Friday, January 27, 2023

Comments by Klortch

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • I have been employed as a peer worker for the last decade. I consider myself fortunate to have developed my ideas of what peer support is thanks to people like Shery Mead and organizations such as The National Empowerment Center. I have constantly pushed back and have tried very hard to be “in the system and not of it” but I am realizing more and more every day how impossible this is with the way things are going in regard to attempts to “legitimize” or “credentialize” peer support. MHA’s NCPS certification strikes me as nothing more than their attempt to be *the* national organization that monetizes the certification process. This need to “prove” what peer support is and make it “more professional” is happening at the state level as well. For example, the Washington state peer program–which refers to their state certified peers as Certified Peer Counselors–has an ongoing effort called OPS (Operationalizing Peer Support) which teaches organizations how to hire, train and supervise peers. When you read about these efforts words like recovery, empowerment and choice are tossed about but in practice many employed peers are treated like low-level case managers who are expected to do everything but peer support while encouraging things like medication adherence and how to be a good, compliant patient. For me this is all very discouraging, but I have to believe there is hope for “peer-run organizations that are dedicated to mutuality” as Darby Penny mentioned above. Who or where are the organizations, people and trainings willing to help take back and define what peer support is really about?

  • “the only way to bring genuine peer support to people involved in the mental health system is through independent, free-standing peer-run organizations that are dedicated to mutuality.”

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Darby. Do you know of or can you recommend any organizations or individuals doing the kind of peer support you mentioned above?