SB 803 PASSED SENATE, now in ASSEMBLY

SB 803 (Beall) – Peer Support Specialist Certification Program  passed the Senate on Special Consent 39 – 0 on Wednesday June 24. The bill is now in the Assembly, and will go to the Assembly Health Committee. 

Write your support letters NOW, if you haven’t already.
Please see attached template Support Letter, CAMHPRO’s Floor Alert, and Senator Beall’s SB 803 Fact Sheet.

Join the Discussion. Monthly Peer Webinars, Updated Links and Previous Recorded Webinars SB 803

Click Here and Sign up for monthly updates

State Peer/Family Certification 2nd Thursday at 12 noon

Please join us each month on the 2nd Thursday, at noon. CAMHPRO is changing the format of this monthly webinar again with a quarterly rotation of a Spotlight with a Guest Presenter of Model Peer Support Practices, Peer Support 4 Peer Supporters with a Guest Co-Facilitator, and Updates on CA Peer Certification.

We will invite other counties/agencies or states to present on their peer specialist service practices to demonstrate what is working and what is possible for the State of California. We will also provide policy updates, progress and funding as they happen regarding national and state peer specialist standardization or certification.

California is the last of a handful of states without a State protocol for certification of peer support specialists!

Join the conversation!

These CAMHPRO webinars are funded by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) under the State Consumer Network grant.

Click Here and Sign up for monthly updates

After registering once, you will receive a confirmation email each month

Helpful PDF Documents

17 Stakeholder Recommendations Appendix K
California Peer Specialist Timeline 3.21.18
FAQs on CA STATE CERTIFICATION 1.31.18
Senate Health_Bill_Analysis 3.12.18

Tracking The Bill

The FULL TEXT and ongoing status of the CA SB 803 (Beall-D) can be found and tracked at the following website: CA Legislative Information Click on ‘TRACK’, Create account with email and password only to choose to receive notices whenever there is action on the bill, for example it is in read on the CA Senate Floor, in Committee, passed, etc.

Upcoming Webinars

Thu, Jun 11, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PDT
Thu, Jul 9, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PDT
Thu, Aug 13, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PDT
Thu, Sep 10, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PDT

Previously Recorded Webinars
Click Here

SB 803 (Beall): Mental health services: Peer Support Specialist Certification – SUPPORT

February 19, 2020
The Honorable Jim Beall
California State Senator
California State Capitol, Room 2082
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: SB 803 (Beall): Mental health services: peer support specialist certification – SUPPORT

Dear Senator Beall: The California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations (CAMHPRO) supports Senate Bill 806, which would establish a statewide certification program for peer support specialists and would provide the structure needed to maximize the federal match for peer services under Medi-Cal. CAMHPRO is proud to be a co-sponsor of SB 803.

CAMHPRO promotes the work and missions of peer-run organizations devoted to advocacy and empowerment for mental health consumers. CAMHPRO’s mission is to transform communities and the behavioral health care system throughout California to empower, support, and ensure the rights of consumers; eliminate stigma, and advance self-determination for all those affected by mental health issues.

In supporting a Peer Support Specialist Certification Program in California, CAMHPRO joins the formidable array of California organizations, counties and individuals advocating for growth in high quality peer/family support services and peer specialist career development. Through support of SB 803, we look to finally bring peer support specialist certification to California.

Programmatically, peer certification makes sense
Numerous research studies support the efficacy and cost effectiveness of peer specialist services. Peer services, as opposed to traditional services alone, lead to less inpatient services, decreased symptoms, increased coping skills and life satisfaction, reduced overall ongoing need for mental health services, and decreased substance use.

Across California, peers are already providing peer support services. However, there is no statewide scope of practice, standardized curriculum, training standards, supervision standards, or certification protocol. Few counties that provide peer support services require training prior to hire. The benefits of Peer Certification for peer support are obvious.

Peer certification:
  • Defines the service of peer support;
  • Provides a standardized scope of practice, values and ethics, and competencies;
  • Assures that practitioners receive standardized training and demonstrate competency;
  • Ensures that service recipients will receive the same quality of services regardless of where in California they live;
  • Provides a basis for the ability to bill Medi-Cal for services provided; and
  • Allows for portability of Certification between counties.
Peer Certification also makes good fiscal sense, and California is one of only two states in the nation without it.

In 2007, the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a guidance letter to all State Medicaid Directors emphasizing, “peer support services are an evidence-based mental health model of care which consists of a qualified peer support provider who assists individuals with their recovery from mental illness and substance use disorders.” CMS encouraged states to establish a state certification process for training, credentialing, supervision and care coordination. (CMS, SMDL #07-011). This enables the use of federal Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) financial participation with a 50% match. Currently, 48 states, plus the District of Columbia and the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs, have implemented protocols to certify peer specialists, enabling them to leverage Medicaid funds. However, California has not acted and Californians deserve better!

Initially funded by Department of Mental Health and then Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), California began an in-depth and focused look at peer certification in 2011.Substantial grassroots work has been done toward peer certification since 2012 and substantial government funds have already been invested into developing peer certification in California.

SB 803 makes sense from both a policy and fiscal perspective and will provide more comprehensive assistance to people in need. CAMHPRO is proud to be part of a statewide movement to bring California up to speed with the rest of the nation in recovery and resiliency services through a state protocol for Medi-CAL billing and certification of peer support specialists.

Sincerely,
Sally Zinman
Executive Director
CAMHPRO
sallyzinman@gmail.com

United States Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Guidance Letter to State Medicaid Directors, SMDL #07-011, August 15, 2007.

Click to access SMD081507A.pdf

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.

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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SB10 Peer Certification Assembly Health Committee 1:30 room 4202

July 2 at 1:30 pm
1315 10th St
Room 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814

 

THIRD READING HISTORY
SENATE RULES COMMITTEE:
Office of Senate Floor Analyses (916) 651-1520
Fax: (916) 327-4478

Bill No: SB 10
Author: Beall (D), et al.
Amended: 5/17/19
Vote: 21

SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE: 9-0, 3/27/19 AYES: Pan, Stone, Durazo, Grove, Hurtado, Leyva, Mitchell, Monning, Rubio

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE: 6-0, 5/16/19 AYES: Portantino, Bates, Bradford, Hill, Jones, Wieckowski

SUBJECT: Mental health services: peer support specialist certification

SOURCE: Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors  ~ Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission ~ Steinberg Institute

Message from Senator Beall’s Office

Dear supporters,

Thank you so much for your patience- we have a new Assembly Health committee date for SB 10- Tuesday July 2 at 1:30 pm in room 4202. We will be up first. Please come and show your support- this will be our last policy committee hearing and we want it to be big!

Thank you to all who have sent letters!

SB 906 Peer Cert. VETOED! Persistence is key!

From Sally Zinman, Executive Director, CAMHPRO

Governor Brown has Vetoed SB 906. The consumer and larger mental health stakeholder community will pursue California state certification and, by all accounts, will have a better chance with a new Governor.

Persistence is the key to success, and essential to advocacy. Persistence and hope. We will have peer certification in California!

See the Governor’s veto message (below), which in my opinion, is not knowledgeable of the purpose or content of the bill.

~Sally~

 VETO MESSAGE

Senator Beall's Response to SB 906 Veto.JPG