We invite you to consider using your lived experience to help someone else

Are you an adult who lives with a mental health condition? Have you graduated from NAMI Peer-To-Peer Class?
We invite you to consider using your lived experience to support others in their journey toward better self-care and more independence. As a Peer Connector, you will be trained to work as a guide to individuals living with mental health conditions to establish goals, find resources, and develop social engagement skills as they learn how to live with their diagnosis. 
You must be able to commit 5 hours per week for this role. You are also required to attend team meetings 1-hour per week on Thursdays from 2-3pm. Please review the job description and complete an application for consideration.

Job Description

Peer Connector is a guide to help someone struggling with a mental health condition cope with their illness. They come alongside to support and encourage their participant in their wellness journey. The Peer Connector actively listens to the needs of their participant while sharing their own lived experience with mental illness. Their job is to build rapport, provide hope, and be involved in the lifestyle adjustments and options for success the participant may face. Often a Peer Connector will do this by reflecting/mirroring to their participant, so the individual may see themselves in a new light and have better clarity in making their decisions. The Peer Connector creates an uncritical environment of acceptance and offers a welcoming approach to pitfalls and progress alike as they walk with their participant. 
What Can I Expect as a Peer Connector
Peer Connectors help establish S.M.A.R.T. goals, recommend resources that may assist the participant, suggest opportunities for social engagement, encourage self-advocacy with the participant’s providers, and outline potential areas for lifestyle adjustments. They share the journey of living with a mental health condition and work with the participant in taking steps towards their wellness and independence. 
For up to four (4) months a Peer will provide support to the Participant in the following ways: 
  • Two (2) calls per week from a Peer, lasting 15 – 30 minutes 
  • One (1) visit per week, lasting 1-3 hours within the local community (Santa Clara County). 
  • The Participant will set goals, practice self-care techniques, and become more independent. 
  • The Peer will share resources, promote self-advocacy, and present options for growth. 
After receiving treatment and following their doctor’s directions, the Participant will remain open to: 
  • Attendance at support and/or recovery groups suggested by the Peer
  • Identify and practice coping skills with the Peer that work best for the Participant. 
  • Practice social engagement by meeting outside their home or occasionally for coffee/snack. 
  • Adopt self-care routines that promote wellness and instill confidence in this Participant. 
How Am I Compensated as a Peer Connector
As a Peer Connector you will be expected to attended weekly trainings. In those weekly trainings you will learn how support a participant. It is an opportunity to ask questions and get advice on how to be there for a participant. The weekly trainings are on Thursdays from 2pm to 3pm. It is your responsibility to attend these weekly trainings. The Peer Connector will keep tract of the phone calls and in-person/virtual meetings. A timesheet is due every other Monday reflecting these calls and meetings. You will be reimbursed for mileage on any travel time. This expense must be submitted at the end of each month along with associated receipts. The Peer Connector is responsible for submitting timesheets as well as mileage and expense requests on time and accurately. 
Pay rate : $20.00 per hour.
What is the difference between a Peer Connector and a Peer Mentor? 
Peer Connector is the first step to becoming a Peer Mentor. A Peer Connector gets self-referrals from our program. A Peer Mentor is assigned referrals from the hospitals. A Peer Connector has to complete NAMI-SCC’s Peer-to-Peer Education Class to qualify and gets assigned one participant at a time. After the Peer Connector has served 3 participants (4 months each), they are eligible to become a Peer Mentor. There is also a 3-day training class called “The Art of Facilitating Self Determination” that is required to be a Peer Mentor. So, a Peer Connector works for one year at that level, before getting additional training to become a Peer Mentor. Peer Mentors are often assigned multiple participants. 

How to Apply

Send your completed application form to the Community Peer Program coordinator by email to CPP@namisantaclara.org or by mail to the following address:

Community Peer Program
NAMI Santa Clara County
1150 South Bascom Avenue, Suite 24
San Jose, CA 95128