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A look at a Peer Counseling Training Program in Services for the Underserved

by Luis O. Lopez, MS, HSBCP Director of Best Practices and Recovery Based Services

Peer Leaders

James Fludd Stephan Hall Jerald Jenkins Anthony Thomas




2. 3. 3 4. 4

Develop a team of Peer Counselors / Peer Bridger / Recovery Coaches / Peer Leaders / Peer Specialists Improve communication with, support and connection to consumers in our residences. Provide more clinical t l iin th areas of Best P id li i l tools the fB t Practices and Evidence Based Practices Connect individuals to vocational / volunteer opportunities.


5. 5 6. 6 7. 7 8. 8

Connect individuals to academic opportunities. Support peer movement through agency. Encourage peer bridging in our residences. Promote recovery in transitional settings settings.


Project P.R.E.P.A.R.E. j

Idea was originally developed by Wanda CruzCruz-Lopez (Fall of 2008) Supervised by Paul Ney (2009). Based on vocational needs through out the residences First Peer Counseling Training Program in a Residential Setting combining Recovery and EBP s. EBP's

Historically, residential programs concentrate on life skills, entitlements, and self help groups (not clinical training for peer counselors).


Program was introduced to Administrative and Management Teams. Agency immediately supported the idea. For a period of four months ­ Sept. to Dec., numerous meetings with consumers were conducted throughout our residences.

> C Consumers provided exceptional f db k id d ti l feedback

about what they wanted from the program > Consumers added to the format


A curriculum was developed. It covered the p topics of

> > > > >

Recovery Ethics Ethi Peer to Peer Counseling WRAP Best Practices ­

Motivational Interviewing, Stages of Change, Smoking Cessation

> Evidence Based Practices ­



Group Work

During the Fall of 2008 group members met 2008, once a week for clinical discussions. During the Spring of 2009 g p g

> 20 consumers agreed to attend and participate

in the program > group members attended all day training sessions twice a week, for 24 weeks > group members participated on internships


Group Work

Each participant completed a minimum of 40 hours of Internship throughout our residences. Approximately 10 trainers were involved in the pp y six month process.

> Program Directors provided supervision and

feedback regarding the participants' ability to use their talents as well as the skills learned in the training sessions.


We integrated Recovery with Evidence Based g y Practices.

Participants reviewed topics historically affiliated with peer training modules and curricula.

> Recovery, Psychiatric Rehabilitation, peer

Participants also reviewed topics historically p p y (and strictly) implemented by clinicians and providers.

> Integrated Dual Diagnoses Treatment > Family Psycho-Education Psycho> Motivational Interviewing

counseling, etc.


The learning environment was a safe and supportive setting - which participants used regularly. Throughout the program, participants program shared with each other and provided peer support support. Participants developed a strong bond.



Year 1 - June '09 / Year 2 ­ June `10

Year 1 > 1 PREPARE alumni is competitively employed ( (full(full- time). ) > 5 PREPARE alumni are working a peer counselors (part(part-time). > 2 PREPARE alumni are currently volunteering as peer counselor trainees through the SUS Supported Employment program.


Year 2 > 15 PREPARE participants g p p graduated from the

program. > Over 200 people attended the graduation ­ family members, friends staff members, and members friends, members administrators. > Most graduates spoke about their experiences g p p and shared their plans with the group.


Year 22> 1 PREPARE alumni is competitively employed

(full(full- time). > 5 PREPARE alumni are working a peer counselors (part-time). (part> 2 PREPARE alumni are currently volunteering as peer counselor trainees through the SUS Supported Employment program.


What is next?

> SUS will conduct their third set of training

sessions (PREPARE) in January, 2011.

Many consumers have inquired about the sessions

> A review of the curriculum is necessary. > PREPARE graduates will take part in the d t ill t k t i th

reviews, discussions, and instructions of the materials. materials


For more information concerning PREPARE g and / or Services for the Underserved, please contact

> Paul Ney, Deputy Director > Marie Sabatino, Director of SUS Clubhouse > W d C Wanda Cruz L Lopez, Director of M t l Health Di t f Mental H lth

Services > Dr. Yves Ades, Senior VP, Mental Health Services or > Donna Colonna, CEO at 1-212-633-6900

Important Questions

by Luis O. Lopez, MS Director of Best Practices and Recovery Based Services R B dS i

A year later, what have we learned ...

How do we PREPARE at SUS? As more NYS agencies begin to hire peer counselors, SUS wants to encourage an on going di l i dialogue about experiences, b t i challenges, and policies. Are you ready for the challenge? We should engage in an ongoing conversation about some of the following questions -

What Wh t are organizations doing about i ti d i b t employing Peer Counselors? Is the leadership how the organization backing p g g positions for peers? How do you promote these positions? Are there clear job descriptions ( for all settings)? Have you created a dialogue with staff y g members to establish a mutual understanding of the roles each play around supporting ( pp g (other's) Recovery? ) y

Have you created a feedback mechanism H t d f db k h i and / or support groups (to better understand the challenges, the impact, the g p effectiveness or peer counselors in you programs)? Are you creating opportunity for adjustment and analysis in real time? Are you thinking beyond peer counselors positions? iti ? Are you paying peers fair wages?

What happens when organizations hire consumers receiving services in the same agency? ?

> Peers' Dual Role Am I a consumer or am I a staff member? > Peers become the "other staff" A my decisions and my opinion respected? Are d ii d i i t d?

What happens when organizations hire consumers receiving services in the same agency? ?

> Do we have job description? Who supervises Peer Counselors? Is there more or less tolerance during supervisory sessions?

Are you having a dialogue on privacy / confidentiality / professional boundaries ...Culture Change???

challenging aspect.

> The change of culture could be the most the

Are agencies ready to encourage peers to move up the latter into non-peer positions?


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