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OrganizationPartner for Mental Health
TypeFull Time
Application DeadlineMarch 14, 2020
College Degree Required?No
Salary Range$41,140 annually
Phone(434) 977-4673


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The Systems Navigator helps people experiencing mental illness build social support and community inclusion while helping them navigate the local mental health, physical health, human services, and criminal justice systems so they may lead healthier, meaningful, and self-directed lives in their home communities. As an unbiased and independent broker of services and supports, the Systems Navigator will help clients identify and successfully access community resources necessary to reach self-defined recovery goals, improve their social determinants of health, and live self-directed lives.  The Systems Navigator also teaches self-advocacy skills to clients, and, when necessary, advocates on behalf of clients to help them receive the services they want and for which they are eligible. The Systems Navigator understands structural racism and recognizing its impact on mental health. This Systems Navigator will work exclusively with individuals who voluntarily sought mental health care the the University of Virginia Emergency Department but did not meet the criteria for admission to acute in-patient care.

Job Duties

  • Establish a trusting relationship with clients by initiating and maintaining regular client contact and providing emotional support
  • Conduct initial and on-going goal setting with clients
  • Assist clients in developing engagement plans based on their recovery goals
  • Regularly help clients reflect on their progress toward their goals, encouraging them to acknowledge and celebrate their successes
  • Help clients identify what is getting in their way of meeting their goals and support them in creative problem solving to find both short-term fixes and longer-term solutions that address the root causes of difficulties
  • Provide information, referral and support in locating required services and supports
  • Help clients navigate complex systems, including but not limited to, the mental health care, physical health care, human services, social services, and criminal justice systems – always with the end goal of assisting clients to build and maintain self-directed lives in their home communities. Examples might include but are not limited to:
    • Provide support in accessing and attending mental health care and substance abuse treatment
    • Assist clients in getting and coordinating medical care, including finding a medical home
    • Provide and coordinate transportation for activities and appointments that maintain and support recovery and wellness and improve social determinants of health
    • Assist clients in improving their social determinant of health through such activities as applying for, securing, and maintaining housing, employment, insurance, disability benefits, and educational opportunities
  • Advocate on behalf of clients as necessary to ensure they are receiving all services and supports from community agencies for which they are eligible
  • Provide motivation for clients, especially those who are discouraged or do not have the drive to achieve their recovery goals
  • Offer other indicated interventions to promote wellness, recovery, and more complete community integration
  • Keep informed of developments in the field of clinical practice, mental health, family life-cycle development, human services, psychiatric rehabilitation, criminal justice and/or related fields.

Skills Required

Personal Characteristics – 

  • Belief in the inherent dignity of all human beings
  • Holds all clients in unconditional positive regard and truly believes that all people are doing the best they can with the resources they have
  • Embraces a recovery-oriented and person-centered model of care from a position of cultural humility
  • Understanding of structural racism and recognition of its impact on mental health
  • Creative and resourceful approach to problem solving; a willingness to “think outside the box” to find solutions to complex problems
  • The ability to identify root causes of complex needs and willingness to help clients develop comprehensive solutions to increase the likelihood of long-term impact
  • Ability to hold sight of the big picture while simultaneously addressing details
  • Commitment to utilizing the principles of trauma informed care in all client interactions

Position Qualifications – 

  • Skilled in motivational interviewing techniques
  • Comfort working independently in various community settings
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience working with adults with serious mental illness experiencing complex life challenges (trauma, homelessness, criminal justice system involvement, poverty, isolation, unmet physical health needs, etc.)
  • Ability to maintain appropriate professional boundaries
  • Experience using electronic record management systems
  • Ability to organize time effectively to meet assigned work demands
  • Ability to express and transmit ideas and knowledge clearly to diverse audiences
  • Current and valid driver’s license and meets minimum automobile insurance requirements
  • Ability to work collaboratively and with minimal direct supervision
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish

Additional Info

To apply: email your resume and cover letter to In your cover letter, please explain your commitment to the principles of trauma informed care and what it means for an organization to operate from a person-centered perspective. Applications without both a resume and cover letter will not be considered. No phone calls, please.

Partner for Mental Health is a private nonprofit organization committed to helping people experiencing mental health challenges build meaningful lives in their home communities. Our approach and values are recovery oriented and evidence based. We believe diversity of staff, thought, approach, and experience provides the optimal environment for our success. Partner for Mental Health is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type, including on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status.

We are a family-friendly workplace that is drug-free and values and promotes self-care.