PRESS RELEASE: New Peer Certification SB 803 Introduced

SB 803 (Beall) PRESS RELEASE

Principle author Senator Jim Beall,  Principal Co-author Assemblymember Marie Waldron, Co-authors Senator Wiener and Senator Wilk Assembly members Aguiar-Curry, Arambula Aguiar-Curry, Grayson, Ramos and Wicks  CAMHPRO a co sponsor

SB 803 Fact Sheet

SB 803 Peers Press Release January 8 2020

Senator Jim Beall Champions Mental Health Legislation to Certify Peers

Today, long-time mental health champion Senator Jim Beall introduced legislation SB 803 to create state certification for mental health care providers known as Peer Support Specialists.

Last year, Senator Beall’s bipartisan effort, SB 10, made it to the Governor’s desk with unanimous votes, where it was vetoed. Sen. Beall is reintroducing this legislative initiative as an effort to make strategic, cost-effective reforms to California’s mental health programs.

“Statewide certification of Peer Support Specialists will ultimately save the state money while improving mental health outcomes. The Governor and I have the same goals- help people and use our resources wisely. SB 803 will improve our system in an ongoing, sustainable way.”

A peer is a person who draws on lived experience with mental illness and/or substance use disorder and recovery, bolstered by specialized training, to deliver valuable support services in a mental health and/or substance use setting. “It is time that peers are validated as an essential and professional part of the behavioral health workforce” asserts Sally Zinman, Executive Director of California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations (CAMHPRO).

The state is facing a shortage of qualified mental health professionals to ensure all Californians receive care. Peer Support Specialists are a much needed addition to the workforce.

Dr. Jonathan Sherin, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, emphasized that LA County is ready to take action. “LA County looks to expand upon and professionalize its peer support programs in a sustainable manner which will not be possible until we secure statewide certification and a reliable reimbursement mechanism. Leveraging lived experience through peer support is critical to the service transformation we need in California. The state must make the most of every resource available to address our mental health crisis; recognizing and resourcing Peer Support Specialists statewide will be a wise investment.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and 48 states have a certification process in place or in development for mental health peer support specialists. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released guidance in 2007 for establishing a certification program for peers to enable the use of federal Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) financial participation with a 50% match.

Studies show that peers contribute to the ability of people with mental illness and substance abuse to obtain education and employment, contributing to the California economy rather than depending on social safety nets alone.

“Research demonstrates that the utilization of qualified peer support specialists has measurable benefits to clients including reduced hospitalizations, improved functioning, and alleviation of depression and other symptoms. The time has come for California to embrace peer support as an evidence-based model and put in place a certification program that will standardize best practices” stated Maggie Merritt, Executive Director of the Steinberg Institute, a Sacramento-based non-profit mental health public policy institute.

In California, demand for peer services is growing, but there is no statewide scope of practice, training standards, supervision standards, or certification.

 “California has an important opportunity to deliver quality, cost-effective, evidence-based mental health services and add diversity to our mental health workforce by certifying Peer Support Specialists,” said Michelle Doty Cabrera, executive director of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California (CBHDA).  “While California faces a severe shortage of mental health professionals needed to serve our diverse communities, the specific services delivered by trained, supervised peers have shown to improve client outcomes and reduce costs at the same time.  But California can only realize these benefits for our mental health clients in Medi-Cal if we join the 48 states that have already recognized the effectiveness of Peer Support Services through certification.” 

SB 803, The Peer Support Specialist Certification Act of 2020 establishes a statewide certification program for peer support specialists and provides the structure needed to maximize the federal match for peer services under Medi-Cal.

The legislation is applauded by a broad and large coalition of supporters, and is sponsored by California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations, County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, and Steinberg Institute.

SB10 Peer Certification Passes on Assembly Floor 67-0

(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.

 



FIRST ONSITE PEER ACTION LEAGUE MEMBERS (PALMs) REGIONAL FORUM

Monday, September 16th, 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM
(9:30-10:00 sign in & networking)
San Mateo County

  • Connect & Network
  • Build CApacity
  • Reach & Reflect Diversity
  • Strategic Collective Action

REGISTER HERE
Limited Seats — Lunch Provided

KEYNOTES PANEL: The Peer Story in California

CONSTITUENCY PERSPECTIVES PANEL: Youth, Adult, Family of Adult, Parent, Cultural

GROWING PEER SUPPORT IN THE GREATER BAY AREA REGION

COLLABORATIVE GROUP ACTION PLANNING

Who should attendCounty BH Directors, Family, Peers & Peer Run Programs of the Greater Bay Area Regional Counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano & Sonoma) Open to all others.

*If you want to become a Peer Action League Member, please go to:https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/INDIVIDUAL-PAL-APP

OR

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PEER-RUN-PAL-APP

***Advance Notice for translation, interpretation or for accommodations will be honored*** Please contact Karin at klettau7@gmail.com to confirm.

 

Presented by the California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations (CAMHPRO) in partnership and collaboration with Heart & Soul, Inc.
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#CAPeerRespites, Peer2Peer Support

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

#CAPeerRespites

Peer Respites: Expanding Peer2Peer Support
May 15, 2019

Peer2Peer Program of the day
Second Story Peer Respite Home (Santa Cruz County)
Share! Recovery House (Los Angeles County)
Blackbird House (Santa Clara County)
Sally’s Place (Alameda County)

Photos of the day:

 

Ideas from Breakout Groups

Peer Respites:
Expanding Peer2Peer Support


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
  • Community gardens
  • 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
  • BOS meetings
  • Community forums and outreach
  • Contra Costa Mental Health/Behavioral Health Services
  • POCC/Friends of Adeline
  • Peer programs
  • Contra Costa College & Spirit Program, Spirit Alumni Group
  • Social Inclusion meeting
  • RI: lost advocacy
  • Diversity
  • Surveys of community

Other Ideas

  • Build every tier of needed resources – peer respite is just one part; use available empty housing, explore co-housing and kibbutz model

SB 10 will be heard at the Appropriations Committee on Monday April 8, 2019

SB 10 will be heard at the Appropriations Committee

Monday April 8, 2019.

ANTHONY PORTANTINO, Chair

10 a.m. – John L. Burton Hearing Room (4203) at Capitol

Dear Senator Portantino,
The Steinberg Institute is a leading nonprofit public policy institute that supports and encourages effective and comprehensive mental health policymaking. We are the proud sponsors of SB 10 (Beall) that would call upon the state to standardize high-quality peer and family support services. READ ENTIRE LETTER

Sammy Caiola / Capital Public Radio

Eric Bailey now works for Sacramento’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, using his lived experience with bipolar disorder to help connect people suffering from mental health issues to the care they need.

California lawmakers are considering a bill that could help build a workforce of people living with mental illness to help guide others in need of services toward care.

When Eric Bailey landed in a San Diego hospital after a mental health crisis in 2013, he says he was at the end of his rope.

“At the moment of being ready to discharge, I had zero idea what I was doing,” he said. “I had no vehicle there at the time, my wife was leaving me, I’d lost my job, I was losing my apartment as well.”

Bailey didn’t know where to go. Then a stranger approached him and told him he’d been in that same psychiatric ward, and that he could help. READ FULL ARTICLE

SB 10 Peer Certification Capitol Visit 3/27

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.

Witnesses Wednesday included Khatera Tamplen, a peer herself who is consumer empowerment manager at Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services and chair of the state Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, which co-sponsored the bill along with the Steinberg Institute. Also speaking was Keris Jän Myrick, Discipline Chief for Peer Services for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, who was featured in a New York Times article for being a successful executive with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Myrick was accompanied by LA County Director of Mental Health Jon Sherin, who said getting a certification process was his top priority.

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.

Sally’s Place Open House: Alameda County’s First Peer-Run Adult Respite

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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IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

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FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT
VISIT THESE LINKS:

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT

THE ACT