Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

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10.17.12

Integrating Peer Supporters Into the Workforce

In recent months, peer supporters have been increasingly recognized in the field of mental health. In September, President Obama announced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will “hire 800 peer-to-peer support counselors to help veterans support each other and ensure that their mental health needs are met.” Later that month, the administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced they were awarding 2.3 million dollars in funding for consumer networks to “foster peer support groups and offer training for peer support leaders.”  While great news for the field of peer support, these announcement also raise questions of how peer supporters in mental health can be trained, licensed and implemented.

As discussed in our recent blog on community health workers, policies for training and licensing can have a dramatic impact on worker reimbursement. Similarly, there have been major changes to policies regarding licensing and/or…

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