PRESS RELEASE: New Peer Certification Bill 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.

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.

California Warmlines

warm line is an alternative to a crisis line that is run by “peers,”
generally those who have had their own experiences of trauma
that they are willing to speak of and acknowledge

MHA-SF  The Peer-Run Warm Line (1-855-845-7415) is a non-emergency resource for anyone in the Bay Area seeking emotional support. We provide assistance via phone and web chat on a nondiscriminatory basis to anyone in need Or Chat via IM
Hours:  Sunday 7am – 9pm ~ Monday – Friday 7am – 11pm ~ Saturday 7am – 3pm

 

Project Return Peer Support Network Peer-Run Warmline
Los Angeles County Residents
Hours Monday – Friday 5pm-10pm, Saturday 11am-4pm, Sunday Closed
(888) 448-9777 English and by text
(888) 448-4055 Spanish and by text

 

The OC Warmline- NAMI Orange County
(714) 991-6412
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-3am ~ Saturday & Sunday 10am to 3am
Languages: English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Farsi with Interpreter Services available

 

Consumer to Consumer – The Meeting Place Clubhouse, Inc.
for San Diego residents only
800 920-WARM (9276) and (619) 295-1055
Hours: 7 days a week 4:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M., except Holidays
Northern Valley Peer Run Talk Line

 

Butte County, California
A confidential non-crisis peer support network. You are not alone, we are here to listen.
855-582-5554
Hours 7days/week 365 days/year 4:30 pm-9:30 pm

 

San Joaquin County BH Services Consumer Support Warm-Line
For local San Joaquin County residents only
(209) 468-8686
Operating 24/7 since July of 2008

 

Warmline Connection (NAMI Sonoma)
866-960-6264
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm

 

PDF of information

PAL Peer Cultural Health Equity Action Committee 12/17 1 p.m.

PAL Peer Cultural Health Equity Action Committee

Upcoming GoToMeeting

CAMHPROs Peer Action League (PAL)

CULTURAL HEALTH EQUITY ACTION COMMITTEE
Join us on Tuesday, December 17, 1:00-2:30 PM
AGENDA
Please join our meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
If you have no mic on your computer, you can dial in using your phone: +1 (571) 317-3122, Access Code: 834-475-101
Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts
Schedule of Events Dec 2019-Mar 2020 (Rev. 12.5.19)

Audio-Visual Recording Channel

Welcome to the CAMHPRO Audio-Visual Recording Channel

This page will give you the GoToStage link to all webinars put together by CAMHPRO monthly and quarterly series. To access the recordings, you will need to sign in with an email or another social media account. Just follow the simple instructions and you’ll have access to the recordings. These recordings are about an hour in length and some are nearly 2 hours, filled with layers of advocacy work throughout California.

Below is a simple list of  what you can find, but there’s much much more. Enjoy! 

Monthly Peer Webinars Rotation 2nd Thurs. noon (register here)

Quarterly Grow & Sustain Series 

Peer Action League Quarterly Webinars (visit our PAL page)

The ABCs of Advocacy Web Series (visit our ABCs page)

Supporting Client Culture

CAMHPRO Audio-Visual Recording Channel

JOB POSITION AVAILABLE: Cultural Health Equity Coordinator

CAMHPRO is hiring for the following position: Cultural Health Equity Coordinator
Join our team of passionate, fun peers!

POSITION STATUS: Independent Contractor

REPORTS TO: Training Director and Executive Director

COMPENSATION: $20/hour; no benefits

HOURS: 5 hours/week

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS, DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The Cultural Health Equity Coordinator is primarily responsible for managing activities of CAMHPRO’s Peer Action League (PAL) Cultural Health Equity Committee, as well as assisting with outreach and engagement of diverse peers in PAL and State stakeholder meaningful advisory and decision-making policy activities to ensure a genuine reflection of the State’s demographic composition is achieved.
Please email resume and short cover email to Karin Lettau, klettau7@gmail.com

Don’t miss our NEW state advocacy webinar series, next 11/26

The Peer Action League – PAL State Advocacy 1-2-3 is a NEW series of three webinars on the basics and details of how consumer peers and others can liaison at the State level in a meaningful and consequential manner for a peer-driven transformation of the California behavioral health system. These three webinars are interactive through polling, questions and answers, and prompt you to take the next steps.

Learning objectives for Webinar #1 completed on 10/29
  • Define the role of peers or PAL Liaisons to key State advisory/decision-making bodies
  • Apply peer values and principles to public policy positions
  • Recognize two ways that stigma/discrimination impact consumers
  • Describe two elements of client culture in a context of a civil rights movement and services that are culturally competent



NEW STATE ADVOCACY WEBINAR SERIES REGISTER 11/26
Webinar #2 will be November 26, 12:00-1:30 PM
Learning objectives for Webinar #2
  • Outline the CA legislative body structure and how a bill becomes law.
  • Distinguish the main functions of two key state policy decision-making/advisory bodies.
  • List three social determinants to poor behavioral health.
  • Define the 3 parts of composing public comment.
Audience: PALMs, California stakeholders of public behavioral health policy and services: primarily consumers peers, however everyone can benefit and is welcome!



NEW STATE ADVOCACY WEBINAR SERIES
Webinar #3 will be January 29 2020, 12:00-1:30 PM
Content for Webinar #3
  • State Funding Basics
  • Key State Body Membership & Tips
  • Member Responsibilities
  • Mini-Conduit Reports
  • What ELSE do we need to DO & EXPLORE to be effective Peer Advocates
Audience: PALMs, California stakeholders of public behavioral health policy and services: primarily consumers peers, however everyone can benefit and is welcome!
Stay tuned for Learning Objectives and Link to registration for this third Webinar!