Thursday, April 9, 2020

Comments by Vincent F. Caimano, Ph.D.

Showing 3 of 3 comments.

  • Thanks much for this article. Its so appalling that the Medical Model / Silicon Valley mentality can drive such large-scale unhelpful services. It seems that a big part of it is driven by the desire to minimize labor costs and automate things to the point that the user is treated like a widget that is processed by the app rather than a person who can be an active participant in their own journey.

    We have been providing a peer support app for over ten years. Our motto is “REAL HUMANS. REAL HELP. REAL TIME.” Most of our services have been delivered via live, small video-based groups (8 to 12 participants) facilitated by Certified Peer Specialists with very positive participant ratings and in a study we did a few years ago, strong participant-reported outcomes. In our new platform we are beginning to allow users to track mood and other information that we hope will be useful feedback to the user and allow us to eventually offer relevant encouragement and development tips. We just don’t understand how app developers can take the user and the human touch out of the equation. To learn more about what we do you can go to http://www.peersupportsolutions.com.

  • Thanks Leo for this great article. In my experience with depression, talking with others made a huge difference. I’m not a tea person but I have shared coffee with friends I have developed who have had similar challenges in their lives. Initially I did most of my connecting in a support group that I started and to a lessor degree in a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression program that I have led. I was inspired to help more people and eventually created http://www.SupportGroupsCentral.com where we now host over 250 meetings a month and have reached people in over 130 countries. I am also now really excited to say that we are about to launch the next version of our platform, HeyPeers.com. It will allow more spontaneous, one-on-one connections that are safe and secure. Thanks again Leo for your piece, I hope that it inspires more people to simply talk with someone who might listen, encourage and perhaps help them.

  • Hi Tim
    Glad to see your post and your commitment to peer help. I share your passion for bringing peer support to people everywhere and so I started http://www.SupportGroupsCentral.com over 10 years ago (now part of http://www.PeerSupportSolutions.com). We have had the privilege of helping tens of thousands of individuals from over 130 countries and we now provide peer support for Behavioral Health, Chronic Illnesses and Rare Diseases. There are about 250 monthly meetings on our site. They are hosted by a broad array of organizations – largely nonprofits. For groups that we staff, we used Certified Peer Specialists and Certified Recovery Coaches to facilitate them. There are over 30,000 of these folks in the US alone, many of whom are underemployed and like you, we offer them an above average hourly wage. One significant difference between what you are starting to do, and what we do, is that we are not trying to provide a more accessible form of peer “counseling.” We are simply bringing people together who have similar life challenges so they can help each other in a safe meeting place. Our meetings are very highly rated (e.g. 95% of particpants in one service would recommend it to others) and we have a strong outcomes (a 69% reduction in hospital readmissions for people in our Depression Recovery Groups). If we can be of help to you please feel free to send me a note at [email protected]. Keep up the good work!
    Best wishes,
    Vince Caimano
    Co-Founder & CEO, Peer Support Solutions