and practice as it applies to those adults with mental health challenges.
  • Skill in American Sign Language.
  • Skill in consultation, problem-solving, and coordination of service delivery.
  • Skill in providing support to individuals and groups on short-and long-term bases.
  • Ability to prioritize work.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective professional work relationships and therapeutic relationships with clients.
  • Ability to tolerate high levels of stress.
  • Ability to operate machines such as personal computers and other electronic devices.
  • Ability to transport clients in the community.

Additional Information & Work Environment:

Supervision: Certified Peer Support Specialists will receive clinical supervision from a licensed professional clinical counselor.
Work Environment: Work is performed primarily in clients’ and service providers’ homes, treatment and residential facilities, courts and work sites. Frequent travel may involve exposure to inclement weather conditions, unsanitary conditions in homes, communicable illnesses and diseases, and unsafe environments. Direct service provision may require working with persons who can be hostile, aggressive, abusive, violent, or who pose a potential threat to personal safety.
Interactions at Work: Daily contacts with clients to provide support, 10/12/2016 14C4 education, coaching and encouragement; and occasional contact with social workers, psychologists, occupational and recreational therapists, psychiatrists, and program supervisors for consultation and coordination of activities. Other possible contacts include family members of the client.

Expectations: Proper performance assures that appropriate and timely services are provided to protect clients; foster their development toward self-sufficiency and recovery or assist them in improving their quality of life; reduce the need for costlier or less effective types of care or services; maximize limited resources; and avoid service duplication. Failure to provide appropriate and timely services or intervention may leave vulnerable clients in abusive, neglectful, injurious, or life-threatening situations. Poor performance may also result in appeals, lawsuits, poor public relations, and a reduction in the number of volunteers and service providers available to meet client needs.