12/27/10 — Eastpointe now taking applications for peer support counselors

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Eastpointe now taking applications for peer support counselors

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on December 27, 2010 1:46 PM

Eastpointe and the rest of the state mental health system are introducing a new program on Jan. 1 -- peer support specialists.

These specialists, explained Eastpointe Director Ken Jones, will be former consumers of mental health or substance abuse services who have already been through the recovery process.

Currently, the local management entity has received a $23,000 grant to help train as many as 25 peer support specialists.

People interested in being a peer support specialist should call Eastpointe at (800) 513-4002 or at www.east pointe.net. The first training, "Recovery Works" will be held on Jan. 21, 22, 28 and 29, and on Feb. 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The second training, "Peer to Peer' will held on Feb. 10, 17, 24, on March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, and on April 7 and 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Participants would be required to attend all sessions to become certified.

Completed applications are due by Dec. 30.

The peer support specialist will be part of the new Critical Access Behavioral Health Agencies.

Jones explained that peer counselors have long been used in the recovery process, but that this program is the first time it's been a Medicaid billable service.

"It's a lot different talking to somebody who's actually been through the recovery process than talking to a professional," he said.