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Social Worker - Suicide Prevention Outreach and Education Specialist


The Outreach and Education Specialist serves as a content matter expert for Suicide Prevention (SP) and facilitates integration of SP education and outreach services into patient care throughout the facility, affiliated community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs), and state and community partners. The Social Worker and has expert level knowledge regarding local community SP resources and education connections. The Social Worker promotes a public health approach to SP.



  • Performs statistical reporting, evaluation, consultation, and collaboration with non-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) community partners as well as other VA health care professionals and administrators.
  • Comprehends and maintains knowledge of current VA guidelines, policies, federal regulations, and laws governing medical benefits for Veterans.
  • Demonstrates effective public speaking skills and the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with a variety of audiences.
  • Responsible for ensuring the community is informed on services offered by Veteran's Health Administration.
  • Works with the SP Clinical Director and the National OMHSP office to implement SP communication plans, both internal and external to the VA.
  • Develops materials and training programs, in coordination with the SP Clinical Director and the National OMHSP office/MIRECC for staff and external stakeholders regarding suicide prevention programs in VHA and the facility.
  • Serves as a point of contact for educational/outreach needs for local Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) and national suicide prevention campaigns and events, ensuring local implementation and participation.
  • Develops and maintains content expertise in SP through peer review, networking, internet access, published literature, national SP conference calls, and educational offerings and professional meetings.
Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 8:00 m-4:30 m
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Travel Required

50% or less - You may be expected to travel for this position.


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 a background/security investigation
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 08/19/2020.
Basic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship.
  • Education. Possess a master's degree in social work from a school of social work fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduates of schools of social work that are in candidacy status do not meet this requirement until the school of social work is fully accredited. A doctoral degree in social work may not be substituted for the master's degree in social work. For grades below or at the full performance level, VHA social workers who are not licensed or certified at the time of appointment must become licensed or certified at the independent master's level within 3 years of their appointment as a social worker.
  • Licensure. Possess a full and unrestricted license or certification by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level.
  • English Language Proficiency. Social workers must be proficient in spoken and written English.
Grade Determinations:
GS-9: Basic requirements as described above. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
  1. Ability to work with Veterans and family members from various socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds utilizing counseling skills.
  2. Ability to assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and their family members, and to formulate and implement a treatment plan, identifying the Veterans problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and assistance needed.
  3. Ability to implement treatment modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups to achieve treatment goals. This requires judgment and skill in utilizing supportive, problem solving, or crisis intervention techniques.
  4. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and communicate with clients, staff, and representatives of community agencies.
  5. Fundamental knowledge of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities, and treatment procedures. This includes acute, chronic, and traumatic illnesses/injuries; common medications and their effects/side effects; and medical terminology.

GS-11: Completion of a minimum of 1 year of post-MSW degree experience in the field of health care social work (VA or non-VA experience); OR, a doctoral degree in social work from a school of social work may be substituted for the required 1 year of professional social work experience in a clinical setting. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

  1. Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services.
  2. Skill in independently conducting psychosocial assessments and treatment interventions to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational and other diversified backgrounds.
  3. Knowledge of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities and treatment procedures (i.e. acute, chronic and traumatic illnesses/injuries, common medications and their effects/side effects, and medical terminology) to formulate a treatment plan.
  4. Skill in independently implementing different treatment modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social problems to achieve treatment goals.
  5. Ability to provide consultation services to new social workers, social work graduate students, and other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients and the impact of psychosocial problems on health care and compliance with treatment.
Preferred Experience: At least one year of teaching experience.

References: VA Handbook 5005, Appendix G39. Social Worker Qualification Standard, GS-185.

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-9 to GS-11.

Physical Requirements: Must be in overall good health, able to sit at a desk working at a computer, engage in light to moderate physical activity including sitting, walking, bending, and carrying supplies. Social Worker must be able to perform primarily light and sedentary duties with occasionally moderate physical demands, exercise patience, and control emotions, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, without endangering the health and safety of the social worker or others.
Position requires walking throughout the clinic and/or Medical Center, standing for extended periods of time, and involves sitting at a computer and in counsel and consultation with Veterans and interdisciplinary teams.
Position may require minimal travel to meet with representatives/stakeholders in clinics, medical centers, and offices which provide assistance and support to the GPD/CTI programs, the Homeless & Justice Clinical Recovery programs and its Veterans.
This position also requires close visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; extensive reading; and repetitive motions of the wrists, hands, and/or fingers.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: 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. For further information, visit:

For more information or to apply, visit

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Last Updated: 5/28/20