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Peers In the Workplace: Realizing the Potential. Ronald Bassman, Ph.D. Celia Brown Darby Penney, MLS. Benefits Meaningful job opportunities for peers Peers bring experiential knowledge of service system; healing and recovery.

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peers in the workplace realizing the potential
Peers In the Workplace: Realizing the Potential

Ronald Bassman, Ph.D.

Celia Brown

Darby Penney, MLS

peers in the workforce
Benefits

Meaningful job opportunities for peers

Peers bring experiential knowledge of service system; healing and recovery

Peers in the Workforce
peers in the workforce3
Peers in the Workforce

More benefits:

  • Model recovery- oriented approach to interacting with service users
  • Teach non-peer staff how the system disempowers people
peers in the workforce4
Peers in the Workforce

Peers in the workforce are NOT:

  • Junior case managers
  • Medication enforcers
  • The “conscience” of an agency
peers in the workforce5
Peers in the Workforce

Caveats:

  • Administration must understand the role
  • Don’t ask peers to do things that violate their values and principles
  • Peers must be free to express their views without fear of retaliation
peers in the workforce6
Peers in the Workforce

Peers can join the workforce as…

  • Peer specialists in mainstream programs
  • Advocates or peer support staff in independent, peer-run agencies
comparison peer specialist other jobs
Comparison: Peer Specialist & Other Jobs

Adapted from New York State Peer Specialist Training Materials

peer specialist qualifications
Knowledge/experience:

Self-help techniques, group processes, facilitation

Consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement goals

Mental health/human services systems

Rights of service users

Peer Specialist Qualifications

Adapted from New York State Peer Specialist Training Materials

peer specialist qualifications9
Peer Specialist Qualifications
  • Able to engage and empathize based on common experiences
  • Patient, encouraging, supportive
  • Able to teach skills
  • Advocate/negotiate
peer specialist qualifications10
Peer Specialist Qualifications
  • Experience as a service user
  • Two years’ active participation in self-help or advocacy
  • Interpersonal skills
peer specialist job duties
Peer Specialist Job Duties

Developing Personal Growth Skills

  • Building trust, sharing common experiences
  • Help users:
  • explore their support needs
  • identify specific, individual strategies for coping, healing, growth

Adapted from New York State Peer Specialist Training Materials

peer specialist job duties12
Peer Specialist Job Duties

Teaching, modeling peer support skills

  • Convene, facilitate self-help groups
  • Teach self-help techniques and group process skills
  • Help establish peer support networks, enhance natural supports

Adapted from New York State Peer Specialist Training Materials

peer specialist job duties13
Peer Specialist Job Duties

Teaching advocacy skills

  • Negotiating bureaucracies
  • Applying for benefits
  • Identify, exercise rights
  • Advocate within systems
  • Educate providers on peer perspectives

Adapted from New York State Peer Specialist Training Materials

peers in the workforce14
Peers in the Workforce

Opening new doors:

Empowerment, healing and growth for service users AND for the system

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