Peer/Family Advocate

Rochester, NY


With some latitude, this position works individually with patients in both an inpatient and an outpatient setting under the direction of clinical staff that has overall responsibility for the patients' safety and treatment. The focus of this position is to provide services that empower individuals who receive mental health (MH) disorder and/or co-occurring disorder (COD) services to regain personal control over their lives and over their own recovery process. The position provides a role model for patients and helps them to learn to engage in recovery-oriented activities and integrate into the community.

Reports directly to Clinical Supervisor of Outreach services assigned clinic.


  • Development and application of personalized coping skills:

  • Assists patients in identifying and practicing individualized skills to deal with their MH/COD symptoms.

  • Engages patients by building rapport and trust.

  • Interacts with patients as a peer and shares common experiences.

  • Facilitates patients' exploration and understanding of their MH/COD symptoms and assists patient in identifying areas in which they need support.

  • Assists patients in identifying their own individual warning signs of relapse and in identifying and developing specific, individual coping strategies.

  • Assists patients in developing a crisis plan and crisis management skills.

  • Teaching and modeling self-help techniques, self-help group process and networking skills:

  • Convenes and facilitates self-help groups and activities.

  • Teaches self-help techniques and self-help group process skills to patients.

  • Facilitates the establishment of peer support networks, natural supports and social support systems (which may include attending with and transporting patients to self-help meetings and other supportive recovery activities using clinic’s fleet vehicles)

  • Development of skills for empowerment and successful community living:

  • Helps patients develop assertiveness and communications skills to facilitate their active participation in the treatment planning process.

  • Assists patients in carrying out tasks defined in their treatment plans.

  • Teaches patients skills in daily living, learning, working, socializing, recreating, parenting and/or other skills that are relevant to the individual's recovery goals.

  • Initiates outreach engagement in the community with established patients and in Strong Memorial Hospital units with identified potential patients.

  • Teaching individual and systems advocacy skills:

  1. Teaches patients how to negotiate bureaucracies and service systems.

  2. Provides entitlement information and teach patients how to advocate for themselves in obtaining entitlements.

  3. Assists patients in identifying and learning how to exercise their rights

  4. Provides education and training on patient issues and perspectives to mental health and generic human services providers.

  5. Supports the completion of satisfaction surveys by patients and families.

Other duties as assigned.

  • Maintains professional standard by reading attending seminars, workshops and conferences.

  • Attends weekly supervision/clinical meetings.

  • Participates in departmental and programmatic diversity presentations

  • Available to triage case management needs for CCBHC program recipients on an urgent basis, including walk-ins

  • Committed to understanding and meeting the unique needs of external and internal customers.

  • Contributes to the vision and mission of the CCBHC

  • Maintains a thorough knowledge of related policies and procedures.

  • Coordinates with support staff regarding patient scheduling, fees, and insurance issues.

  • Promote hope and recovery by using strengths based, culturally appropriate, and person-centered practices.


  • High School Diploma or GED required.

  • 2-3 years specialized experience in related field; or equivalent combination of education and experience required.

  • Lived experience with emotional, mental, substance use, or behavioral health challenges and navigating mental health services and community resources preferred.

  • Knowledge of coping skills for dealing with symptoms of MH/COD preferred.

  • Basic knowledge of addiction self-help techniques and self- help group process preferred.

  • Basic knowledge of the goals and objectives of the MH and SUD recovery movement preferred.

  • Basic knowledge of the MH and SUD service delivery system and of patients’ rights in that system preferred.

  • Basic knowledge of generic human services delivery systems and entitlement programs preferred.

  • Ability to verbally engage and empathize with patients based on common experiences preferred.

  • Ability to be patient, encouraging and supportive preferred.

  • Ability to teach skills to individuals and small groups preferred.

  • Ability to facilitate group meetings preferred.

  • Ability to assertively advocate for patients and negotiate with service providers preferred.

  • Skills in ASL and/or Spanish preferred but not required.

  • New York Certified Recovery Peer Advocate certification (or Provisional) required.

  • Must possess and maintain a valid New York State License, have a satisfactory driving record required.

The University of Rochester is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion to advance the University’s mission to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create – and Make the World Ever Better. In support of our values and those of our society, the University is committed to not discriminating on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military/veteran status, national origin, race, religion/creed, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship status, or any other status protected by law. This commitment extends to the administration of our policies, admissions, employment, access, and recruitment of candidates from underrepresented populations, veterans, and persons with disabilities consistent with these values and government contractor Affirmative Action obligations.

How To Apply

All applicants must apply online.

EOE Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Pay Range

Pay Range: $17.64 - $23.81 Hourly

The referenced pay range represents the minimum and maximum compensation for this job. Individual annual salaries/hourly rates will be set within the job’s compensation range, and will be determined by considering factors including, but not limited to, market data, education, experience, qualifications, expertise of the individual, and internal equity considerations.

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Location: Strong Memorial Hospital
Full/Part Time: Full-Time