Youth Peer Advocate- Full Time, Buffalo, NY

Reports To: Director of Youth Programs

Job purpose

In keeping the Mental Health Advocates of WNY, Inc. (MHA) Vision and Value statements, the Youth Peer Advocate maintains a Mission-driven approach and provides a message of hope, strength and recovery to youth whose lives are impacted by mental illness through shared insight and experience.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Works as a member of a committed team to coordinate peer-led educational and support programs for adolescents and transition age youth in schools and in the community.
  • Models and implements a youth-driven approach to services.
  • Assists youth in engaging in their treatment plan and gaining self-advocacy skills.
  • Compiles and maintains an up-to-date list of community supports for youth.
  • Facilitates support groups, assists with workshops and family recreational activities to provide support and youth and family education.
  • Provides support to youth participating in the Erie County Children’s System of Care.
  • Models and teaches advocacy and empowerment skills.
  • Supports transition-age youth and shares knowledge of resources in the adult system.
  • Actively participates in community meetings when needed to represent the youth voice.
  • Documents all activities.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Is between the ages of 18 and 30.
  • Has been a recipient of at least one of the child serving systems: mental health care, addiction treatment, foster care, juvenile justice, and child welfare.
  • High School diploma or GED required, some college preferred.
  • Ability to demonstrate sensitivity and supportive approach to the needs of others.
  • Evidence of the practice of a high level of confidentiality and HIPAA compliance.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Great relationship building, interpersonal, and coaching skills.
  • Sound, independent decision-making ability.
  • Proficient computer skills in a Microsoft office environment.
  • Team-first attitude and a positive demeanor.
  • Flexibility with schedule to include evening hours and weekends.

Travel Requirements

Mandatory: must possess a valid Driver’s License with reliable transportation to travel within

New York State, as well as nationally, if required.

How to Apply

Please send resume and cover letter to Karl Shallowhorn at

The Mental Health Advocates of WNY is an equal employment opportunity employer. Employment decisions are based on merit and business needs, and not on race, color, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, age, weight, religion, creed, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, political affiliation, or any other factor protected by law.

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