A Closer Look: Peer Support Services
Did you know TrueNorth Wellness Services has 13 locations and offers services in nine counties? We service over 24,000 client interactions each year, working with individuals, schools, emergency services, and other community organizations. With so many services offered, we thought it would be a good idea to take some time each month the highlight one of our programs. This month, we talked with our Peer Support Program Manager to give us an overview of the department.
If you would like to support our Peer Support Program during the month of July, please visit our giving page.
What is Peer Support?
Our Peer Support Program is designed to help individuals experiencing behavioral health challenges through the recovery process. By utilizing trained Certified Peer Specialists (CPS), clients are succeeding in their own recovery from mental illness. This program allows our clients to build a comfortable and open relationship with a Peer Specialist based on the idea that each has experienced living with behavioral health challenges.
Why is this program an important part of our community?
It’s all about creating a continuity of care. We work closely with our outpatient, crisis intervention, residential and social rehabilitation services. We want to create a place for everyone at every stage of their journey, a community where everyone has a path to wellness.
What is your department currently working on?
The Peer Support program has recently experienced a change of staff. Although the program has sustained its level of success, new staff always bring enthusiasm to the creation of a new team. We look forward to returning to serving the Youth and Young Adult population sometime in the next fiscal year as well.
What are some recent highlights from your team?
Two new CPS team members and a new Peer Supervisor have recently joined TrueNorth Wellness Services! The supervisor will be bringing knowledge from a variety of service experiences, including forensic and dual diagnosis. We have been able to increase the number of individuals served, particularly in York/Adams, with the new staff.
What are some program goals you are working toward this year?
The program and community would benefit from the inclusion of youth, ages 14 – 17, into our service population. Having staff achieve that certification will be a positive expansion to the program and allow even more collaboration across the agency.
What are the biggest challenges facing your department?
Referrals to Peer Support tend to ebb and flow. Even though the service is not new, it is not widely known or understood. The peer support team is currently working on more regular outreach to the community in an effort to generate a more consistent flow of referrals. It is important to spread the message that the purpose of the program is not based on socialization, but rather on support and advocacy to achieve measurable goals to better an individual’s wellbeing.
For more information about our Peer Support Services and to request details on taking part in the program, please contact our Customer Engagement Department at 717.632.4900 option 2.