The Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission received approval from the OMHSAS to become a provider of Certified Peer Specialist Services in April 2008. From that time, the MCBHC has provided Peer Support Services by individuals who are self-identified current or former consumers of mental health services. Consumers of Peer Support Services are inspired to recognize that their recovery goals are attainable. The principles of consumer choice and active involvement by the consumer are considered necessary components of the Peer Support Program.To be eligible for Peer Specialist Services, an individual must consent to the service and meet all of the following criteria:
Individual Peer Specialist Services are provided to participants at their home, the MCBHC office, the county jail, the hospital, a provider agency, the community, or any other setting deemed convenient and appropriate by the individual. Peer Specialists are responsible for promoting the knowledge to access and utilize available services and resources specified in the Individual’s Recovery Plan. With the participant’s consent, the Peer Specialist can work with family, treatment providers, rehabilitative programs and community supports to achieve agreed upon goals. The Peer Specialists provide information to participants and assist them in becoming better educated/knowledgeable in obtaining services as needed.
General Program objectives include a review of the participants’ progress in identifying and developing natural supports and social networks, identifying and developing strategies to increase self-help and self improvement, and identifying any additional areas that the participant feels they need additional support with in order to aide in their recovery.
Expected program outcomes are individualized based on specific participant’s needs. Individual goals are identified as part of the consumer’s Recovery Plan. Peer Specialists assist the participants in identifying targeted time frames for each goal and will follow-up on these during each visit.
A Peer Specialist may attend home visits, treatment service planning meetings, supervision, attending networking meetings, case noting/paperwork, or trainings in a course of a day.