Saturday, December 10, 2016

The NYC Peer Workforce Development Committee is Striving to Overcome All Obstacles

The NYC Peer Workforce Development Committee is Striving to Overcome All Obstacles
By Helen “Skip” Skipper, NYS Certified Peer Specialist

Now is the Time to Get Involved as the Peer Workforce Grows
The Peer Workforce Development effort was born out of a need to support our newly expanding peer workforce. In 2015, when New York State Medicaid reimbursable behavioral health services for adults moved from a fee-for-service system to a value-based-payments managed care system, federal rules permitted reimbursement for rehabilitative services, including peer and family support, when provided by Certified Peer Specialists and Certified Peer Recovery Advocates. New York City and New York State have begun to implement these Home and Community Based Services in a wide array of behavioral health treatment programs. While this has created many new opportunities for New York peers it has also opened our eyes to a range of disparities. The Peer Workforce Development Committee, which includes our Leadership and Steering members, is striving to overcome ALL obstacles.

We are comprised of peers in all titles, including but not limited to: peer specialists, peer counselors, peer wellness coaches, and peer recovery coaches. We are trained professionals who work in every aspect of behavioral health, and who are mentored by established New York State and City peer leaders. Our message is simple. In the words of the great tradition of basketball, “We Got Next!”
We got next: In involving all behavioral health services in New York City in an open dialogue concerning the implementation of peer support.

We got next: In discussing pay parity, supportive services and ongoing/next-level trainings.

We got next: In formulating our own “Peer Workforce Culture.”
We got next: In advocating for more/better jobs, full-time hours, more responsibilities, and supervisory positions.

We got next: In ensuring that ALL behavioral health agencies in New York City incorporate some form of peer support.

We got next: In organizing our workforce; preparing for the possibility of eventual unionization, offering us even more protections and security.

We got next: In building a bridge between providers and peers…breaking down all barriers!

We got next: In developing funding streams with fiscal partners to help us achieve our goals. 

We got next: In developing partnerships with other organizations geared towards peer development, both national and international.

We encourage all New York City peers to join our Workforce Development effort by attending one of our meetings or signing up for our mailing list. We can be reached at:

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