WAW2017 has ended
Back To Schedule
Wednesday, June 7 • 10:45am - 12:15pm
Building and Sustaining a Peer Support Program

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
Human connection and relationships play a key role in recovery and wellness, and Peer Specialists have the gift to help make that happen. A peer specialist’s lived experience, skills, and ability to say “me too” brings a sense of hope that recovery can and does happen. Peer specialists provide support and advocacy, are role models, and facilitate positive changes at the practice, program, and policy levels. They have the ability to add a unique service layer and perspective to any helping agency. For organizations interested in building a strong workforce of peer specialists, commitment from the agency’s leadership is of key importance. Extensive planning, gaining agency buy-in, identifying funding sources, hiring peer specialists, and providing training and education are necessary to build a successful peer program. Centerstone, a Community Mental Health Center serving Jefferson and surrounding rural counties in Kentucky, currently employs over 30 peer specialists. We are building the infrastructure that creates an effective, sustainable and innovative peer program by utilizing the following strategies: Identify internal and external champions that help influence and promote change; Hire a seasoned peer specialist to provide dedicated oversight to the program; Provide certification training to prospective peer specialists; Provide peer specialists with administrative and consultative supervisors; Monthly group supervisions designed to increase skills and provide networking opportunities; Access to continuing education; Recovery training for clinical and administrative staff; Ongoing coaching on confidentiality, boundaries and ethics for peer specialists; Facilitation of creative ideas and out-of-the box thinking to enhance outcomes; Creation of ideas around transitioning individuals back into the community by utilizing peer specialists as warm hand-offs and for a personal welcome into services. Soon to follow: Program-related data and outcome measures.

Learning Objectives:
1. Be able to define the steps in creating a strong peer specialist workforce.  
2. Learn the key concepts of building an effective peer program within their agency.
3. Be able to creative ideas for peer specialists to engage individuals transitioning back into the community.

avatar for Andrea Keith

Andrea Keith

Andrea Keith, MEd. Counseling Psychology has worked in community mental health for 18 years. She began her career as a child case manager with the Kentucky IMPACT program. She was promoted to Program Director of the Rural Division Case Management Team in which she supervised both... Read More →
avatar for Susan Turner

Susan Turner

Susan Turner has worked in community mental health for more than 23 years. She is a Certified Adult Peer Support Specialist and serves as a Unit Manager and Team Leader at Louisville’s Community Mental Health Center, Centerstone KY. She leads a consumer operated service called PEERFIT... Read More →
avatar for Joy Varney

Joy Varney

Joy Varney is the Project Coordinator of Peer Support Services at Centerstone, KY. She is responsible for building a strong cadre of skilled peer specialists by developing the framework for the peer support program. She has been an advocate for families, youth and adults with behavioral... Read More →

Wednesday June 7, 2017 10:45am - 12:15pm PDT