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Peer Support, Peer Problems

For Steve Harrington, president of the National Association of Peer Supporters, the loss of a relationship triggered a deep depression with psychotic features, resulting in hospitalization.

For Leah Harris, communications and development coordinator for the National Empowerment Center, it was her parents dying young from a combination of mental illness and the “toxic effect of overmedication and broken spirits,” and then her own treatment for mental illness during her youth.

They and other advocates describe years of languishing in traditional treatment settings until the peer support movement, with its emphasis on recovery and wellness, showed them another way.

2 Comments to
Peer Support, Peer Problems

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  1. Excellent article describing the value of peer support and of the Alternatives Conference in its 28th year. The federal agency, SAMHSA, which funds Alternatives is at risk of loosing this type of funding due to the Murphy Bill HR 3717. Our TA center, National Empowerment Center is also at risk of losing funding.

  2. I feel it’s a dangerous role where I work DMH state homeless shelter.
    For the first year and a half some senior mental health counselors ignored me. I was advised “win their hearts and their minds will follow” (thanks Dan F). So we all had most minds and hearts working together a year and one half into the job. A site director even responded to a complaint that cafeteria workers would fight with homeless folks over food. One in a while the campus PO and a CPS could collaborate to avoid assaulting guests prior to their section 12 evaluation.
    Then new management (Social Workers) took command then all bets were off. A CPS could get written up for riding the wrong elevator and attempting to implement an evidenced based approach to de-escalation was ignored.
    Suit up & Shut Up.
    C no hear no speak no evil

    Maybe a new approach will be popular a year from now but I can not get disability insurance. I am going to keep my mouth shut and retrain management again.



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