Kate Bender has many years of experience in the Peer Support program. In this thoughtful essay, Kate describes the value of peer support using an example of life experience.
~ Essay ~
There are about 90 Certified Peer Specialist in Erie County. They have all been in trainings for the Certification that promotes the recovery culture. Some work in various settings such as: Center Team (MHA) Housing Team (MHA),Peer Specialist (MHA), Peer Support to individuals in the Community (Stairways BH), ACT (Stairways BH), Customer Representative (Stairways BH),Personal Care Home (Stairways BH), Fairweather Lodge, (Stairways BH), Peer Support in Crisis and Outpatient (Safe Harbor BH), Director of Advocacy and Recovery (ECCM). CPS work to help people see their inherent rights and responsibilities and advocate for respectful and professional treatment from the rest of a person's treatment team.
The International Association of Peer Specialists, Inc. (iNAPS), is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to peer support in mental health systems. We are a group of dedicated peer specialists seeking ways to improve the effectiveness of the mental health system through the hiring of other peer specialists. View their January Newsletter.
Certified Peer Specialists Job Descriptions:
This site registers you with the MHAPA forum and puts you on a listing of CPSs looking for CPS positions. Register at this site for CPS positions for further information.
Thanks to funding from the Erie County Department of Human Services, 17 more mental health consumers have become Certified Peer Specialists. For two 40 hr. weeks participants engaged in training to become more attuned to their own recovery from mental illness and learn how to help other consumers be able to pursue their recovery. This training can be very stressful as participants must look closely at themselves and their life experience but it is equally rewarding as they gain strength and purpose in the sharing of that experience.
Congratulations to our new Certified Peer Specialists: Nayna Adams, Donald Aiken Sr., Gerald Barlow, Emily Burkhart, Brenda Crosby, Venus Azevedo-Laboda, Grace Lukawski, Elizajah Gray, Naida Gray, Rhonda Gullifer, Melinda Gunns, Jennifer Mitchell, Patrick Mort, Rasna Sahni, Eve Shreve, Kim Coleman, Jeffrey Scott Drayer.
These mental health consumers are now prepared to provide support to their fellow consumers through formal, billable peer support services or in other roles within the mental health and human service network. MHA encourages providers to be creative in developing peer based job roles.
Best wishes to all the graduates!
November 26, 2014