Peer support has been occurring naturally for a very long time in many unique ways, and there are endless examples of the healing power of peers sharing lived experiences with one another. Mental health and substance use programs have further developed such powerful exchanges of support, leading to the peer workforce. This emerging workforce is built upon an individual using one’s own recovery story and experience in a more systematic fashion in order to offer hope to others, as well as learning tools and mastering specific competencies to provide support.
I strongly believe that at least 50% of the mental health provider system needs to be peer support workers if we are to get to a system of care that is truly recovery oriented, trauma informed, ADA compliant, and where people with serious mental illness can find hope, courage, and the energy to recover their lives in a way that works for them.
–Kevin Ann Huckshorn, PhD, RN, MSN, CADC
Immediate Past Director, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Delaware Health and Social Services
Peer specialists and peer supporters are vital to leading mental health care’s overall shift of focus from symptoms and deficits to resiliencies and strengths, and from the endpoints of stability or management to empowering, person-centered endpoints of self-defined recovery and wellness. Peers will foster such transformation in their one-on-one and small-group meetings with those they serve as clients, and they will also embody this shift in their own lives and careers.
Yet numerous organizations must and will also be part of leading this movement. Whether employers, insurers and government entities, trainers and educators, supporters, or professional associations, a diverse array of organizations are important stakeholders within the peer specialist movement. Dialogue and sharing of information among peer specialists, peer supporters, and the organizations that sustain and support them will lead the way to a strong foundation for the peer community.
The DBSA Peer Leadership Center Organization Community
The DBSA Peer Leadership Center provides a place for organizations that employ, reimburse, train, and support peers to create organizational profiles. These profiles will afford organizations opportunities to be listed as peer resources on the site; to share events, workshops, and training dates; and to post employment opportunities for peers.
Take advantage of a standard, free membership to:
- Gain visibility and increase awareness among peers and the peer workforce with your listing as a resource.
- Share events, conferences, workshops, and training dates on the website event calendar.
- Post job listings for peers.
- Give peers access to search for organizations like yours based on location, type, services, and peer specialist employment.
Paid Premium Membership
Take advantage of preferred, premium placement at top of the directory, and include your logo and organization description all for $120 per year.
Sign for a membership today!
Organizations Employing Peer Specialists
For organizations currently employing peer specialists or interested in doing so, the DBSA Peer Leadership Center is a place to gather resources, learn together, and continue to build strong teams. The emerging workforce of peer providers brings unique perspective and expertise, and expanding teams to include peers strengthens not only the team, but also the possibility of recovery for all, and the organization’s impact in the world. Integrating a new role into any team is a process. Learning about the peer provider discipline is important for all team members, especially for those in supervisor roles.
Learn more about the supervision of peer specialists.
Organizations Training and/or Educating Peer Specialists
There is a select group of organizations that are recognized by states and/or nationally for training and certification of peer specialists. As these accomplished organizations know, training peers to use personal experience to inspire hope in others and to learn skills and competencies to provide support, is a true honor. These important organizations provide learning opportunities to peers in different locations all over the country at different times throughout the year. Countless peers dream of providing support as peer providers, yet at times, finding information about where, when, and how this dream can become a reality can be difficult. Just as access to information, options, and choice is imperative in the recovery process, so is having easy access to all training and education options to become a peer provider.
The DBSA Peer Leadership Center is a central resource for peer specialists and peer supporters to find information about training opportunities across the country! As such we’re happy to list your training, workshop, webinar, or conference in our national Event Calendar. Organizations can submit trainings and other events for calendar postings after creating an organizational profile.
Organizations Delivering National or Community Mental Health Services
Gaining access to resources is a major part of moving forward in one’s wellness. Peer providers support individuals in learning about options, resources, and tools so they can take the steps they choose towards creating the life they want. For some individuals, finding and exploring resources can be overwhelming, so having information about many options in one location would make the process smoother, and all resources more accessible.
The DBSA Peer Leadership Center is a central resource for peer specialists and peer supporters to locate national and community mental health resources they can share with their clients or fellow peers! Organizations can create an organizational profile which will allow anyone visiting the site the ability to search for organizations based on location, type of organization, and peer specialist employment. Join the DBSA Peer Leadership Center community today!