Peer Specialist or Counselor

DESC’s Crisis Solutions Center (CSC) is currently recruiting for one Full-time Peer Specialist and one Part-time Peer Specialist or Counselor to join the Crisis Diversion Facility (CDF) team.

Peer specialists are individuals who self-identify as persons with mental illness. They are well established in their own recovery and provide expertise that professional training cannot replicate. Peer specialists/counselors provide consultation to the team to promote a culture in which each client’s point of view and preferences are recognized, understood, respected and integrated into treatment, recovery and community self-help activities.

The Peer Specialist will join a multi-disciplinary team of mental health, chemical dependency and social work professionals providing rapid stabilization, treatment and referrals for individuals in crisis. A 24/7 residential treatment facility, the CSC provides a more therapeutic, less expensive, and more effective alternative for individuals in mental health crisis than the extremes of jail or the emergency room as well as giving first responders an alternative to doing nothing. The CSC consists of three teams working in close collaboration:

  • The Mobile Crisis Team (MCT) meets first responders at calls throughout the County, referring individuals to appropriate community providers.
  • The 16-bed Crisis Diversion Facility (CDF) admits clients on a voluntary basis for up to 72 hours, and guidelines for referral include having good behavioral control, no history of violence, and willingness to cooperate with services.
  • Crisis Diversion Interim Services (CDIS), with 23 beds, accepts individuals who have “graduated” from the Crisis Diversion Facility who are homeless, or at risk for homelessness. Clients may stay for up to 14 days, and will be able to access psychiatric services; mental health and chemical dependency assessments; individual and group counseling; and intensive case management.


  • Personal experience with mental illness as a consumer of mental health treatment services.
  • Ability to obtain Agency Affiliated Counselor credential from the Washington State Department of Health within 30 days of hire.
  • Interest in or experience working with clients who are difficult to engage and maintain in traditional mental health programs.
  • Knowledge of de-escalation skills, crisis intervention & stabilization, and harm reduction strategies, preferred.

Strong applicants are able to demonstrate the ability to be positive in their empathic responses to all persons; understand the value of meaningful and deep client engagement; have the potential to acquire the necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills of an effective crisis worker; and value a non-judgmental response to sensitive issues. Candidates should be able to accept feedback and work in a highly collaborative and potentially stressful environment.

Go to for a detailed job description and salary information.

How to apply

  • Submit a cover letter detailing your reasons for applying for this position, along with a resume, to
  • Email attachments will not be accepted unless they are in a format readable by MS Word or Adobe Reader. Attachments in formats such as .wps or .jpeg will not be accepted.
  • You may also mail your cover letter and resume to: DESC, ATTN: Human Resources, 515 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, or fax to (206) 515-1501.

DESCThe Downtown Emergency Service Center is committed to diversity in the workplace, and promotes equal employment opportunities for all staff members and applicants. The Agency will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability in any employment practice, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Seattle, Washington
Downtown Emergency Service Center
Human Resources
fax to (206) 515-1501

515 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104, US