This job is no longer available.

Peer Support Specialist

Oct 19, 2018
Toronto, Ontario

Job Posting #147

Peer Support Specialist


Bargaining Unit Position

Temporary Full-Time (3-6 Months with possible extension)

Cota is an accredited community-based organization that has been supporting adults with mental health and cognitive challenges to live well within their communities for over 40 years. We provide person-centred supports that assist individuals to find inspiration and hope in their inherent strengths and support them to pursue meaningful change in their lives, as they define it. We also work collaboratively with our funders, our partners and other stakeholders, across the provincial health and social service systems, to inspire positive change in the way that services are delivered to individuals living with mental health and cognitive challenges.

We are seeking a dynamic and innovative individual who will work enthusiastically to deliver recovery oriented, client and family centered and comprehensive services that meet client needs, ensures client safety and works within a quality improvement framework to identify opportunities for enhancing quality and quantitative outcomes of the services.  Client and family centered care is guiding principle at Cota that helps improve decision making processes, health outcome and client experiences. The successful individual will embed this guiding principle into their work.  

About the Position:

The FOCUS team is an innovative partnership program between St. Michael’s Hospital Mental Health Service and Cota.  This team relies on an interdisciplinary team approach to provide a continuum of integrated intensive case management (ICM) and Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) services to meet the needs of clients with mental health and complex care needs in the Mid-East Toronto Health Link.  Services to clients of the FOCUS team are organized to allow for flexibility of movement between levels/intensity of services (Intensive Case Management and ACT) while ensuring continuity of care for clients

We are presently recruiting one (1) temporary full-time Peer Support Specialist position for this team, as follows:

The Peer Support Specialist works collaboratively with clients and the team to complete assessments; develop recovery and goal plans; and provide rehabilitation and support to clients. The Peer Support Specialist is responsible for providing recovery-oriented services in a manner consistent with Cota’s Mission, Vision and Values.

BAND:  4

CLASSIFICATION:  Peer Support Specialist


The primary responsibilities of the Peer Support Specialist are as follows:

  • Provide recovery oriented community-based support and linkage to individuals living with serious mental illness
  • Able to relate to and engage with clients from a peer perspective
  • Use self-awareness of one’s own recovery process and lived experience of the mental health system and homelessness to coach and mentor clients within their recovery process
  • Provide clients with informal counseling, emotional support, group support services, linkage with community resources, and instruction in life skills
  • Assist and support clients with household management, personal care, routine daily living activities, and socialization
  • Provide a consumer perspective to program development and implementation and build collaborative working relationships with members of the multi-disciplinary team and community agencies as applicable
  • All activities are performed to encourage client independence and promote client hope, self-determination and decision-making

Group counseling activities:

  • Organize and facilitate various recovery-oriented group activities for FOCUS clients. These may include but would not be limited to computer training, cooking, and WRAP.

Individual counseling and advocacy activities:

  • Assist with the development of client recovery and goal plans
  • Promote independence through teaching, emotional support, coaching, and mentoring
  • Ensure that counseling is conducted with the principles of recovery and psychosocial rehabilitation in mind
  • Provide direct support to assist clients with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
  • Facilitate links to other community resources as appropriate and consistent with the individual’s recovery goals

Documentation and administrative tasks:

  • Properly document all client interactions and meet the Cota documentation requirements
  • Participate in program activities, including planning and evaluation, in order to provide a consumer perspective

Other responsibilities:

  • Works cooperatively, respectfully and constructively with clients, team members, other service providers, volunteers, management, and external stakeholders
  • Ensures confidentiality of client, employee, and program information is maintained at all times
  • Undertakes other related and/or delegated duties as may be assigned/required
  • Attends all peer support meetings with other peer support workers and contributes in a constructive and supportive manner



  • High school diploma
  • Degree or diploma in health or social services (preferred)
  • Completion of Recovery-oriented training such as WRAP or Pathways to Recovery considered an asset


  • Personal experience of the mental health system resulting from mental health and homelessness issues
  • Experience in peer support gained from volunteer or paid work
  • Experience facilitating groups

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Ability to work in partnership with clients
  • Knowledge of the issues affecting people in the target group (e.g. poverty, homelessness, unemployment, stigma, isolation)
  • Knowledge and abilities to effectively manage personal mental health issues
  • Willingness to selectively share personal information that is relevant to a situation, and for reasons that are therapeutic to the client
  • Demonstrates self-awareness of their recovery journey
  • Knowledge of consumer/survivor initiatives, goals and resources
  • Knowledge of recovery and psychosocial rehabilitation as guiding principles
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team
  • Ability to prioritize needs and organize work efficiently
  • Ability to problem solve and make recommendations to resolve issues
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Computer competent (MS Word, E-mail, Internet)


  • Ability to identify client risk factors and coordinate appropriate follow-up
  • Respectful and aware of client-worker boundaries
  • Awareness of safety issues with clients


The Peer Support Specialist will:

  • Work primarily Monday to Friday but may be required to work occasional evening and weekend shifts to support client goals
  • Conduct visits in the clients’ homes, hostels, hospitals and other community settings

Pay: $19.55/hour


Please forward your current résumé on or before October 19, 2018 by 4:00pm to Human Resources via e-mail and reference Job # 147.

If you have any requirements for accommodation due to disability, please advise Human Resources during the recruitment and selection process. We will work with you to best meet your needs as per resources available to us.

Cota is an equal opportunity employer. We would like to thank all those that apply but only those selected for an interview will be contacted. We request no emails, faxes, phone calls, or requests to meet please. Cota encourages a scent-free environment. Employees, students, volunteers, and visitors are asked to refrain from wearing fragrances and other scented personal care products (i.e. perfumes, deodorants, lotions, hairspray, etc.).

This job is from CharityVillage