(From Steinberg Facebook Post): SB 10 (Beall), which would establish a statewide peer support specialist certification program, received bipartisan support with a 79-0 vote and passed off the Assembly Floor today. The Steinberg Institute is a proud co-sponsor along with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. Thank you to Asm Waldron and Senator Beall for your leadership on this important issue.
Collaborating with Pool of Consumer Champions (POCC) and Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission (MHSOAC), we would like to send a very special thank you for everyone who joined us in celebrating Peer2Peer Support
Peer Respites: Expanding Peer2Peer Support
May 15, 2019
During the event 5/15/19, participates were asked how we could continue to network and grow peer respites throughout California. The responses below, categorized by themes, were the outcomes of the ongoing discussions throughout the day. This is the community voice.
To Build Support for Peer Respites: Advocacy
Educate the community, politicians, churches, schools, community service centers and other service providers, etc.
Provide exceptional services at existing respites, will lead to word of mouth
Create a tax incentive (or other financial incentive) to rent or sell a house for peer respite
Good data to communicate successes
Tax on Big Pharma to fund peer respite
Social media campaign using #CAPeerRespites
Connecting with faith-based organizations that have supportive mindset about mental health treatment/care/peer support
Utilize connections like news outlets to do local public interest stories spotlighting local peer respites (human kindness, compassion)
Create a “Peer Respite Day” during mental health month
Approach legislators to create bills
Determining messages and resources
Multimedia, TV, social media, radio, advertisements
Building a Network to Expand & Strengthen Peer Respite
Create a long-term strategic plan with existing peer respites to create a movement for peer respites in all counties
Peer respite working group to plan for Medi-Cal billing if SB 10 passes
Bimonthly meetings among existing peer respites for collaboration, sharing, learning, advising
Identify a “welcomer,” a point of contact to welcome others (new peer respites?)
Visit other peer sites
Build fellowship within peer community (ex: cookout)
Knowing people who will donate supplies or a house
Understanding and leveraging funding: seeking donations from corporations
Create info sheet about using MHSA money to fund peer respites
Potential statewide respite coalition partners: existing peer respites, county allies, other peer-run organizations, CAMHPRO, MHSOAC, established recover-focused nonprofits, provider organizations
To Improve Peer Respite
Child care for parents who need peer respite, link to child-care providers (and funds)
Pet care at peer respites
Emotional support animals at peer respites
Lift restrictions requiring diagnosis and/or taking medications (for those that have those requirements)
Consistent, consumer-produced statewide quality guidelines for peer respites
Make peer respite more accessible to people who don’t have housing
Gather community input on needs
Creating activities that engage understanding: yoga, exercise, music, art
Toward Peer Respite in Contra Costa County
Public comment, presentation, plant seeds CPAW: monthly meeting for MHSA, 1st Thursday, 3-5PM in Concord
Apply to be on MHC (1st Wednesday, 4:30-6:30 South, West, Central) and CPAW
Community forums and outreach
Contra Costa Mental Health/Behavioral Health Services
POCC/Friends of Adeline
Contra Costa College & Spirit Program, Spirit Alumni Group
Social Inclusion meeting
RI: lost advocacy
Surveys of community
Build every tier of needed resources – peer respite is just one part; use available empty housing, explore co-housing and kibbutz model
Following emotional testimony from supporters
The Senate Health Committee Wednesday Unanimously passed SB 10 (Senator Jim Beall)
which would establish a certification process for peer providers of mental health and substance abuse services. Peers are people who draw on experiences with mental illness and/or substance use disorder and recovery, bolstered by specialized training, to deliver valuable support services in a treatment setting.
Across California, peer providers are already used in many settings. However, there is no statewide standard of practice, consistent curriculum, training standards, supervision standards, or certification protocol in California, which now one of only two states (the other is South Dakota) that does not have peer certification. Yet peer support programs have emerged nationwide as an evidence-based practice with proven benefits to both peers and the clients they assist, including reduced hospitalizations, alleviation of depression and enhanced self-advocacy.
A peer support program also creates a career ladder so that consumers and family members working in mental health care have the opportunity to fully contribute, translating their experience into meaningful employment.
Aaron Ortiz, of La Familia Counseling Services in the Bay Area, praised Zinman for her tireless work on behalf of consumers. “I’d like to announce that La Familia will be opening a peer respite facility in January.”
Sally Zinman’s Place is the first peer-run adult respite in Alameda County. It’s been a long time in the making, and we would love for you to join in the celebration. See you there!
JANUARY 9, 2019
1:00 – 4:00 P.M.
1525 B. STREET, HAYWARD
Aaron Ortiz, of La Familia Counseling Services in the Bay Area, praised Zinman for her tireless work on behalf of consumers. “I want to say thank you to Sally for really empowering the consumer and I’d like to announce that La Familia will be opening a peer respite facility in January and we’re going to name it after Sally for all of her work and it’s going to be called Sally’s Place.” READ FULL ARTICLE
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If California had to pick superstars in mental health advocacy, Sally Zinman and Rusty Selix would top the list.
That was the overwhelming consensus at the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission meeting after the Commission named its two new fellowships in honor of Zinman and Selix. The Commission named the Mental Health Policy Consumer Fellowship in Zinman’s honor and the Mental Health Policy Practitioner Fellowship in Selix’s honor.
“We want to recognize both Sally Zinman and Rusty Selix and thank them both for the work that they’ve done and for their lifetime of advocacy and dedication to mental health,” said acting Commission Chair Khatera Aslami-Tamplen.
The announcement at the Commission meeting October 25 in Alameda County was met with resounding applause and with heartfelt tributes for them both.
“Sally Zinman has been a lifelong advocate for those of us living with mental health challenges and has been a leader in the consumer and peer movement across the country,” Aslami-Tamplen said. “She’s been a strong voice for self-empowerment, self-determination, consumer rights and for people living with mental health unmet needs, working to eliminate stigma and discrimination and uphold the civil rights of individuals with mental health challenges. We are honored to name the MHSOAC Mental Health Consumer Fellowship after Sally Zinman.”
State Senator and Commissioner Jim Beall presented Zinman with a framed resolution from the California State Senate.
“I’m really honored, Sally, to present you with this resolution from our California State Senate on their behalf,” Beall said. “Congratulations and maybe you can be a mentor for all these interns. We want them to be the future leaders in mental health in California and that’s what we are creating, the future leaders so congratulations and thank you for doing this work.”
Zinman called the honor, an honor for consumers.
“I see this as honoring all the consumers I have met and talked to, whose voices are in my ears and whose ideas I’ve listened to because I’m really them,” she said. “What I know and what I pass on and the work that I do is a collection of all of them. I feel like I’m just a vehicle for all those people, the 41 years of their ideas and visions. That’s all in my mind so when you are naming a fellowship after me, you are naming it after consumers, after our consumer movement and after the values that we try to infuse into the system.”
Zinman said that she hoped that the future fellows would instill the values of the collective consumers into the Commission’s work.
“I know that the fellowship will help their careers and teach them a lot in terms of policy and I see them as teaching you all,” she said. “It’s really a vehicle for bringing those values and our principles to the Commission and to the larger mental health system. I thank you for honoring the consumer values and principles and movement by naming this fellowship after myself because that’s who I am. Thank you for the opportunity to continue that by having a person every day at your offices infusing the values of the consumer movement into this Commission.”
Aaron Ortiz, of La Familia Counseling Services in the Bay Area, praised Zinman for her tireless work on behalf of consumers. “I want to say thank you to Sally for really empowering the consumer and I’d like to announce that La Familia will be opening a peer respite facility in January and we’re going to name it after Sally for all of her work and it’s going to be called Sally’s Place.”
Several speakers called both Zinman and Selix mentors who inspired their work and commitment to mental health and said the Commission chose the right people as the Fellowships’ namesakes.
Rusty Salix could not attend the meeting. Selix co-authored the Mental Health Services Act, along with then-State Senator and now Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.
“Rusty Selix has contributed to our mental health movement tremendously and we wouldn’t be here today without the contributions of Rusty Selix,” Aslami-Tamplen said. “He has been a strong and stabilizing voice for destigmatizing mental health challenges and building a continuum of care. We are honored to name the MHSOAC Policy Practitioner Fellowship after Rusty Selix and present him with a resolution for his lifetime of dedication to mental health.”
Executive Director Toby Ewing said Selix was instrumental in pushing many of California’s groundbreaking mental health system changes. “Rusty shared this much grander vision around opportunities for education, around ways to engage our public safety partners, around ways to engage the medical community and primary care and he’s continued to push this vision and as it is represented now in the Act and how we in California are really trying to transform that system from the fail-first system to one that is recovery oriented that really is about prevention and early intervention and is about innovation.”
He added that globally, others are starting to recognize the value of California’s mental health system.
“Rusty laid the foundation for not only for what we’re seeing today as far as fundamental improvements in our mental health system, but also the expanded global attention that you see,” Ewing said. “People do now recognize that mental health is foundational to quality of life. And we’re beginning to see how other states and other countries begin to look at what California is doing as a strategy for improving the mental health systems in their own communities.”