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 info@maineccsm.org

 
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.

Follow up on LD 1209: An Act to Increase the Effectiveness of Peer Supports in the State

Below are some more talking points about the changes to LD 1209 that the CCSM has asked for since the public hearing and why the passing of this bill is important. To view the amendments to the bill that we submitted, please click HERE



Please note: What we are asking for is that the Health and Human Service Committee approve the amendment and not move this into a study or workgroup as this would delay much needed change. We will continue to work with the state no matter what happens and we have already been talking this week to SAMHS leadership about this We need this bill to go to a vote!!!!  If this bill passes, we will have ample opportunity to work with DHHS to design what this program and certification will look like. This will NOT be done behind closed doors!

 

 

The Consumer Council System of Maine proposes an Amendment to do the following:

 

Sec 4.  Clearly lays out that the department contract out for peer support training through a train the trainer statewide program and that the training be by peers for peers.   Also adds that this entity shall keep and electronic tracking system accessible to trainees and specialists regarding their status

 

Removes the requirement that Peer Support Specialists be included on all ACT teams

 

 

Sec 5.  Clarifies that the already existing IPSAC committee name its appointees from a list of people interested and who have gone through a protocol jointly developed by SAMHS and CCSM.

 

 

WHY?
  

The CCSM listened to the concerns raised at the public hearing. The Department’s objections were based on requiring Peer Specialists on ACT teams primarily due to the fiscal note. We have removed that requirement. 

 

It clarifies that the services being contracted for are peer support specialist training and oversight, and they are to be served by and for peers, in a train the trainer model.

 

Lastly, it clarifies that the appointments to the already existing IPSAC are to be appointed through a process developed by the Department and the CCSM that will allow anyone to apply and be selected based on objective criteria. 

 

 

COMMENTS 

This is such an important bill.  Peer Support Specialists are a critical part of our behavioral health system, and the need for growing numbers of trained, supported specialists speaks to the importance of this bill. 

 

The work session has been scheduled for this coming Monday the 4th for the afternoon session and our bill is the last on the list.  Remember that the work session is not a place where we can speak unless asked.  Also, this is where a vote will take place from the committee members of HHS. You are welcome to come, but know this….we will probably be sitting and waiting for a long time with no guarantee of an ability to speak. 

 

Here are the work session guidelines that you are expected to follow:

 

PLEASE NOTE: While this is a public meeting, people are only allowed to speak at the request of the Committee.

 

Work sessions: Work sessions allow committee members to discuss bills thoroughly and to vote on one or more recommendations (“reports”) to the Legislature. The committee works with its legislative analyst to draft amendments or review amendments proposed by others. Some bills require several work sessions. Work sessions are open to the public and, at the invitation of the committee, department representatives, lobbyists and others may address the committee about bills being considered, suggest compromises or amendments and

answer questions. The committee may also ask its legislative analyst to research and explain certain details of the bill or to provide additional information. Under the Joint Rules (Rule 306), a Senate member of the committee must be present in order for the committee to vote unless the President of the Senate authorizes an exception. Work session schedules may be found on the web through the Legislature’s website under “Committees” at http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/commit.htm  and are also available on the Senate website.

 

Committee amendments: Amendments are suggested changes that may clarify, restrict, expand, correct or otherwise modify the printed bill. Proposed amendments may be technical or substantive. At times, revisions are so extensive that the entire substance of the bill is changed by the amendment. On rare occasions, extensive revision of the b ill may take the form o f a new

draft rather than that of an amendment. A new draft is then printed as a new L.D. and assigned a new number. Under the Joint Rules (Rule 310 (4)) the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House must authorize a new draft.

 

Committee report: Except in the case of a report of “leave to withdraw” the committee’s decisions on bills and amendments are expressed by votes on motions made during a work session; the final action is called a committee report, which is the committee’s recommended action on a bill. The report a bill receives is often the most important influence on its passage or defeat. Several types of reports on a bill are permissible under the

Joint Rules (Rule 310(2)):

Ought to pass,

Ought to pass as amended,

Ought to pass in new draft, Ought not to pass,

Refer to another committee, and

Leave to withdraw.

 

 

For more information on any of the above guidelines, please refer to the Legislator’s Handbook at: http://www.maine.gov/legis/opla/127thlegHandbook.pdf

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