This position is located in VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System (ECHCS) in the Mental Health Service Line (MHSL) and under the supervision of the Local Recovery Coordinator. The primary purpose of the Peer Specialist functions as an interdisciplinary team member, assisting Social Workers/Licensed Professional Counselors and other professional/non-professional personnel in an intensive, community-based mental health recovery program. The Mental Health Service Line is currently recruiting for 2 Peer Support Apprentices/Certified Peer Support Specialists within Behavioral Health Integrated Program (BHIP) teams based in Aurora, Colorado. The BHIP teams are part of General Outpatient Mental Health and consist of groups of mental health professionals (including prescribers, therapists, nurses, and peer support specialists) who work together to focus on a Veteran's mental health recovery goals and well-being. BHIP teams promote collaborative, Veteran-Centered, coordinated outpatient mental health services. Peer Support Specialists/Apprentices on the BHIP team, work as a member of the treatment team supporting Veterans in identifying and progressing towards their unique MH recovery goals. Duties may include, but are not limited to: Serves as a recovery agent by providing and advocating for effective wellness and holistic, recovery-based services that aid Veterans in daily living. Orients new Veterans to the programs' services, hours, locations, staff, and other pertinent information necessary for the Veterans to understand how to effectively utilize the program services. Assists Veterans to articulate personal recovery goals through the use of individual or group meetings. During these meetings, the position assists Veterans in identifying their skills, strengths, supports, and resources needed to aid them in achieving their recovery goals. Collaborates with Veterans and the treatment team to develop and implement a personal wellness and recovery plan. Assists Veterans in determining the steps needed to achieve their self-directed recovery goals and wellness utilizing recovery tools to coach Veterans on relevant skills needed for self-management of their health condition(s) and pursuit of their personal wellness. Monitors the progress and assists with the execution of the recovery and wellness plan, makes timely reports of progress, and presents new areas of concern to the treatment team. The position also contributes to the development of an effective discharge plan. Observes behaviors that might indicate difficulty adapting or responding to treatment, completes appropriate documentation, and reports concerns to the treatment team in a timely manner. Utilizes ongoing individual and group meetings to teach Veterans how to identify and combat negative self-talk and overcome fears by providing a forum that allows Veterans to share their experiences. When appropriate, the position shares stories about personal recovery experiences in relation to current struggles that the Veterans report. These discreet self -disclosures made by the position facilitate Veterans' recovery by conveying hope that change and recovery are possible. Utilizing his/her personal recovery experience, the position will: Teach and role model the value of every individual's recovery experience. Model effective coping techniques, holistic wellness, and self-help strategies. Assist in obtaining services that suit the individual's personal recovery and wellness needs. Assist Veterans in exploring their interests and options for making improvements in life functioning areas such as housing, employment, relationships, and community engagement (i.e. assist Veterans in exploring options for obtaining decent and affordable housing and make referrals to appropriate VA housing programs; support Veterans' vocational choices and refer them to appropriate resources to support employment). Inform Veterans about VA and community supports and resources. Assist Veterans in developing empowerment skills, identifying strengths, and combating stigma through self-advocacy. This is accomplished through regular individual or group meetings and using role playing/modeling techniques. May serve as liaison to community-based organizations to develop and/or foster Veterans' community integration, natural supports, and self-reliant strategies. May perform outreach activities to establish community partnerships that will provide healthcare services for the Veterans in the community and inform Veterans of the availability of those health care services and other benefits. May assist Veterans in building social skills in the community that enhance community re-integration using techniques such as role playing and social skills training. Promotion Potential: The selectee may be promoted to the full performance level without further competition when all regulatory, qualification, and performance requirements are met. Selection at a lower grade level does not guarantee promotion to the full performance level. Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, Between the hours of 7:30am - 4:00pm or 8:00am - 4:30pm Telework: Available at Supervisor discretion. Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Position Description/PD#: Peer Specialist/PD00065A and PD00065A Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Available Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Available Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.