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 [email protected].
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.