An examination of becoming a certified peer specialist

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Grant, Emily A.
Reinhart, Crystal
Keele-Lien, Ashlee
Swink, Nathan
Wituk, Scott A.
Meissen, Gregory J.
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Grant, Emily A., Reinhart, Crystal, Keele-Lien, Ashlee, Swink, Nathan, Wituk, Scott and Greg Meissen (2009). An Examination of Becoming a Mental Health Certified Peer Specialist. In Proceedings: 5th Annual Symposium: Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 104-105

Peer support between mental health consumers in the mental health system is not a new concept. However, the position of Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) is a recent addition to the mental health system. CPSs are people in recovery who are employed by the mental health system to provide support through sharing lived experience with those who are working on their recovery from mental illness. CPS services became Medicaid reimbursable in 2001. Since then, CPS programs have been implemented in several states. Each state has its own standardized training and certification process that CPSs complete. Kansas began having a Medicaid reimbursable CPS program in 2007. The first training session was held in September 2007, and five trainings have been held. More than 100 people have been trained to provide CPS services in Kansas. The Center for Community Support & Research at Wichita State University has conducted interviews with those who attend the training. Interviews are completed during the initial training, and again 6 months and 12 months after the training. This poster will examine the responses to the interview questions regarding their experiences of being a CPS, their responsibilities and activities as a CPS, and their incorporation into the mental health system. It will also provide background information on the development and implementation of the CPS program in Kansas. Implications for CPS providers, mental health administrators, and researchers are provided.

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Paper presented to the 5th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, Wichita State University, May 1, 2009.
Research completed at the Department of Psychology, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Wichita State University. Graduate School
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