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Peer Support Services are structured and scheduled activities for adults aged eighteen (18) and older with a diagnosis of Mental Health and Substance Use disorders. Peer Supports are provided by Peer Support staff. Peer Support Service is an individualized, recovery-focused service that allows individuals the opportunity to learn to manage their own recovery and advocacy process. Interventions of Peer Support staff serve to enhance the development of natural support, as well as coping and self-management skills.
Interventions of Peer Support staff may also provide supportive services to assist an individual in community re-entry following hospitalization. Peer Support Services emphasize personal safety, self-worth, confidence, and growth, connection to the community, boundary setting, planning, self-advocacy, personal fulfillment, and development of social support, and effective communication skills. Services emphasize the acquisition, development, and expansion of rehabilitative skills needed to move forward in recovery.
Examples of specific interventions include:
Self Help: Cultivating the individual’s ability to make informed, independent choices.
Helping the individual develop a network of contacts for information and support based on experience of the Peer Support staff.
System Advocacy: Assisting the individual to talk about what it means to have a mental illness to an audience or group. Assisting the individual with writing a letter or making a telephone call about an issue related to mental illness or recovery.
Individual Advocacy: Discussing concerns about medication with the Physician or Nurse at the individual’s request. Helping the individual make appointments for psychiatric and general medical treatment when requested. Guiding the individual toward a proactive role in health care.
Pre-Crisis and Post Crisis Support: Assisting the individual with the development of a personal crisis plan, and/or a Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD). This includes help in developing the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). Giving feedback to the individual on early signs of relapse and how to request help to prevent a crisis. Assisting the individual in learning how to use the crisis plan.
WORK SCHEDULE: Work schedule will vary per assigned client needs.
The Peer Support Specialist primary responsibilities are to direct, coordinate, and manage the activities of a comprehensive mental health program and to ensure the program operates in full compliance with relevant laws, ensure accuracy of data; compliance with regulation; and identify operational efficiencies.
The Peer Support Specialist will provide service activities to include the following interventions:
• Education and training of clients and others who have a legitimate role in addressing the needs identified in the Person-Centered Plan
• Preventive, and therapeutic interventions designed for direct individual activities
• Assist with skill enhancement or acquisition, and support ongoing treatment and functional gains
• Develop interpersonal and community relational skills, including adaptation to home, school, work and other natural environments
• Therapeutic mentoring and Supportive Counseling
• Symptom monitoring and self-management of symptoms
• Inform the client about benefits, community resources and services
• Assist the client in accessing benefits and services
• Arrange for the client to receive benefits and services
• Monitor service provision
• Case management to arrange, link or integrate multiple services as well as assessment and
reassessment of the client’s need for services
A valid drivers’ license is required for this position.
Must be Certified Peer Support Specialist within 12 months of employment.
Peer Support must be delivered by individuals who have the life experience of being diagnosed with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder and must be Maryland Certified Peer Support Specialists who:
a) Self identifies as an individual with life experience of being diagnosed with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder which meets Federal Definitions and
b) Are well established in their own recovery and Peer Support Specialist
c) Are currently in recovery and are stable, and
d) Have a high school diploma or GED equivalency, and
e) Are supervised by a Qualified Professional (QP), and
f) Are not a family member of the individual who receives Peer Support services Peer Support Services may be provided by paraprofessionals.
Follow the Peer Support Certification Guidelines in the State of Maryland