Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, PAT (Peer Advocate Team)

UPMC Western Psychiatric
3811 O’Hara Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Contact Person: Office of Student and Volunteers, 412-246-5202, wpicvolref@upmc.edu

Areas of Interest:  ex: Counseling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Social Work


We are seeking upperclass students to assist us with a special project, named PAT (Peer Advocate Team). PAT is a unique, ground-breaking patient-centered long term project, the goals of which include increasing patient satisfaction, increasing patient education, and reducing complaints. One of the special attributes of PAT is that participants are recovering community members themselves (meaning former patients) who wish to help patients and share their messages of hope. These particular individuals, currently more advanced in their recovery, now work as peer specialists as part of the UPMC family, yet still serve as work group members related to patient experience efforts as we work to gather first hand input and implement strategies. Currently, when patients contact Patient Relations, information shared such as unease related to an involuntary commitment or disappointment conveyed that no one seems to understand his/her feelings, is addressed telephonically. PAT team members will instead respond to calls for help in a face to face fashion, with a warm smile. PAT team members will assist with complaint resolution, share patient education, and serve as a listening ear during times of unease.  The role of these students is to conduct pre- and post telephonic assessments with patients regarding their interventional encounters with members of the PAT team, that is former patients helping current patients reach their personal recovery goals.

Students who participate in this experience will gain exposure to career opportunities and education in the field of mental health care. 

Duties of Intern:

  • Assist Patient Relations staff and Peer Specialists with patient communication outreach efforts
  • Track, record, and report outcomes related to patient-experience-related special projects 
  • Participate in and support assigned patient-centered special projects and activities

Additional Site Requirements: 

  • Email the contact person a statement of interest (stating that you are a Psychology major at the University of Pittsburgh interested in the internship) and resume.
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Act 33 Clearance:  PA Child Abuse Form
  • Act 34 Clearance: PA Criminal Record Check
  • Act 73 Clearance: FBI Background Clearance

General Information: 
Ÿ Located within walking distance of Pitt’s Oakland campus.

Terms Offered: Fall and Spring

Number of Students: 4