Researchers from the University of Wyoming find that certified peer specialists “demonstrate high levels of communal orientation, job satisfaction, workplace integration and organizational support and are well received in mental health centers,” in an article published July 18, 2012 in the
Community Mental Health Journal.
Grant, A., Reinhart, C., et al: “An Examination of the Integration of Certified Peer Specialists into Community Mental Health Centers.” Community Mental Health Journal, online July 18, 2012
Grant, A., Reinhart, C., et al; “An Examination of Becoming a Certified Peer Specialist.” Proceedings of the 5th Annual GRASP Symposium, Wichita State University, 2009
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at
I thought I would make a great peer specialist at my local community mental health center until I realized that the system is killing people with neurotoxins. The doctors nearly killed me with antidepressants and antipsychotics and benzos and I have seen many people being disabled a d outright killed by the drugs. So, no, I am not going to waste my skills & energy collecting information on psychiatric guinea pigs for Medicaid and supporting people’s “right” to be poisoned by behavior control chemicals.It’s like being a Jew working in a concentration camp, keeping the inmates in line so they don’t bother the Capos. Maybe I can get them some more peas in their soup, or an extra service from their caseworker.
Health care centers are quite eligible in providing beneficial health care and mental care service to the victims in different regions; therefore we have found the importance of health centers is quite high. Basically health care centers are divided into multiple groups to serve care service in the community; groups include mental care; oral care; health care and other types of care service to the people. But through the help of different health care features we are able to maintain a perfect health solution and make people healthy.
A requirement of this job is that you are or have been a consumer of mental health services.
Peer Specialist Jobs
(thanks to hookrobin for pulling this 2012 post to the front – it coincides nicely with yesterday’s HELP WANTED on mia’s front page)
Maybe, if more people get involved in CPA work, the faster “the system” will change.
This sounds all great and wonderful until you realize that many of the peer specialist programs are created by the system itself and have very little to do with actual peer work. In many states the peer specialist movement has been cooptated by the system and is little more than a mouthpiece for the system, charting and telling people to “take their meds.” Then you have the other situation where peer workers are given minor jobs that have nothing to do with walking with people in their distress.
Like you, I hope that someday we can have true peer workers, not only in community clinics, but in psych hospitals and wards across the country. I believe that we can have a very beneficial effect on the entire system. Unfortunately, I think that many peer workes end up being the “Jesish capos” that Mad in Vermount is talking about in the first post. They end up doing to people what was done to them when they were in the system. Also, many people believe in the system and the toxic drugs and they push this in the work that they do.
Peers are supposed to stand for freedom of choice and are not supposed to push any one particular “treatment” when they deal with people. We’re supposed to empower people to find the treatment that works for them, we’re not supposed to give them answers that they need to be finding for themselves.
Totally agree Stephen.
A few years ago. I had a great shot at one of the positions. So I decided to ask my contact what would happen if someone didn’t want to take their meds? By the way this person acted, you would have though I was advocating an overthrow of the US Government.
Needless to say, I didn’t pursue the position as I had the sense I would find it very hard to deal with and wouldn’t last too long.