Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Health Science Specialist - Crisis Hotline Responder in Topeka, Kansas

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Duties
Summary

The Health Science Specialist (HSS) works within the National Veterans Crisis Line Program to assist in the delivery of evidenced based practice for Veterans who need assistance. The HSS works in a call center environment taking calls, texts and chats from Veterans, active duty Personnel as well as their friends and family, and assess a caller's risk of suicide and homicide.

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Responsibilities
  • Makes outgoing calls to Veterans if a Veteran has sent an email or letter to the White House, or some other government agency;
  • Keeping a caller, texter, or chatter engaged while multi-tasking to document work, look up resources, and instant message for assistance when needed;
  • Implements suicide/mental health crisis prevention strategies;
  • Provides support for the identification of veterans at high risk, and coordinates enhanced care;
  • Conducts interviews and utilizes assessments tools to assess emotional, functional, and/or psychological conditions;
  • Completes structured diagnostic and clinical assessments;
  • Prepares and maintains records and reports in accordance with program guidelines;
  • Provides psycho-education and directs advice regarding suicide/mental illness crisis;
  • Works collaboratively with other members of the VA Crisis Hotline Program to identify appropriate services for Veterans in crisis;
  • Assists Veterans and their family/friend/significant other with issues regarding the Veterans' mental health issues, referrals, benefits, support groups; and
  • Performs other duties as assigned Promotion Potential: The selectee may be promoted to the full performance level without further competition when all regulatory, qualification, and performance requirements are met. Selection at a lower grade level does not guarantee promotion to the full performance level.

Work Schedule:Varied work schedule to include evenings, nights, weekends and holidays. Selectees will be expected to work all shifts. Compressed/Flexible: Not Available Telework:Not Available Virtual:This is not a virtual position. Position Description/PD#:Health Science Specialist / 07891A and 07849A Relocation/Recruitment Incentives:Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report:Not required

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position for training purposes

Supervisory status

No

Promotion Potential

11

  • #### Job family (Series)

0601 General Health Science

  • Requirements

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Requirements
Conditions of Employment
  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to background/security investigation
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
  • Veterans Crisis Line employees are expected to work irregular hours including days, evening, nights, weekends and holidays. This type of working schedule may negatively affect or burden family responsibilities.
  • Veterans Crisis Line employees regularly encounter people experiencing extreme poverty, personal hardship, and those who are hostile or distressed.
  • Veterans Crisis Line employees must complete up to 7 weeks of mandatory training. During this time employees will not be able to request any time off work. Some of this training may take place on holidays.
Qualifications

To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 10/03/2018.

Time-In-Grade Requirement: Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement. * For a GS-09 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-07 (or held a higher grade level) * For a GS-11 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-09 (or held a higher grade level) An SF-50 that shows your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. Note:Time-In-Grade requirements also apply to former Federal employees applying for reinstatement as well as current employees applying for Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) appointment.

This position includes Selective Placement Factor (skill, knowledge, ability or other worker characteristic basic to - and essential for - satisfactory performance of the job). Selective Placement Factors are a prerequisite to appointment and represent minimum requirements for a position. Applicants who do not meet them are ineligible for further consideration. * The Selective Placement Factor for this position is:(GS-11 only) Experience providing supportive counseling to those actively experiencing mental health crisis situations. ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: In accordance with 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), No person shall serve in direct patient care positions unless they are proficient in basic written and spoken English. You must be proficient in basic written and spoken English in order to meet the requirements of this position.

All applicants must meet the BASIC REQUIREMENT:Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university in a major study in an academic field related to the health sciences or allied sciences appropriate to the work of a Health Science Specialist - Crisis Hotline Responder. To be appropriate to the work of the position, the program and coursework must focus heavily on psychology, mental health, counseling, and/or the provision of social services. NOTE: You must submit copies of transcripts with your application. Education will not be credited without documentation.

- AND -

In order to meet the minimum qualifications for this position at the GS- 9 level you must also meet one of the following: EXPERIENCE:You must have at least one (1) full year of specialized experience (equivalent to at least the GS-7 level in the Federal service) that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of a Health Science Specialist - Crisis Hotline Responder, and that is typically in or related to the work of this position. Specialized experience includes: providing instructions and/or counseling to clients; utilizing questionnaires for interviewing patients; assessing and recognizing mental health disorders; following established procedures to conduct initial screenings of individuals by gathering social, drug, family, and military history, and reason for contact; documenting work. At this level, work may have been performed under direct supervision. - OR - EDUCATION: You must have successfully completed two (2) years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Master's degree or equivalent graduate degree in a field related to the work of a Health Science Specialist - Crisis Hotline Responder. This education must have provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of this position. Copies of transcripts required at the time of application. - OR - COMBINATION: You must have an equivalent combination of related graduate level education (beyond the first year) and specialized experience, as described above. This education and experience must have provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the work of a Health Science Specialist - Crisis Hotline Responder. Copies of transcripts required at the time of application.

In order to meet the minimum qualifications for this position at the GS- 11 level you must also meet one of the following: EXPERIENCE: You must have at least one (1) full year of specialized experience (equivalent to at least the GS-9 level in the Federal service) that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of a Health Science Specialist - CrisisHotline Responder, and that is typically in or related to the work of this position. Specialized experience includes: independently assessing and triaging clients in mental health crisis; assessing and recognizing mental health disorders; determining when someone is in imminent danger and acting to provide appropriate and timely assistance; documenting work; providing direct advice regarding suicide and/or other mental health crisis; conducts follow-up interviews; assisting patients and family members with referrals, benefits and support groups. - OR - EDUCATION: You must have successfully completed three (3) years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a field related to the work of a Health Science Specialist - Crisis Hotline Responder. This education must have provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of this position. Copies of transcripts required at the time of application. - OR - COMBINATION: You must have an equivalent combination of related graduate level education (beyond the second year/master's level) and specialized experience as described above. This education and experience must have provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the work of a Health Science Specialist - Crisis Hotline Responder. Copies of transcripts required at the time of application.

You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position:

  • Influencing/Negotiating
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Oral Communication
  • Psychology
  • Selective Placement Factor
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Technology Application

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

Physical Requirements:Work is primarily sedentary, but requires extreme patience and controlling ones emotions.

Education

A transcript must be submitted as this position has a positive education requirement.

PLEASE NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement). Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html. All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education.

Additional information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal/VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (a copy of the agency notice, your most recent performance rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location) and be found well-qualified (have a final rating of 85 or more) for this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/.

Placement Policy: The posting of this announcement does not obligate management to fill a vacancy or vacancies by promotion. The position may be filled by reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, appointment, or reinstatement. Management may use any one or any combination of these methods to fill the position.

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

For more information on the "Who may apply" eligibility requirements, please refer to the OHRM Status Candidates and Other Candidate Definitions document.

If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.

Narrative responses are not required at this time. If you are referred for consideration, you may be asked to submit additional job related information, which may include, but not limited to; responses to the knowledge, skills and abilities; completion of a work sample, and/or contact for an interview.Your resume and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Other

Drug test required

No

  • Required Documents

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Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • Resume: A resume describing your job-related qualification is required and must be in English. It should contain each position title, grade (if Federal), your duties, accomplishments, the dates you held each position in mm/yy format, and your work schedule and salary so we may best assess your qualifications. If more than one resume is received, only the last resume received and processed will be reviewed
  • Transcript: A copy of your transcript showing degree and confer date. Failure to provide transcripts will result in you being rate ineligible for this position. We accept unofficial transcripts, as long as they contain the applicant's name, name of the school, the date and degree that was awarded. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a "Certificate of Foreign Equivalency" with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education.

The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information.

  • DD-214
  • Other
  • Other Veterans Document
  • Resume
  • SF-15
  • SF-50
  • Transcript

SF-50: If applying as a candidate with current or former Federal Service, you must provide a copy of your last or most recent SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action" indicating you meet the area of consideration under the "Who May Apply" section. The SF-50 must identify your position, title, series, grade, step, tenure, and type of service (Competitive or Excepted). If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide additional SF-50(s) that clearly demonstrates one year time-in-grade. SF-50(s) that clearly document your time-in-grade are Within Grade Increase and Promotion actions to highest grade held (current or former highest grade held). NOTE: An Award SF-50(s) does not include all pertinent data.

Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference.For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • Benefits

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Benefits

A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

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Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • How to Apply

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How to Apply

All applicants are encouraged to apply online.To apply for this position, you must complete the questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on 10/03/2018 to receive consideration. To preview the questionnaire click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10308211.

  1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USA JOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USA JOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
  2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package. NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date. To verify your application is complete, log into your USA JOBS account, https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Application page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process. To return to an incomplete application, log into your USA JOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USA JOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

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Agency contact information
Jessica Travers
Phone

(585) 435-1295

Email

Jessica.Travers@va.gov

Address

VHA Member Services 3401 SW 21st St Bldg 9 Topeka, KS 66604 US

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Next steps

Once your online application is submitted you will receive a confirmation notification by email. After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USA Jobs account and clicking on Applications. Information regarding your application status can be found in the USAJobs Help Center.

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/510786800. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 09/13/2018 to 10/03/2018

Service: Competitive

Pay scale & grade: GS 9 - 11

Salary: $50,918 to $80,089 per year

Appointment type: Permanent

Work schedule: Full-Time