Certified Peer Support Specialists TRAINING APPLICATION

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1 Certified Peer Support Specialists TRAINING APPLICATION A. ELIGIBILITY & PRIORITY A Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS) candidate is a person with a mental illness and/or substance use disorder who can demonstrate their own efforts at self-directed recovery and expertise including knowledge of approaches to support others in recovery and dual recovery. All candidates should have at least one year of abstinence/ sobriety and no significant inpatient psychiatric admissions for the year prior to applying for certification training. Priorities for acceptance to the training are: 1. Individuals employed by a Community Mental Health Center or other Facility. 2. Individuals being offered a position at a Community Mental Health Center or other Facility upon satisfactory completion of certification training program and exam. 3. Individuals who have demonstrated recovery leadership within their communities. B. QUALIFICATIONS 1. Education - Minimum, a high school degree or GED 2. Recovery Experience - Psychiatrically stable for a minimum of year, able to discuss their relapse prevention plan at interview for example, what relapse prevention groups they are engaged in, lifestyle changes/improvements, support systems in community, etc. Understands and able to discuss in depth their illness, triggers, warning signs, medications, stability and relapse prevention plans. 3. Beyond a demonstration of personal mental health stability, a peer support specialist should be: o flexible o have organizational skills o be self-motivated with the ability to work well independently or in groups o possess strong inter-personal and communication (verbal & written) skills o exercise good judgment 4. Volunteer/Work Experience hours of formal or voluntary experience related to mental health, community or public service. Work/Volunteer Experience can include but is not limited to: o Facilitating 12-step meetings - N.A., A.A. etc. o Facilitating Recovery for Life, WRAP and/or Double Trouble Groups o Work with mental health advocacy organizations - SC SHARE, NAMI-SC, MHA-SC, Federation of Families, Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities o Public Service Organizations - Red Cross, Food Banks, Shelters, Libraries, Girl/Boy Scouts, Big Brother/Sister Programs, Religious organizations, Sunday school classes etc. 5. Complete and Return all Required Paperwork; application, readiness self-assessment, and documentation and a $25 check for the application fee made out to SC SHARE and mailed to : 427 Meeting Street West Cola, SC or as a PDF by to: 6. Agree to abide by the Certified Peer Support Specialist Code of Professional Conduct. All candidates must complete and return application by July 31, 2015 to be considered for acceptance into the peer support certification training program 1

2 Training dates: August 10-13, 2015 and August 17-20, 2015 Name: Address: Phone or Cell: Are you client of: (check only one) Mental health services Addiction disorders services Both Highest Level of education attained. Have you been hired to be a certified peer support specialist? Yes If yes, where? (Agency, name address, phone) and who will be supervising you? (Name & contact information) Were you referred to this training by either mental health or substance use treatment staff? Yes If yes, who referred you (Agency & employee, name address, phone) Have you completed and/or taught any mental health recovery training and/or led support groups? (i.e. Recovery for Life I or II, WRAP, NAMI In Our Own Voice) Yes Have you completed and/or taught any addictions training and/or led support groups? (i.e. Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps for Recovery Coaches, Science of Addiction and Recovery Trainings, Our Stories Have Power...A Media Workshop for Recovery Advocates, Favor, led A.A. or N/A or other 12-step groups) Yes Have you attended and/or spoke at any conferences on mental health and/or addictions? Yes Do you regularly attend any community based support groups? (i.e. A/A. N/A., NAMI, SCSHARE) Yes Do you have a home computer? Yes Are you comfortable using Microsoft Office Word/other word processing program? Yes Do you feel confident in your basic typing skills? Yes 2

3 Answers to the following questions weigh heavily on determining acceptance into the training. Candidates should be knowledgeable about recovery principles and have thorough understanding of their own recovery. 1. Please describe why do you want to become a certified peer support specialist and what you think makes you a good candidate to work with people who have mental illness, addiction disorders or both? 2. Describe/define what being in recovery and/or sobriety means to you. 3. Peer Support Specialists must be willing to share their recovery/sobriety story for the benefit of others. Please describe at least one example of how you have done this. 4. What recovery skills do you bring to this position? {Note: we are looking for something other than taking Medications and attending mental health scheduled appointments} 3

4 5. Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way (for example; convincing someone that recovery was/is possible). 6. Give a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem. 7. We all have to deal with conflict in our lives, describe how you generally deal with conflict with in yourself or with another person. 8. If you were to have a mental health crisis /addiction relapse describe how you would handle it. 4

5 Please document at least one year of active participation in a local or a national mental health and/or substance use client movement or 100 hours of formal or voluntary experience related to mental health, community or public service. Name the agency and/or advocacy organization you work for either as a paid employee or volunteer and what you did while working there. Agency Name Job Length of Service Please list the names and contact information of at least 2 references. NO FAMILY PLEASE. Name of Reference Years Known Relationship to You Contact Information Emergency Contact Information: Name & Relationship to You Contact Information Do you have a medical condition that you need us to be aware of? Please return the application to: Michelle Miller, Program Director SC SHARE 427 Meeting Street West Columbia, SC $25 Check and application are due by July 31, 2015 (803) or 5

6 The South Carolina Department of Mental Health Certified Peer Support Specialist Code of Professional Conduct Peer Support is a helping relationship between mental health clients and Certified Peer Support Specialists (CPSS) encouraging respect, trust, and warmth. The primary responsibility of Certified Peer Support Specialists is to help empower clients to achieve their own needs, wants, and goals as specified in the plan of care. As such they are committed to providing and advocating for effective recovery based services for the people they serve. Peer Support Specialists recognize the importance of a Code of Ethics and are dedicated to these standards being rigorously enforced. 1. Certified Peer Support Specialists will not practice, condone, facilitate, or collaborate in any form of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital status, political belief, mental or physical disability, or any other preference or personal characteristic, condition, or state. Certified Peer Support Specialist will adhere to policies set forth by the directive (4-100) Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation of Patients and Clients Prohibited 2. Certified Peer Support Specialists will maintain high standards of personal and professional conduct and shall not be party to any type of behavior, activity or policy that denies any client equal, nondiscriminatory access to service and/or support; or which deliberately demeans the rights and/or dignity of any client, staff or colleague. 3. Certified Peer Support Specialists will, at all times, respect the dignity, privacy and confidentiality rights of the clients they serve. 4. Certified Peer Support Specialists will never engage in sexual/intimate activities with the clients they serve. Certified Peer Support Specialists shall avoid being drawn into dual (friendships, business bartering etc.) relationships with clients while the support relationship is ongoing. 5. Certified Peer Support Specialists never give out their personal contact information to clients, but will ensure clients know how to contact them through the mental health center. 6. Certified Peer Support Specialists shall only provide service and support within the hours, days and locations that are sanctioned by the mental health center. 7. Certified Peer Support Specialists will conduct themselves in a manner that fosters their own recovery. In so doing, Peer Support Specialists are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and take the necessary steps to ensure their conduct does not negatively affect the perception of this program. 8. Certified Peer Support Specialists will openly share with clients and colleagues their recovery stories from mental illness as appropriate for the situation in order to promote and support recovery and resilience. 9. Certified Peer Specialists will keep current with emerging knowledge relevant to recovery, and openly share this knowledge with their colleagues while refraining from giving advice or opinions that exceeds the scope of practice as defined in the Community Mental Health Services Provider Manual Section 2 Policies and Procedures 2-68 for the Peer Support Service. 10. As state employees, Certified Peer Specialists cannot accept personal gifts. 6

7 Please Note: 1. Applying to attend the training is not a guarantee of acceptance into the training class. 2. Certification is not guarantee of a job as a peer specialist. Individual mental health centers, V.A. programs and other mental health facilities chose their own staff. 3. Candidates must have proven leadership experience. There is not enough time in the training to teach you how to set-up, plan and facilitate a group. You must already possess those skills. We require 100 hours of formal or voluntary experience related to mental health, community service or public service. (See the Certification Requirements section for more information). 4. Peer specialists must document the services they provide to clients. SCDMH uses an electronic medical record for documentation it is therefore imperative that peer candidates have basic computer skills. 5. The job of a peer support specialist is not to replace current clinical mental health and/or addiction treatment staff but to offer additional options to help clients in their efforts to recover by providing a wide range of skill building services. They do this by advocating for effective recovery based services for the people they serve; assisting clients in obtaining services and information that meet their individual needs; informing clients about community and natural supports and how to use them in a recovery process and; assisting clients in becoming empowered through self-advocacy skills, addressing stigma and discrimination against themselves and their peers all to help clients assume responsibility for their individual recovery. 6. Certified Peer Support Specialists (CPSS s) utilize their own experience and training to assist adult mental health clients in understanding how to manage their illness in their daily lives by helping them to identify key resources, listening and encouraging them to cope with barriers and work towards their goals. They provide ongoing support to keep people engaged in proactive and continual follow up treatment by guiding them through self-help and self-improvement activities that cultivate the client s ability to make informed independent choices and facilitates specific, realistic activities that lead to increased self-worth and improved self-concepts. 7. Qualities & Characteristics Being well established in your own recovery and resiliency. Possess the personal qualities that enable you to rebound without decompensating. Be flexible and have good organizational skills. Be self-motivated with the ability to work well independently and in groups. Possess good inter-personal and communication (verbal & written) skills. Exercise good judgment. 8. Training Requirements: All candidates must complete every day of the training and then pass a written competency exam hours of continuing education training annually of which 12 hours must be face-to-face training. All trainings must be approved by SC SHARE. 10. Each candidate is responsible for making/paying all arrangements for hotel and transportation. 7

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