Peer specialists perform a variety of therapeutic and supportive tasks that include assisting Veterans in articulating their goals for recovery, learning and practicing new skills, helping them monitor their progress, assisting them in their treatment, modeling effective coping techniques and self-help strategies based on the peer specialist's own recovery experience, and supporting them in advocating for themselves to obtain effective services. To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 09/29/2023. Time-In-Grade Requirement: Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement. Note: Time-In-Grade requirements also apply to former Federal employees applying for reinstatement as well as current employees applying for Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) appointment. BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PEER SPECIALISTS: a. Statutory Requirements. Section 405 of Public Law 110-387, as codified in 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13), established that to be eligible to receive appointment to a Peer Specialist position, a person must: (1) be a veteran who has recovered or is recovering from a mental health condition; and (2) be certified by - (a) a not-for-profit entity engaged in peer specialist training as having met such criteria as the Secretary shall establish for a peer specialist position; or (b) a State as having satisfied relevant State requirements for a peer specialist position. b. Length of Experience as a Consumer of Mental Health Recovery Services. Veterans eligible under 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13) must have spent a minimum of 1 year in personal recovery from a mental health condition. IMPORTANT NOTICE: Veteran is defined as a person who served in the active military, naval, air, or space service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: In accordance with 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), No person shall serve in direct patient care positions unless they are proficient in basic written and spoken English. You must be proficient in basic written and spoken English in order to meet the requirements of this position. NOTE: You MUST provide copies of your DD-214 and Peer Specialist Certification, with your application package. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: GS-6: One year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing counseling to support peers in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, a psychiatric therapy aide, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. Your work has been closely monitored including having work checked in progress and reviewing completed work for accuracy, adequacy, and adherence to instructions or procedures. GS-7: One year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing counseling to support peers in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, a psychiatric therapy aide, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. At this level, routine work has been completed with minimal supervisory oversight and review, however close supervision will have been provided for complex and unusual tasks. GS-8: One year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing counseling to support peers in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, a psychiatric therapy aide, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. At this level you have the ability to work with general instructions for the performance of routine duties and detailed instructions and/or training in performance of the non-routine functions and special assignments. Non-routine/novel work will have been reviewed by spot checking and after completion to evaluate the adequacy of methods, procedures, results, ability to solve new and changing problems, etc. GS-9: One year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing counseling to support peers in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, a psychiatric therapy aide, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. At this level work will have been performed with considerable independence and you are responsible for making recommendations to the interdisciplinary treatment team that can be relied on for soundness of judgment and maturity of insight on problem cases. -OR-EDUCATION SUBSTITUTION:(Transcripts are required with your application package) GS-6: Successful completion Six (6) months of graduate education or a 1-year post-bachelor's degree internship meets the requirements for GS-6. Only education that is directly related to the work of the position is creditable. GS-7: Successful completion One (1) full year of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-7. Only education that is directly related to the work of the position is creditable. GS-8: Successful completion One and one/half (1 ½) years of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-8. Only education that is directly related to the work of the position is creditable. GS-9: Successful completion Two (2) full years of graduate education or a master's degree meets the requirements for GS-9. Only education that is directly related to the work of the position is creditable. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience. Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment. Physical Requirements: The applicant must be able to perform primarily light and sedentary duties with occasionally moderate physical demands, exercise patience, and control emotions, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, without endangering the health and safety of the applicant or others. The work is primarily sedentary. Typically, the employee sits to do the work. There may be some walking, standing, bending, carrying of light items (such as books, papers), and accessing transportation. The work may require occasional use of Department of Veteran's Affairs approved behavioral management techniques with Veterans who present a danger to self or others. Veterans demonstrate varying levels of wellness, recovery, and symptoms. This position must be equipped to be flexible and accept that work areas are often noisy, irregular, unpredictable, and stressful. Work is performed in a wide range of settings, including the Medical Center, group or family homes, community-based outpatient settings, community organizations, or in transport vehicles (public or government).For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/. ["This is an OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT and will remain open until September 29, 2023. The initial cut-off date for referral of eligible applications will be January 03, 2023, with subsequent cut-off dates on the 1st of each month. Eligible applications received after that date will be referred at regular intervals or as additional vacancies occur on an as-needed basis until positions are filled. The position functions as a role model by exhibiting competency in personal recovery and use of coping skills and serves as an advocate and provides information and peer support for Veterans in outpatient, inpatient, and/or community settings. The position assists Veterans in treatment, based on the principles of recovery, wellness, and resiliency, by promoting self-determination, personal responsibility, and the empowerment inherent in self-directed recovery. By inspiring hope that recovery, wellness and resiliency are achievable goals, the position can assist and empower Veterans, who are diagnosed with mental illnesses and/or co-occurring disorders, as well as other chronic illnesses or injuries, to achieve their personal recovery goals. The position performs a wide range of tasks to assist Veterans in regaining independence within the community and mastery over their own recovery and wellness process. 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. 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, including how to effectively utilize the min the recovery and wellness process. Community resources may include, but are not limited to consumer-run organizations, self-help and mutual support services, Social Security offices, Department of Family and Children Services, YMCAs, libraries, restaurants, Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), and the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). 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 provide support of Veterans' vocational choices and assists them in choosing a job matching their strengths, overcoming job-related anxiety by reviewing job applications, providing interview tips, and practice sessions. Serves 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. Assist Veterans in building social skills in the community that enhance community re-integration, using techniques such as roleplaying and social skills training. Maintains a working knowledge of current trends and developments in holistic approaches in wellness and recovery by reading books, journals, and other relevant materials. When necessary, the position handles crisis interventions for Veterans and addresses other emergent situations without the benefit of specific instructions. These interventions are carefully documented and communicated to the multidisciplinary team in a timely manner. The position uses current level of knowledge and skill to provide training to less experienced peer staff and/or WOCs in the provision of peer support services and/or other psychosocial rehabilitation and wellness services. Performs other related duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday; 8am - 4:30pm Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is NOT a virtual position. Position Description/PD#: Peer Specialist/PD00065A, PD00066A, PD00067A, PD00068A, PD00068A, and PD00068A Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
About Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
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.