Providing a voice for consumers of

mental health services

The Consumer Council System of Maine represents fellow consumers with an effective, organized voice in shaping public policy and mental health services.

CCSM Puts Forth Bill to Strength Maine's Peer Support Certification Program

The CCSM has been working with State Representative Drew Gattine to put forth a bill to strengthen Maine’s Peer Support Certification Program: “An Act to Increase the Effectiveness of Peer Supports in the State”


The bill is asking that all program training and oversight of the entire process, which is currently performed by state employees (and two new independent contractors) and IPSAC (Intentional Peer Support Advisory Committee), be removed from the control of state government employees.  It would allow a contracted, independent organization to oversee all aspects of the Peer Support Certification Program. By doing so, this will allow the program to maintain the integrity and fidelity of the model of intentional peer support, as designed by Shery Mead, as the training and oversight will be done by and with peers! It will also strengthen the capacity of the peer support program(s) to be able to expand and grow. Maine needs to have a strong infrastructure to sustain the peer support training program for years to come.  
-          * Peer Services can grow throughout Maine by adopting a train-the-trainer model, and abandoning the current model of using two state employees with a small amount contract training personnel.
-          * Training will be standardized but delivered locally.
-          * The training program will be managed such that there will be a database accessible to every peer in the program to find their status in their certification which does not exist now.
-          * The training program, utilizing existing resources, will be contracted out (RFP) to an entity that has expertise in delivering and managing statewide training programs.
-          * The successful bidder will work closely with DHHS staff as the certification process is tied into contracts.
The CCSM is looking for people who are in support of our bill and can come to give testimony at the public hearing. If you can write testimony but are not comfortable giving it, we have members who will read your testimony for you! You are also invited to come and show your support on the day of the hearing. If you can help, please contact the CCSM office at 1-877-207-5073 or

What are peer support services?
Peer support is a unique and essential element of recovery-oriented mental health and substance abuse systems.
Peer support programs provide an opportunity for consumers who have achieved significant recovery to assist others in their recovery journeys. Peer specialists model recovery, teach skills and offer supports to help people experiencing mental health challenges lead meaningful lives in the community. Peer specialists promote recovery; enhance hope and social networking through role modeling and activation; and supplement existing treatment with education, empowerment, and aid in system navigation.
Why are peer services important?
Research shows that the use of peer specialists, allows states to save mental health program dollars by reducing hospitalizations and other emergency interventions, and increases an individual’s participation in the community. And it has also been proven that people with mental illness who are helped by peers tend to experience more thorough and longer-lasting recoveries.
Peer support programs provide an opportunity for consumers who are in a journey of recovery to assist others in their progress. Peer specialists model recovery, teach skills and offer supports to help people experiencing mental health challenges lead meaningful lives in the community.
Peer specialists promote recovery; enhance hope and social networking through role modeling and activation; and supplement existing treatment with education, empowerment, and aid in system navigation.
Research shows that the use of peer specialists reduces the use of expensive services such as emergency rooms and hospitalizations as well as other emergency interventions. The use of peer specialists   increases peoples’ participation in activities within their communities. And individuals with mental illness who are helped by peers tend to experience a much more robust recovery outcome.



Hearings will be held tomorrow, March 5, 2015 at 1 PM at the Statehouse on the mental health portions of the Biennial Budget under the policy jurisdiction of the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services. The CCSM will be providing testimony on several items including, medication management, consent decree funding, RPC Funding, BRAP (Bridging Rental Assistance), and MaineCare Disability Eligibility Determination. Come join us and show your support or give personal testimony! We need your voice heard!!! 

Behavioral Health Homes (BHH) Forum- 2nd Forum scheduled for Portland Area on March 26, 2015!

**Please note: A second Behavioral Health Homes (BHH) Forum will be

held in Portland!**


DATE:           March 26, 2015

TIME:            5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

LOCATION:  Dana Health Education Center

                       22 Bramhall Street (Classroom 3)



For more information and to RSVP, please see the attached flyer!

Job Opening from The Disability Employment Initiative

2/4/15: Please Note- This is an updated job description as there was an error with the previous email that has been fixed. Due to this error, the deadline has been extended (please see new deadline date on job description)

We are posting this job opening for the Disability Employment Initiative, Bureau of Employment Services.  Please note that the CCSM cannot provide any further information. Thank you!

MDOL Logo 1

Position Announcement

January 2015

Central Western Maine Workforce Investment Board

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)


POSITION:   Disability Resource Coordinator (DRC)  

BACKGROUND:  The Disability Employment Initiative is a federally funded project designed to improve the accessibility and services of Maine’s workforce development system, particularly CareerCenters, for people with disabilities.

This project is active in Kennebec, Somerset, Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford Counties.  It is funded through January 31, 2017, with potential for a short extension.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES: Disability Resource Coordinators improve coordination and collaboration among employment and training programs carried out at a state and local level and assist with increasing participation in the Bureau of  Employment Services’ Ticket to Work Employment Network.  The DRCs’ key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

·         Operate as members of the DEI team

·         Implement DEI grant activities

·         Assist with the Ticket to Work program

·         Build effective community partnerships that leverage public and private resources;

·         Assure the accessibility of one-stop services and programs for all community members with disabilities

·         Serve as a resource to CareerCenter staff, partner agency staff and employers to better serve individuals with disabilities and to improve employment outcomes


·         The equivalent of six years of full-time workforce development, business, community service, or disability related program experience at the local, regional, statewide, or national level. 

·         Knowledge of, and familiarity with, local and regional agencies and programs, knowledge of community resources and systems

·         Knowledge of, and ability to use, web-based and other information resources to access knowledge of agencies, programs, community resources and systems

·         Demonstrated ability to work with and through several systems simultaneously

·         Demonstrated ability to carry out several different projects simultaneously

·         Demonstrated ability to build and maintain collaborative relationships

·         Demonstrated ability in problem-solving, networking, group leading, goal setting, and follow through

·         Ability to work independently AND as part of a team

·         Demonstrated ability with developing written materials

·         Demonstrated ability to deliver oral presentations

·         Education and degrees will be considered when combined with work experience as an alternative to the six years full time work experience requirement.



·         Experience with public workforce development programs

·         Experience with people with disabilities

·         Excellent written and oral communication skills

·         Experience with community-based programs and outreach to disadvantaged populations

·         Demonstrated ability to create and manage a broad network of professional contacts and resources

·         Creativity and demonstrated ability to take initiative


OTHER INFORMATION: This position is based in the Augusta CareerCenter and will primarily serve Kennebec and Somerset Counties.  Travel throughout the project region and other parts of Maine will occasionally be required.  Out of state travel is possible but rare.

COMPENSATION: annual salary $40,000, full health insurance coverage, full health insurance coverage, 403(b) retirement fund, paid holidays/vacation/sick leave

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Close of business, February 11, 2015

STARTING DATE: As soon as possible

APPLICATION PROCESS:  Please submit a cover letter, current resume, and three professional references to

An overview of the position and a technical description of the DEI are available upon request

No phone calls, please.

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