Funded by the Hogg Foundation
ETBHN began a 2 year collaborative effort in 2010 to enhance the skills of employed peer support persons and ease the transition into the workforce with the clinical and supervisory personnel. Trainings which were coordinated included Emotional CPR (a 3 day training addressing peer support for persons in psychiatric emergency), Certified Peer Specialist (a 5 day training curriculum offered by Via Hope giving peer support professionals the skill set required to enhance the recovery of others), and Demystifying Peer Support (a day of training LMHA clinicians and administrators toward effective utilization of their peer support staff). Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP, a 3 day recovery training to encourage peer providers to be responsible for their own recovery) and the Respect Institute (a 3 ½ day training in crafting one’s personal recovery story) were offered by independent contractors to provide a wellness foundation for peers wishing to work in the mental health field. After one year a WRAP facilitator training (a 5 day skills training, and subsequent mentoring by Advanced Level WRAP facilitators) resulted in participating peers becoming competent recovery practitioners functioning within their center of origin and also able to contract independently. Respect Graduates conducted educational presentations at conferences, and to undergraduate and graduate students in the colleges of nursing, social work, and rehabilitation services as coordinated by ETBHN peer support coordinator. Local Respect Institutes were coordinated at all Group 1 centers to cultivate a trained group of recovery speakers for each community center area. Interested peers and MH clinical staff were encouraged and sponsored to attend Alternatives 2010, 2011 (international gatherings fostering the Recovery Paradigm from the perspective of the mental health peer provider).
In the subsequent 2 years, a similar initiative began providing the same trainings to Group 2 Centers of ETBHN (Gulf Coast, Lakes Regional, Tricounty, Blue Bonnet Trails, Gulf Bend and Pecan Valley). ETBHN employed a second peer support coordinator for Group 2 and so began the second phase of the Hogg funded Peer
Network Initiative. A unique aspect of the trainings offers trained facilitators for the entry level WRAP training and co-facilitators for ECPR and the Respect Institute.
In response to the emphasis upon managed care, ETBHN coordinated two trainings of Whole Health Action Management this year. WHAM is a 3 day training addressing the various aspects of whole health. Upon completion, peer providers were equipped with a curriculum to guide consumers through domains of stress management, healthy eating, physical activity, restful sleep, service to others, support network, optimism, cognitive skills, spiritual beliefs and practices, and a sense of meaning and purpose.
Currently, as the Hogg funding winds down, surplus assets are being utilized to maintain continuity of the various supports offered to both the peer providers and to the participating LMHA’s. This takes the form of Advanced Level Mentoring of WRAP facilitators, assistance in co facilitating follow up WRAP support groups, and a proposed second offering of WRAP Facilitator Training and hopefully WRAP to the college population. ETBHN is now prepared to offer experienced consultation to mental health authorities wishing to enhance the skills of their peer support staff, to better integrate peer services into their programs, and to further develop recovery oriented services in accordance with the recommendations of SAMHSA. Not only does ETBHN have 2 experienced Advanced Level Wrap Facilitators on staff, but a significant number of WRAP facilitators employed at centers throughout East Texas ready to offer recovery skills to centers wishing to begin the journey into peer driven services. A current need expressed by a supervisor of peers is to cultivate a consortium of clinicians and administrators to deal with the logistical and procedural challenges of providing support services beyond the current paradigm. Although hiring a peer is the ultimate vote of confidence in a center’s mental health services, it poses unique challenges to be creatively addressed.
The Peer Support Program so successful that the Hogg Foundation renewed the grants for four more years.
Jim Lemon is our Peer Support Coordinator for ETBHN
If you would like any information, please contact Jim Lemon at:
The Respect Institute as part of the Hogg initiative has transformed persons with lived experience into educators and several universities in East Texas have begun to incorporate recovery into their curriculum.
Respect Speakers are asked to speak with student nurses, social workers, rehabilitation counselors at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.