Sunday, December 11, 2016

Forward to Peer Specialist Section by Director of Consumer Affairs

Forward to Peer Specialist Section
By Carlton Whitmore, Director, Office of Consumer Affairs, NYC Dept. Health & Mental Hygiene

Never before in the history of the peer movement has there been a time when Peer Specialists were valued as much as they are today. Peer Specialists are now recognized as an integral piece of systemic transformation and considered a “best practice” for the communities we serve. Peer support services have proven effectiveness in many different research studies. Reduction in hospitalization and increased recovery for individuals working with peer support specialists has been documented.

The Affordable Care Act will help to create many new opportunities for the peer workforce to help individuals receive the services and supports they need to achieve and sustain long-term recovery.

Some of the most important steps in supporting the peer workforce are credentialing for peers and training for supervisors. Training for supervisors and others is needed to increase the understanding of the unique role of peers. In addition, peer credentialing is probably the single most important step in growing and supporting a qualified peer workforce. Without credentialing it will be difficult for the peer workforce to expand in reach and scope.

The NYC Peer Workforce will continue to grow and create more opportunities for all communities to have access to and benefit from peer support services.

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