Peer support services can be transformational for a behavioral health system. This series focuses on strengthening recovery in Alaska.
Alaskans have worked to develop Peer Support for many years. The impact of peers providing services can be transformational for a behavioral health system. We have been excited to see a recent increase in the hiring of peers in our state.
Since 2017, the Division of Behavioral Health has made a concentrated effort with a diverse group of stakeholders to develop a Certification and Training Program for Peer Providers and also to promote a system of care that is based on the expectation of recovery.
With technical assistance from our friends at C4 Innovations (c4innovates.com) and BRSS TACS (samhsa.gov/brss-tacs), this group of Alaskan stakeholders laid out a comprehensive set of recommendations to guide the process. This webinar series will cover many of the issues that are key to strengthening recovery in Alaska.
Six Individual Event Topics
The History and Power of Peer Support
July 7, 2020, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. AKST
This session will trace the history and power of peer support in substance use and mental health services. The presenters will share the history and rationale for involving people in recovery with planning and implementation at all levels of policy, systems, and services. (Moderated by Bruce Van Dusen, Polaris House)
Tom Hill, National Council on Behavioral Health
Harvey Rosenthal, New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Inc.
Building a Strong Peer Network
July 13, 2020 10:00–11:15 a.m. AKST
Come learn strategies for developing a strong peer network, based on the lessons learned from the development the Peers4RecoveryRI group, which supports and connects peers working in Rhode Island. (Moderated by Eliza Eller, Ionia)
Lisa Conlan-Lewis, Parent Support Network of Rhode Island
Bringing Peer Support to Scale: Lessons from the Georgia Experience
July 20, 2020 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. AKST
Georgia was the first state to obtain Medicaid reimbursement for peer support services and continues to lead the advancement of peer support. This presentation will share the Georgia experience, lessons learned, and recommendations.
(Moderated by Jenifer Galvan, Anchorage Community Mental Health Service)
Neil Campbell, Georgia Council on Substance Abuse
Best Practices for Recruiting, Retaining, and Supervising Peer Support Workers
July 29, 2020 10:00–11:15 a.m. AKST
Many peer support workers leave agencies due to a lack of support and misunderstandings about the unique value of peer support. This presentation will address developing effective supervision, as well as creating and nurturing an organizational culture that respects and effectively employs peers in a variety of roles. Topics will include the importance of establishing clear policies, encouraging respect, changing organizational culture, and providing peer supervisory support that promotes the health and well-being of the organization and individuals.
(Moderated by Shannon Harris, Set Free Alaska)
Cheryl Gagne, C4 Innovations
Creating a Culture of Recovery and Assessing Agency Readiness
August 5, 2020, 10:00 – 11:15 a.m AKST
Recovery-oriented approaches, including peer recovery support services, have gained considerable traction in the last decade. Full integration of recovery support services, especially peer support services, requires a culture shift for many individuals, service systems, and organizations. This session will discuss how to create and sustain a cultural shift that lays the groundwork for the success of recovery-oriented systems, services, and supports
(Moderated by Susan Musante, Consultant, Recovery and Rehabilitation Resources)
Edye Schwartz, New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
Marianne Farkas, Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation .
August 12, 2020, 10:00 -11:15 a.m. AKST
This presentation will cover self-advocacy, individual advocacy, and systems advocacy and explain why all three are important for advancing recovery values, systems, and services.
(Moderated by Lee Breinig, Deep Roots Institute of Counseling Alternatives & Peer Support)
Steven Samra, C4 Innovations
Please see Training Flyer for presenter bios
Grant Program Manager, Division of Behavioral Health
Jim is a Grant Program Manager and Licensed Professional Counselor with over 40 years of
experience in the behavioral health field. Jim received both his M.Ed in Counseling Psychology
and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Psychiatric Rehabilitation from Boston University.
Over the course of his career, Jim has worked in many settings including psychiatric hospitals, crisis stabilization units and community behavioral health centers and in roles ranging from case manager, clinician, team leader, to behavioral health director. He has been with the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health for the past 10 years. In his position with the Division, he has provided technical assistance and grant oversight for numerous community behavioral health centers and substance use disorder treatment facilities around the state. He was the Project Coordinator for the Alaska’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic SAMHSA Planning Grant and is Project Director for the SAMHSA COVID Emergency Services Grant. He has been heavily involved with the Division’s planning around expanded Crisis services and the movement towards a Crisis Now model of care as well as the creation of a State Certification and Training program for Peer Support Workers.