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Peer Support Specialist (HARPS Program) 

About the Organization KMHS is Kitsap's nonprofit, designated community mental health provider for adults with acute and/or chronic serious mental illnesses, and children with serious emotional disturbances and their families. During 2016, KMHS provided services to more than 6,800 children and adults.

On WA's beautiful Kitsap Peninsula, offers easy access to both the pristine wilderness of the Olympic Peninsula and the big-city lights and culture of Seattle. We offer competitive salary, benefits & a positive work environment.

Inpatient, residential, and outpatient treatment services offer evidence-based treatment, using trauma informed care to help people reach their recovery goals. We offer whole person care through mental health and substance use treatment and care management, close care coordination with on-campus and community-based primary care providers, and with partner PCHS, now offer dental care to KMHS clients and the community. Many community partners assure people receive behavioral health care in the right place, in the right way, at the right time. Together we are weaving a web that connects emergency room and hospitals, substance abuse treatment, and primary care providers; creates partnerships for early intervention at home and school, supports multiple law enforcement, jail, and justice endeavors, and works to ensure housing, food, and other social supports together with social service agencies and community collaborations.

The Kitsap Mental Health Services community fosters a culture of hope and empowerment through a safe, welcoming environment, compassionate relationships, and a commitment to respecting life experiences.

KMHS is a tobacco/smoke-free and scent-free facility  
Category Social Services  
Open Date 8/2/2018  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Shift Days  
Location Kitsap Mental Health Services (Main Campus)  

HARPS - “Housing and Recovery Through Peer Services”

The HARPS Peer Counselor has experience as a recipient of mental health services for severe and persistent mental illness and is willing to use and share his or her personal, practical experience, knowledge, and first-hand insight to benefit the team and its clients.  The HARPS Peer Counselor provides peer counseling and support with an emphasis on enhancing access to and retention in permanent supported housing; provides the team with expertise about the recovery process, symptom management, and the persistence required by clients to lead a satisfying life. The Peer Counselor advocates for client choice, self-determination, and decision-making in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of treatment, rehabilitation, and support services; supports client participation in consumer self-help and advocacy programs, educates and teaches symptom-management techniques, promotes personal growth and development by assisting clients to cope with internal and external stresses; and coordinates services with other Mental Health and allied providers.  


  • Draw on common experiences as a peer to validate clients’ experience and to provide guidance and encouragement for clients to take responsibility and participate in their own recovery.  Promote hope and empowerment designed to help clients attain recovery goals and maintain the highest possible level of independence, even during periods of instability.  
  • Housing: Assists clients to find and maintain a safe and affordable place to live, apartment hunting, finding a roommate, landlord negotiations, cleaning, furnishing and decorating, and procuring necessities.  Identifies type and location of housing with exploration of access to natural supports and avoidance of triggers. Provides practical help and supports, mentoring, advocacy, coordination, side-by-side individualized support, problem solving, direct assistance and supervision to help clients obtain the necessities of daily living including medical and dental health care; legal and advocacy services; financial support such as entitlements, housing subsidies; money management services: transportation, and reasonable accommodation requests as needed.
  • Employment: Assists with referrals to job training and DVR.  Performs mentoring, problem solving, encouragement and support on and off the job site.  Provides work-related supportive services, such as assistance securing necessary clothing and grooming supplies, wake-up calls, reasonable accommodation requests as needed and transportation.
  • Activities of Daily Living Services: Provides ongoing assessment, problem solving, side-by-side services, skill teaching, support, and environmental adaptations to assist clients with activities of daily living.  Assists and supports clients to organize and perform household activities, including house cleaning and laundry.  Assists and supports clients with personal hygiene and grooming tasks.  Provides nutrition education and assistance with meal planning, grocery shopping, and food preparation.  Ensures clients have adequate financial support, teaches money-management skills, and assist clients in accessing financial services. Helps clients access reliable transportation. Assists and supports clients to have and effectively use a personal primary care physician, dentist, and other medical specialists as required.
  • Social and Interpersonal Relationships and Leisure Time: Provides side-by-side support, coaching and encouragement to help clients socialize, going with a client to community activities, including activities offered by consumer-run peer support organizations.  Assists clients to plan and carry out leisure time activities. Organizes and lead individual and group social and recreational activities to help clients structure their time, increase social experiences, and provide opportunities to practice social skills.
  • Other coaching, guidance, and transition supports:  Provides transition services from hospital to community, including medication management.  Assists in the provision of ongoing assessment and direct services to clients, responding to such challenges as an increase in suicidality, the need for substance abuse education and treatment, and the clients’ readiness for meaningful daily activity, including employment.
  • Acts as an interpreter to the rest of team while providing expertise and consultation from a client perspective in areas such as symptoms, effects and side effects of medications, client opinions of treatment, and client experiences of recovery.  Helps clients and staff to identify, understand, and combat stigma and discrimination.  Collaborates with staff and clients on awareness of client rights, including grievance and complaint procedures; support clients with filing, mediating, and resolving complaints. Increases client and staff awareness of client self-help and consumer advocacy groups which promote recovery, while acting as the liaison between the team and such groups.  Provides oral and written feedback on consumer progress to the treatment team, including the timely completion of e-cet based clinical notes.
  • Maintains appropriate professional boundaries while balancing the sometimes conflicting demands of being both a peer to clients and an employee of the agency.  Seeks appropriate clinical supervision where necessary, particularly around boundary issues.
  • Meets or exceeds productivity standards.
  • In addition to the above, any other responsibilities appropriate to the position and not specifically listed in the job description.
Position Requirements

High school diploma and has experience as a recipient of mental health services.  Relevant experience working with clients with severe and persistent mental illness preferred. Possess and maintain valid driver’s license with an acceptable motor vehicle report and reliable, insured transportation.  
Certified Peer Counselor or complete certification within six months of employment.  Good oral and written communication skills.  Must have a strong commitment to the right and the ability of each person with a severe mental illness to live in normal community residences; work in market jobs; and have access to helpful, adequate, competent, and continuous supports and services.  It is essential the peer specialist have skills and competence to establish supportive trusting relationships with persons with severe and persistent mental illnesses and respect for clients’ rights and personal preferences in treatment is essential.


Salary DOE  
EOE Statement We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, creed, marital status, age, Vietnam era or disabled veteran status, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability.

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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