The position functions as an interdisciplinary team member, assisting physicians and other professional/non-professional personnel in a rehabilitation treatment program. 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. To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement, 08/15/2022. 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 within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement. For a GS-9 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-8. The grade may have been in any occupation, but must have been held in the Federal service. An SF-50 that shows your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade. 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. 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, GS-102-9: 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. 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. NOTE: You MUST provide copies of your DD-214 and Peer Specialist Certification with your application package. In addition to the basic requirements, applicants must meet the grade specific experience and/or education requirements as described below: You may qualify based on your experience and/or education as described below: Specialized Experience: You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade GS-8 in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Examples of specialized experience would typically include, but are not limited to: knowledge of a wide range of principles, methods and techniques of psychology, social work, sociology, psychiatric rehabilitation and counseling, and wellness gained by the position's lived experience as a person in recovery from a mental health condition, but does not require specific formal education; knowledge of common therapeutic practices and the ability to use a wide range of methods or tools commonly taught in formal peer support certification training programs; ability to establish and maintain effective person-to-person relationships, skill in oral and written communication, ability to inspire confidence and motivate individuals, and leadership knowledge; knowledge of holistic approaches to peer support interventions, including peer support counseling related to crisis situations, and extensive knowledge of various related maladies suffered by Veterans with behavioral or adjustment disorders; knowledge of the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses (i.e., auditory and visual hallucinations, aggressive talk and behavior, thoughts of self-harm or harm towards others, isolation) and the ability to assist the Veteran to address symptoms using strategies such as positive self-talk and the ability to use good judgment; knowledge of community resources necessary for independent living and the ability to teach those skills to other individuals; knowledge of the recovery process and ability to facilitate recovery focused conversations using common recovery tools; has practical understanding of how roles of ethnicity, race, spirituality, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, and local community and other subcultures may influence recovery; knowledge of basic group dynamics and how to establish and sustain self-help (mutual support) and educational groups by soliciting input from Veterans on their strengths and interests; and knowledge of eligibility requirements for Veteran services. OR, Education: Applicants may substitute education for the required experience. To qualify based on education for this grade level you must have successfully completed two (2) years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to a master's degree or master's or equivalent graduate degree in a field directly related to this position. (Transcripts Required) You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position: CommunicationSelf-ManagementTeaching OthersTeam Building 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 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 Veterans Affairs approved behavioral management techniques with Veterans who present a danger to self or others. 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/. ["Duties include but not limited to: Participating in the service, training, consultation, and other professional activities of VA health care services and functions as a fully vested member of the multidisciplinary team. In this capacity, the position completes assignments based on comprehensive peer support knowledge and recognition by others of demonstrated superior skill and proven sound judgment. Working with Veterans with very complex mental illnesses and challenging situations that require effective communication and decision-making skills. Serving as a recovery agent by providing and advocating for effective wellness and holistic recovery-based services that aid Veterans in daily living. Assisting Veterans to articulate personal recovery goals through the use of individual or group meetings. Collaborating with Veterans to develop and implement a personal wellness and recovery plan. Assisting Veterans in determining the steps needed to achieve their self-directed recovery goals and wellness. Coaching Veterans on relevant skills needed for self-management of their health condition(s) and pursuit of their personal wellness. Monitoring progress and assisting with the execution of the recovery and wellness plan, makes timely reports of progress, and presents new areas of concern to the treatment team. Contributing to the development of an effective discharge plan. Observing behaviors that might indicate difficulty adapting or responding to treatment (e.g., missed assessment appointments, failure to attend or maintain abstinence, risk to self or others, disruptive behavior), completes appropriate documentation, and reports concerns to the treatment team in a timely manner. Teaching Veterans how to identify and combat negative self-talk and overcome fears by providing a forum that allows Veteran 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. Handling of 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. 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 them in 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 health care 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 reintegration, using techniques such as role playing and social skills training. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm PST\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nPosition Description/PD#: Peer Specialist/PD00068A\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized PCS Appraised Value Offer (AVO): Not Authorized 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.