Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

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10.6.20

CHWs and Covid-19 — Addressing Social Determinants of Health in Times of Crisis and Beyond

N Engl J Med. 2020 Sep 23. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp2022641. [Full Commentary]

Peretz PJ, Islam N, Matiz LA

New York City was the one of the first COVID-19 hot spots in the United States and necessitated a public health response that included community health workers. This piece in the New English Journal of Medicine shares experiences from New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, which are among the healthcare organizations that utilized CHWs into their COVID-19 response. In collaboration with community-based organizations, CHW teams proactively contacted socially isolated patients, connecting them with sources of critically important care and support. This experience has shown that, during times of crisis, CHWs may be the lone connection between some patients and an ever-changing — and increasingly digital — health care system.

10.6.20

The Fundamental Value of Presence in Peer and Mutual Support: Observations from Telephone Support for High Risk Groups

Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice. 2020;11(3),1-20. [Full Article]

Fisher EB, Tang PT, Evans M, Bhushan N, Graham MA, Dreyer Valovcin D, Castellano C

Abstract
“Being there” takes on considerable importance amidst recognition of the substantial deleterious effects of social isolation and loneliness. In particular, presence/ “being there” may be important features of the many contributions of peer and mutual support to health and wellbeing. This study examined how peer support may enhance a sense of presence based on a) contact data for years 2015-2016 from telephonic peer support services of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, and b) structured interviews with peer supporters and clients of these programs. Features of peer support that convey presence include a) 24/7 availability, b) structure of peer support around shared cultural roles – e.g., “Cop2Cop,” “Mom2Mom,” rather than shared diagnoses, c) training of supporters to provide a…

7.7.20

Standardization and Adaptability for Dissemination of Telephone Peer Support for High-Risk Groups: General Evaluation and Lessons Learned

Transl Behav Med. 2020;ibaa047. doi:10.1093/tbm/ibaa047. [Pubmed Abstract]

Evans M, Tang PY, Bhushan N, Fisher EB, Dreyer Valovcin D, Castellano C

Abstract
Beyond demonstrated effectiveness, research needs to identify how peer support can be implemented in real-world settings. Telephone peer support offers one approach to this. The purpose of this study is to evaluate telephone peer support provided by trained peer staff for high-risk groups, implemented according to key tasks or functions of the Reciprocal Peer Support model (RPS) providing both standardization and adaptability. The methods used in the study include the review of contact data for years 2015-2016 from telephone peer support services of Rutgers Health University Behavioral Health Care, serving veterans, police, mothers of children with special needs, and child protection workers; structured interviews with peer supporters and clients; and audit of case notes. Across 2015-2016, peer supporters made 64,786…

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