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Peer Advocate

Peer Advocate, OLEAN, NY, FT Mental Health, PROS


Full Time

Cattaraugus County, Olean, NY, US

Requisition ID: 1397

Salary Range:$20.00 To 22.00 Hourly

Are you interested in a career supporting people in your community in their mental health recovery?  Join the team at Recovery Options Made Easy!

Recovery Options Made Easy, is a nonprofit supported housing and community support service agency organized in 1990. As a peer-run organization, we were developed and operated by those with lived experience. Our agency is committed to decreasing stigma by increasing awareness of mental health and substance use through information, education, and advocacy. Recovery Options has a 30+ year track record of success and we are a nationally recognized, peer-run nonprofit agency serving adults with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI), seriously impacting their day-to-day functioning in the community. The mission of our organization is to provide services and supports allowing recipients to achieve integration and social equality in the community. Person-centered services are designed around the principles of recovery and empowerment.

Learn more about our Agency and the programs we offer by visiting our website at

We offer a full range of benefits, including, choice of Health insurance (four options available) with flexible spending accounts and max deductible paid for by Agency (with exception of catastrophic package), Dental, Vision, 403b, Life Insurance provided by ROME with option to purchase additional life, EAP, 5 paid Float Days per year, PTO, Paid Sick time at 40 hours per year. Flexible Schedules, loan forgiveness.


The Peer Specialist will provide peer support services to adults at Foundations for Change. Reports to the Program Manager of Cattaraugus County and the Director at Foundations for Change, Cattaraugus County Department of Community Services.


  1. Provides support to affected customers with social, emotional and related difficulties associated with their disability.
  2. Must identify as being actively in recovery from a mental health condition and intentionally self-disclose one’s mental health recovery journey.
  3. Must have NYS Peer Certification from the Academy of Peer Services (
  4. Shall participate as a team member in multidisciplinary team setting.
  5. Shall provide services that include but are not limited to engaging, empowering, transition support, peer counseling and crisis support through individual and group session within the clinic and in the community.
  6. Shall refer customers to other governmental and non-governmental agencies.
  7. Shall coordinate various activity and treatment programs with other social agencies.
  8. Shall collect and maintain appropriate data from various sources such as professional staff and customers’ families to establish an overall approach to  the solution of customers’ mental and social problems.
  9. Shall complete documentation in a timely manner as outlined in the DCS Policy and Procedure, and in keeping with funder requirements.
  10. Shall maintain information on community and health resources, which can be utilized during the customer’s care.
  11. Shall be responsible to comply with all funding source regulations, for creating a safe environment, and to report any unsafe situations to the immediate supervisor.
  12. Shall assist with customer activities including but not limited to events and lunch services. 

ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES:   Performs other duties as assigned. 


Works in accordance with policies and regulations which may require judgment, initiative, creativity and the ability to deal with complex factors and making of decisions based on conclusions for which there may be little precedent. 


Works from general objectives (such as governmental and agency compliance standards) and broad and varying policies, procedures, rules or precedents with significant functional guidance. Refers specific cases to supervisor for clarification or interpretation. Review by supervisor focuses on achievement of the objective and not necessarily on the means, except when required to ensure compliance with regulations. 


Microsoft Office skills including Excel, Teams, Word and Outlook.  Evidence of skills demonstrated by the ability to perform all of the basic functions within each program; including but not limited to maintaining a calendar, sending e-mail, creating letters as well as the ability to create and edit workbooks. General office equipment is used including fax machine, computer and phone system.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Work follows established practices and operating procedures with some latitude for independent judgment.  Maintains strict visual contact with work.  May occasionally lift up to (35) thirty-five pounds without mechanical assistance.  Work requires the ability to communicate through talking and listening as well as the ability sit, stand and drive. The noise level in the work environment is varied.


  • High School Diploma or GED Required
  • Completion of a peer advocacy training program or related certification is preferred.  Academy of Peer Services Certification must be completed within the employees first 3 months in this position if the employee is not currently certified – Required
  • A valid Class D Driver License, reliable transportation and automobile insurance is preferred.
  • Must have had active participation in mental health self-help activities, peer support or peer advocacy programs or recipient-run organizations or similar experiences or programs.


  • General knowledge of self-help resources in Cattaraugus County, and the ability to organize and present information in a useful manner.
  • Sensitivity to the needs of mentally ill individuals and/or a person with Substance use concerns, and an ability to form caring, trusting relationships with peers.
  • Refined written and verbal skills, computer literacy, group facilitation skills, and ability to establish relationships with professional organizations.
  • Will have specific knowledge of recipient benefits, governmental processes, consumer rights and high-level advocacy skills.
  • Will be sensitive to the needs of the mental health peers and develop an ability to facilitate discussion and learning in a group setting.
  • Ability to work cooperatively on a Team with agency staff, other peer programs and the treatment system.
  • Must perform duties in a professional manner and demonstrate verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to take direction and follow-through on assignments both independently and with limited supervision.
  • Must have an understanding and working knowledge of confidentiality laws regarding recipient’s records and personal/health information. (HIPAA)
  • Must be proficient in MS Word/Excel/PowerPoint, internet and e-mail.
  • Multitasking.
  • Open to learning new skills/technology as necessary; must participate in training as required.
  • Help maintain a clean, safe and secure environment
  • Organizational skills
  • Maintain good time management
  • Dependability/reliability
  • Ability to travel to various meetings throughout Western New York if necessary.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination by employers, in compensation and employment opportunities, against qualified individuals with disabilities who, with our without reasonable accommodation, can perform the “essential functions” of a job.   A function may be essential for any of several reasons, including: the job exists to perform that function, the employee holding the job was hired for his/her expertise in performing the function, or only a limited number of employees are available to perform that function.

Recovery Options Made Easy, is committed to equal opportunity for all, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, disability, genetic information, or any other protected characteristic. Recovery Options Made Easy, will make reasonable accommodations for known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified employees and applicants with disabilities unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business. If you are interested in applying for an employment opportunity and feel you need a reasonable accommodation pursuant to the ADA, please contact Colleen Hutchinson at Recovery Options Made Easy.

Posted On: November 2, 2023

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