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Webinar: Peers As Crisis Providers II

A webinar sponsored by SAMHSA and presented by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors will take place Tuesday, August 11, 2015 pm Eastern Time called “Peers as Crisis Service Providers II”.

Description: Research shows that the involvement of peer specialists is critical to prevention, allows states to save mental health program dollars by reducing cycles of hospitalization and other emergency interventions, and increases recovery and community integration outcomes. Peers are currently playing an increasing role in providing crisis services, through running crisis respites, staffing crisis response centers, and participating in mobile crisis and/or outreach teams. This webinar will provide examples of the range of crisis services that peers can provide, the benefits of integrating peer specialists into crisis services, and common pitfalls to avoid. We did this webinar on June 10th and because of the turnout and the feedback, we wanted to present it again.

Intended audience: crisis service providers, state and local administrators, peer support specialists, peer-run organizations, family-run organizations

Here is the registration link for joining the August 11th webinar:

Presenters: Steve Miccio, Jim Hajny, Sue Bergeson, Heather Rae and Paul Lyons

  • Steve Miccio is the Executive Director of PEOPLe, Inc. which is located in Poughkeepsie, NY. They are a peer operated advocacy organization serving people in 7 counties throughout New York. Steve has been instrumental in designing and implementing crisis/hospital diversion services in New York, Nebraska and the Netherlands. Steve is considered an expert in peer operated diversion services and emergency service design. Steve has been working with The Institute for Behavioral Health Improvement to assist in creating alternatives to crisis services for hospitals across the nation. Steve has been a partner in published research around psychiatric emergency service delivery and served as a consultant to develop a book on creating standards of care in emergency psychiatry (2006). Recently, Steve was the principal trainer at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, NY training peers in the emergency department and on the behavioral health units. He also speaks and consults nationally and internationally on developing more effective approaches to crisis diversion with the use of peers.
  • Jim Hajny is the Executive Director of Montana’s Peer Network, a peer run non-profit organization that provides recovery opportunities. Jim has been in recovery from a dual diagnosis for over for 20 years. He believes recovery is not only possible, but it should be a part of the process when someone is given a diagnosis. Montana’s Peer Network has been piloting  peer services in a community based role that focuses on mobile crisis outreach as a means to prevention. This program engages people where they are at (home) not in a crisis setting. This pilot project has been able to widen the lens on how we view mental health crisis in the community and expand the role of peer services.
  • Sue Bergeson is the vice president of consumer and family affairs for OptumHealth, the behavioral health arm of United Health Care, a large managed care company.   Bergeson is responsible for developing behavioral health programs that help people living with mental illness and substance use disorders achieve long-term recovery and resiliency. She has brought peer support as a reimbursable service into Optum including facilitating the creation of Level of care guidelines, reimbursement guidelines, Statement of work, contracting guidelines, and credential guidelines.  She has developed training programs to teach consumer run programs how to contract with managed care organizations to create sustainable funding through delivering peer coaching programs.  She has developed tools to help peer coaches assess and provide the right self-care tools and resources at the right time for the consumer being served. Before joining OptumHealth, Bergeson helped lead the country’s largest consumer-run national organization, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). She is a consumer of mental health services, a family member of mental health consumers.  Her sister died by suicide.
  • Heather Rae, Vice President of Programs and Services, Common Ground. Rae is responsible for the administration and clinical oversight of all of the agency’s programs, which includes psychiatric services, runaway and homeless youth services and crime and victim services. The newest member of Common Ground’s executive team, Rae joined the agency in March, 2011. Prior to joining Common Ground, she was a Service Network manager for Access and Utilization at the Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority.  Her responsibilities included providing clinical leadership to internal and external providers and managing more than 30 million dollars of public contracts.   She also developed and implemented the utilization management structure for the organization and provider network.
  • Paul Lyons is a Common Ground Recovery Coach, Certified as a Peer Support Specialist (CPPS) by the State of Michigan. He first interfaced with the mental health system as a child through multiple hospitalizations. In his younger years he experienced homelessness, family discord, and isolation. His remarkable recovery journey includes an early distrust of the system attempting to help him (police, involuntary commitment interventions, etc.). Later he worked to change the system by advocating for others with mental illness and gained employment as a peer. In addition to his CPSS  certification, he is certified in WRAP, WHAM, PATH, Hearing Voices, Smoking Cessation and Leadership. When he is not working as a Recovery Coach, Paul owns several rental properties and is a successful businessman.