The Mental Health Association of Westchester (MHA) is a community-based not-for-profit committed to recovery-focused mental health services through advocacy, community education and direct services. We are recognized as the leader in Westchester in providing person-centered services that involve collaborating with each individual to achieve his or her goals.
MHA facilitates recovery by providing services that reflect our deeply held values that include the recognition of individual rights of self-determination, choice, shared decision-making and collaborative work. Our highly trained staff utilize evidence-based practices throughout our comprehensive array of trauma-informed and recovery-oriented services.
Through our robust services, as well as our advocacy programs and community events, MHA is able to meet the needs of thousands of men, women, children and families each year, helping them live independent lives in the community.
Join our Team! We have an exciting new opportunity for a Peer Specialist in our OnTrackNY Program in Yonkers, NY.
SUMMARY of DUTIES
OnTrackNY is a new, innovative treatment program that will serve adolescents and young adults (16-30 years old) who are within one year of experiencing the onset of non-affective psychosis. The Peer Specialist will provide direct peer support services to participants, contribute to treatment team planning, and assist with outreach and transitional care efforts in community and hospital settings. Most importantly, the Peer Specialist will draw upon his or her own lived experience to help develop and maintain the program’s culture of respect and focus on the participant’s potential for achieving recovery. The Specialist will support recovery by providing services that reflect our deeply held values that include the recognition of individual rights of self-determination, choice, shared decision-making and collaboration. When possible he/she will utilize evidence-based practices; always embracing a trauma-informed and person-centered approach.
SPECIFIC DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Using his/her personal recovery story to instill hope and demonstrate goal attainment.
2. Enhancing initial outreach, engagement and retention efforts to help participants and families stay connected to the program.
3. Assist in engagement and retention activities to promote optimum involvement with the team, including helping team to maintain a youth-focused, recovery-oriented approach to outreach before and after participants enroll in the program.
4. Providing concrete and social supports to clients and families through case management, helping to support participant’s efforts towards returning to school or work.
5. Helping individuals understand psychosis and develop and practice skills to help with illness management (individually or in groups).
6. Aiding participants and families as they transition from OnTrackNY services.
7. Helping to shape the team’s culture to one that promotes person-centered, recovery-focused, strengths-based service delivery.
8. Follow the established policies & procedures.
9. Maintain appropriate professional standards.
10. Other related duties.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS
1. The individual must have a strong ability to use their own personal lived experience to connect with and relate to OnTrack participants, particularly around challenges associated with psychosis.
2. The Peer Specialist should have a demonstrated ability to relate well to adolescents and young adults.
3. Demonstrated interpersonal communications skills and the ability to empathize with, relate to and effectively work with participants of mental health services.
4. Two years of active participation in mental health self-help activities, peer support or peer advocacy programs, or participant run organizations or similar experiences or programs.
5. Ability/ willingness to disclose their recovery story (where appropriate) for the purposes of empowerment.
6. Excellent judgment/ ability to understand boundaries when working with participants of mental health services.
7. Familiarity with and ability to use an Electronic Health Record system.
1. The Peer Specialist must hold State certification as a Peer Specialist, OR ability to obtain provisional certification within 6 months and standard certification within 12 months of being hired.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of confidentiality standards as promulgated by the state; (OMH, OASAS, DOH) and federal government (SAMHSA and 42CFR).
3. The Peer Specialist must be reliable and able to work independently and understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality.
4. Basic Computer knowledge and ability to document in an electronic health record is required.
5. The Peer Specialist must have a valid Driver’s License and a driving record that is satisfactory to our insurance carrier.
6. The Peer Specialist must maintain current New York State Defensive Driving certification.
7. The Peer Specialist must be cleared NYS Justice Center through fingerprinting for a Criminal History Records search.
8. The Peer Specialist must be cleared by the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Staff Exclusion List (SEL) and the New York State Medicaid Exclusion List.
9. The Peer Specialist must be cleared by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) for instances of child abuse and/or neglect.
10. The Peer Specialist must be legally eligible to work in the United States.
MHA of Westchester is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to cultural competency, diversity, and inclusion and values the ways in which we are different. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other characteristic protected by the applicable law.
To apply, please send your cover letter and résumé by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “OnTrack-Peer” as the subject line of the e-mail. Thank you.