Cert Peer Sprt Specialist II- Maximum Security Uni

Health and Human Services Commission

Posting Type:
Open to All Applicants
Healthcare Support
FLSA Exempt/
Health & Human Services Comm
Non-Vocational Day Prog Svs
Job Title:
Cert Peer Sprt Specialist II- Maximum Security Uni
Posting Number:
Full Time/Part Time :
Full Time
Job Location:
Other Locations:
AccessHR Service Center
Salary Range:
$2,283.41 – $3,047.58
Salary Group:
Days (First)
Closing Date:
Job Description:
Location: Forensic Maximum-Security Psychiatric Facility

Are you ready to be professionally challenged? Are you looking to be part of a dynamic team of engaged and committed professionals? Then the Health and Specialty Care System (HSCS) may be just the place for you! The State Hospital System, under the HSCS is comprised of nine psychiatric hospitals located throughout the state and one youth residential psychiatric center in Waco. The HSCS is a hub of excellence for forensic mental health and complex psychiatric care, with all facilities accredited by The Joint Commission. The hospitals provide state-of-the-art treatment that is recovery-oriented and evidence-based. Whether in a direct-care or support role, your contribution will make a difference in the life of a Texan. Apply now to join our team.

The Certified Peer Support Specialist II performs complex (journey-level) peer support work and is a member of the recovery team. Provides peer support services to patients with mental health diagnoses, forensic commitment, and/or addiction issues. Functions as a role model to persons served; exhibiting competency in personal recovery. The Certified Peer Support Specialist performs a wide range of tasks to peers of all ages, from young adults to seniors, in regaining independence within the community and mastery over their own recovery process. Work involves engagement in interactions with persons served as well as clinical staff; facilitating individual and group conversations with patients receiving care; ability to disclose personal lived experience navigating recovery including mental health/substance use concerns with persons served, staff, and community. Supports persons served self-determination with immediate and long-term concerns. Supports persons served in participation with the recovery team planning process. Serves as a consumer advocate. Provides consumer information and peer support. Leads educational panels for organizational staff, committees, and communities. Assists with providing training in trauma informed care, recovery model, or person-centered care to others. May assist with driving persons served on transitional outings. Works under general supervision, with moderate latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment.

Performs other duties as assigned. Other duties as assigned include but are not limited to actively participating and/or serving in a supporting role to meet the agency’s obligations for disaster response and/or recovery or Continuity of Operations (COOP) activation. Such participation may require an alternate shift pattern assignment and/or location.  
Essential Job Functions:
Attends Work on a regular basis and may be required to work a specific shift schedule or, at times, even a rotating schedule, extended shift and/or overtime in accordance with agency leave policy and performs other duties as assigned.

Supports persons served in developing communication, social skills, problem solving, and self-help skills. Models recovery achievements and supports persons served with their recovery efforts. Builds and maintains individual relationships and shares recovery stories with persons served and external stakeholders. Models problem solving techniques with individuals and groups and methods they have employed to manage and cope with these problems. Advocates with clients in combating stigma through self-advocacy and demonstrates how they have handled similar problems, how to present themselves in certain situations, or how to handle problems that may arise in interactions with others. Shares their own experiences and what skills, strengths, supports and resources they use. Shares their own recovery story and as the facilitator of these sessions, demonstrates how they have directed their own recovery. Teaches individuals how to identify and combat negative self-talk and how to identify and overcome fears by providing a forum which allows group members and the peer specialist to share their experiences.

Provides peer-to-peer support for individuals in articulating personal goals for recovery using one-to-one and group settings. During these settings the Certified Peer Specialist will support individuals in identifying and creating goals and developing recovery plans with the skills, strengths, supports and resources to aid them in achieving these goals. Partners with individuals in working with their case manager or recovery team in determining the steps he/she needs to take to achieve these goals and self-directed recovery. Supports persons served with preparation for team meetings, and assures persons served can participate to the best of their ability in the recovery planning meeting.

Completes all required documentation, focusing on services provided and the individual’s ability to participate in the recovery process. Documents the following: identified person-centered strengths, needs, abilities, and recovery goals, interventions to assist the individual with reaching their goals for recovery; progress made toward goals.

Leads educational panels for organizational staff, committees, and communities. Continues to share recovery materials with others at continuing education seminars and other venues to be developed to support recovery-oriented services; and attends continuing education seminars and other in-service training when offered.

Fosters integration of persons served into communities. Connects individuals through locating and joining existing community peer support groups. Provides opportunities to visit potential discharge settings, involves individuals in discharge preparation, and reviews need for support systems in the community with the individual if desired. Transports individuals to appropriate destinations and operate vehicles in a safe manner, as needed.

Other duties as assigned, include but are not limited to actively participating and/or serving in a supporting role to meet the agency’s obligations for disaster response and/or recovery or Continuity of Operations (COOP) activation. Such participation may require an alternate shift pattern assignment and/or location.  
Knowledge Skills Abilities:
Knowledge of the recovery process, person centered care, trauma informed care and the ability to facilitate recovery using established standardized mental health processes
Knowledge and skill to teach and engage in basic problem-solving strategies to support patients in self-directed recovery
Knowledge of the signs and symptoms of mental illness (i.e. auditory and visual hallucinations, aggressive talk and behavior, thoughts of self-harm or harm towards others, isolation) and the ability to address symptoms using personal experience strategies such as positive self-talk
Knowledge and skill sufficient to use community resources necessary for independent living and ability to share those skills with other individuals (Community resources may include but are not limited to: public transportation, social security office, local YMCA, library, restaurants, clients’ service organizations, housing providers, etc.)
Knowledge of how to establish and sustain self-help (mutual support) and peer-to-peer groups by soliciting input from peers on their strengths and interests
Knowledge of peer programs for individuals with behavioral and intellectual challenges, of peer philosophy and role, of recovery models, of trauma-informed care, and general knowledge of medications administered to individuals
Working knowledge of current trends and developments in the mental health field by reading books, journals, and other relevant materials, including community dialogue with other Peer Specialists

Skills in the use of a computer and applicable software
Skills in sharing personal challenges
Skills in listening and documenting interactions with persons served

Ability to communicate effectively
Ability to provide support and encouragement to persons served toward achievement of an individual plan with a recovery team including discharge goals
Ability to operate a state vehicle (van, wheelchair van, or sedan), if required, to transport individuals
Ability to follow policies and procedures
Ability to work with individuals in challenging situations
Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing  
Registration or Licensure Requirements:
Must be a Certified Peer Support Specialist by a State of Texas credentialing authority
Must possess a valid Texas driver license or obtain it no later than 90 days after hire date to drive a state vehicle, if required to transport individuals. Applicants with an out-of-state driver license must provide an original certified driving record from the state of driving licensure. Eligible driving record required based on HHSC Fleet Management policy.  
Initial Selection Criteria:
Graduation from a standard senior high school or equivalent

At least six (6) months of documented experience working with persons with mental illness

Experience in identify self as having a lived experience with mental health/substance abuse challenges and willingness to share own personal recovery story

Experience navigating mental health, substance use and interfacing with the criminal justice system preferred
Additional Information:
Salary Note: The salary offered will follow HHS HR Policy starting salary guidelines which are typically made at or near the minimum of the salary range. For internal applicants, there can be limitations in consideration of applicant’s current classification and salary and is dependent upon available budget.

Applicants must pass a fingerprint criminal background check, pre-employment drug screen, and registry checks including the Client Abuse/Neglect Reporting System (CANRS), Nurse Aid, Medication Aide and Employee Misconduct, and HHS OIG list of Excluded Individuals/Entities. Males between the ages of 18-25 must be registered with the Selective Service.

All applicants must be at least 18 years of age to be considered for employment at a state-operated facility.

Flexibility in work hours may be required for this position. The position may be required to work overtime and/or extended hours.

Compliance with HHSC immunization policy and state hospital operating procedures related to immunizations is required. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthcare workers are considered to be at significant risk for acquiring or transmitting hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chicken pox), tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and influenza. All of these diseases are vaccine-preventable. As a result, state hospital policy requires employees be vaccinated according to their level of contact with individuals. In the event you choose to not be immunized for the influenza virus, you may be required to wear a mask and take other protective measures.

If you need assistance completing the online application, contact the HHS Employee Service Center at 1-888-894-4747.

To apply for this job please visit jobshrportal.hhsc.state.tx.us.

To apply for this job please visit jobshrportal.hhsc.state.tx.us.

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