Peer Support Specialists
Employed in a wide variety of settings, peer specialists are individuals with lived experience of mental illness, who are in recovery and willing to use their life experiences to assist others in earlier stages of recovery. Because peer specialists can relate to the consumer experience, they are often thought of as the “bridge” that connects the consumer to the mental health system. Peer support services provided by a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) are related to the consumer’s individualized treatment plan (i.e., helping consumers develop skills for coping and managing psychiatric symptoms or providing consumers an opportunity to support each) and are often based on the concept of mutuality. For instance, supporting another consumer not only helps that individual, but also helps to strengthen one’s personal recovery (Kaufman, L. Peer Specialist Learning Community Summary Report: October 2010).
Texas System of Care
The system of care framework is already working in communities across the state, both urban and rural, from the Rural Children’s Initiative in northwest Texas, to Ft. Worth and its surrounding counties, to Houston, to the far west edge of the state in El Paso, to Central Texas. Now we need to make sure all Texas children and youth in need have access to a coordinated service delivery system.
That’s what Texas System of Care is all about. Texas partners are coming together to identify ways to help local communities address the needs of children and youth with serious mental health concerns using a system of care approach. View an animated overview of the Texas System of Care by Connor Murphy. To learn more visit the Texas System of Care website.