Integrating Peers into Clinical Teams
Methods Parachute hired 64 FTE peers, one of the largest efforts nationally to integrate peers into the delivery of Mental Health services. Using extensive, ethnographically based field observation and key informant interviews over 3 years in Parachute’s implementation evaluation, we documented peer involvement in trainings, staff meetings, clinical supervisions or co-supervisions, observations of integrated teams at work, key informant interviews, and focus groups with teams and with peer staff only.
Results Issues that challenged peers’ working on clinical teams and providing respite services in Parachute included: attitudes toward peer co-workers; hiring challenges/benefits counseling; poorly defined jobs/role conflict including definition and perceived value of peer work, focus on lived experience of illness than recovery; few support opportunities in supervision and commodifying lived experience.
Implications Besides informed supervision, peers need peer-specific supervision and practice communities to share their particular concerns. Organizations must develop peer-informed personnel policies; broader diffusion of recovery language is needed in mental health services and clinical training; co workers should consider more flexibility in sharing practice challenges. As Medicaid increasingly funds Peer services and certification standards emerge it is critical to develop, test and disseminate strategies that address structural and personal challenges in peer integration to exploit its potential in transforming MH services.
Learning Areas:Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Describe how peers and clinicians work together in mental health crisis teams
Keyword(s): Mental Health Treatment &Care, Vulnerable Populations
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a research associate at the Nathan Kline Institute.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.