Category Peer Support Services

Peer Support Receives Much Needed Recognition from Congress

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Congress gave mental health advocates a year-end present during the lame duck session by passing mental health reform legislation as part of the 21st Century Cures Act and sending it to President Obama for signature. Over the next three weeks CFYM will highlight key pieces of the legislation that benefit individuals living with mood disorders and their families.

In the August 2, 2016 CFYM post—as part of the shared decision making series—peer specialist Tom Lane explained how including peer support services delivered by a certified peer specialist can improve outcomes. Peer specialists serve as a member of the mental health care team and share their own experiences as a peer to develop trust with clients. According to Mr. Lane, “this enables the individual to divulge concerns, share desired outcomes from treatment, and acquire skills to approach the care team as an equal participant.” Further, Lane articulated that key to the peer-client relationship is a recognition and acceptance by the individual that the course of treatment is ultimately his/her choice.

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Why I’ve Chosen the Rewarding Profession of Certified Peer Specialist

Care For Your Mind wraps up the series on peer support services this week with a post from Olga Wuerz, a certified peer specialist, WOC (Without Compensation) who shares first-hand the value of including peer support services as an integral part of the mental health care delivery team at VA hospitals and centers.

Why I’ve Chosen the Rewarding Profession of Certified Peer Specialist
Olga Wuerz, Certified Peer Specialist, WOC and President of the Dallas VA Mental Health Veterans Advocacy Council

I started working on the Acute In-Patient unit at the Dallas VA Hospital about 8 years ago...

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Congressional Briefing Informs on the Value of Peer Support Services

“Peer support services work because we instill hope.” That’s the message from Olga Wuerz, an army veteran and certified peer specialist, during a congressional briefing held today by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).

Echoing that message, DBSA president Allen Doederlein shared that by instilling hope through positive self-disclosure, peer support specialists can influence the path to recovery and wellness for individuals living with a mental health condition...

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Can Peer Support Services Improve Outcomes?

How to increase the visibility and availability of peer support services—an evidence-based practice—is an important topic during any discussion on mental health care reform. CFYM will be discussing this topic over the next few weeks. On Wednesday, April 29, look for a recap on a congressional briefing hosted by DBSA to educate congressional staffers on this critical component of mental health care.

Larry Davidson, Ph.D.
Director, Program for Recovery and Community Health
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine

Stories of frustration and sorrow from family members who w...

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