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Peer Specialist


SUMMARY:  The Peer Specialist is a person who has self-identified as being in recovery from mental illness, substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders of both mental illness and substance use disorder, and is eligible to gain Certified Peer Recovery Specialist status in Tennessee.   The Peer Specialist works with both behavioral and primary care staff to provide services, in either a group or individual format, which are geared toward the development of healthy life choices.  Service recipients may include persons working on Behavioral Health issues, Substance Use Disorder issues, or integrated Behavioral Health and Primary Care issues. Specific target population, tasks, and reporting are linked to the program in which the Peer Specialist works.  Peer Services may be provided in the clinic setting, the community, or in the hospital setting based on program in which the Peer Specialist is employed.

RESPONSIBILITIES include the following:

The following duties are normal for this job. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive. Other duties may be required and assigned.

  • Provides support, mentoring, education, and person-centered assistance to promote recovery and wellness
  • Reaches out to engage patients throughout the recovery process
  • Works collaboratively with other members of the treatment team
  • Use Motivational Interviewing techniques and Active Listening skills to work with individuals toward successful and lasting behavioral change
  • Promote successful self-management skills
  • Assist the patient with skills for setting goals, solving problems, and making decisions
  • Support recovery planning and propose strategies to help achieve recovery goals
  • Conveys hope to patients about their recovery
  • Provides concrete assistance to help individuals accomplish tasks and goals
  • Maintains appropriate use of self-disclosure for targeted peer recovery purposes
  • Helps individuals to function as a member of their treatment/recovery support team
  • Researches and identifies credible information and options from various resources, links individuals to resources, services, and supports
  • Develops and maintains up-to-date information about community resources and services
  • Provides information about skills related to health, wellness, and recovery
  • Coaches individuals about how to access treatment and services and how to navigate the health care system
  • Educates family members and other supportive individuals about recovery and recovery supports when requested by patient
  • Recognizes signs of distress and threats to safety among service recipients and in their environments and responds appropriately
  • Assists individuals in developing harm reduction and other crisis prevention tools
  • Uses respectful, person-centered, recovery-oriented language in written and verbal interactions with peers, family members, community members, and others
  • Documents information and data components as required by program/agency policies and procedures
  • Maintain a positive standing in peer/professional communities  
  • Attend required trainings and agency meetings
  • Attend clinical supervision meetings as scheduled
  • Maintains or is prepared to pursue becoming certified as Peer Recovery Specialist with the TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services within one year of hire.
  • Ensures compliance with all HIPAA regulations according to Cherokee Health Systems policy and procedure.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Adhere to dress code, appearance is neat and clean.
  • Always maintain patient confidentiality.
  • Report to work on time and as scheduled. Consistent and regular attendance is an essential function of this position.
  • Wear identification while on duty.
  • Always represent the organization in a positive and professional manner.
  • Comply with all organizational policies and standards regarding ethical business practices.  
  • Participate in performance improvement and continuous quality improvement activities.
  • Attend regular staff meetings and in-services as needed. 


Education & Experience:

  • Education:   High school diploma or equivalent is required.  For some positions, a four-year college degree or equivalent experience in health education, social work, and/or behavioral-health related field may be required.
  • Requirements/Eligibility:   Strong communications skills required. Must possess or be in active pursuit of a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) Certification. Willing to travel regionally. Must possess a valid TN driver license and proof of insurance.
  • Computer Skills: To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of the following types of software: Word processing, Spreadsheet, and Database software.  Must be able to utilize EMR systems.

This job description is not an employment agreement or contract. Management has the exclusive right to alter this job description at any time without notice.

Cherokee Health Systems provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, or genetics.

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