SB 803 establishes a Peer Support Specialist certification program for behavioral health services and adds peer support services as a Medi-Cal covered benefit for counties that choose to provide this important service.
California peers all over the state must feel a lot more validated now for the contributions that they have been making and make toward mental health and wellness.
Peers have been working on systemic recognition of the value of peer support services, not only for the four years that peer certification bills have been introduced into the legislature, but long before. You could say, from the time they informally provided mutual support for each other and realized their potential for helping each other, peers have envisioned and worked toward this.
Thank you, Governor Newsom, for signing SB803 and Senator Beall for authoring the bill! Watch the signing of SB803 (along with three other bills) during a session recorded LIVE the morning of September 25.
OUR VISION: Voluntary, community-based, prejudice-free behavioral health services, offering holistic social and rehabilitative support delivered with cultural humility and equity for all diverse communities, with peers and peer services leading the way.
Forum Program DAY 1: Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 9:00 AM — 11:30 AMKeynotes: Peer Vision, Aligning the Vision with the Needs of Diverse Communities, Power of Peer Support Diverse Needs Panel: Peer Leaders Express Specific Diverse Community Needs & Vision DAY 2: Thursday, October 15, 9:00 — 11:30 AM Manifesting the Vision: Agencies throughout the Region Present on How they are Manifesting the Vision to Meet the needs of diverse communities Transform the System: Breakout Groups Plan Real Collective Action to Meet the Needs of Diverse Communities Group Reporting of Next Steps
Who should attend: Peers, Peer Leaders & Peer Run Programs of the CENTRAL Regional Counties: Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Inyo, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter-Yuba, Tulare Tuolumne and Yuba along with County Administrators
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*From the website*
Joint accomplishments include urgently addressing California’s affordability crisis by passing the Nation’s strongest statewide rent protections, expanding health care coverage and passing legislation to lower prescription drug prices
Focused on effective government by fortifying state against natural disasters and economic downturns – passing historic wildfire safety legislation and creating largest rainy day fund Ensuring justice for all Californians by passing historic clean drinking water legislation and taking on powerful institutions on behalf of everyday Californians
“Together, we have accomplished a great deal this year to help California families get ahead and made historic progress on some of the state’s most intractable challenges.”
SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom took his final actions of the 2019 legislative season today and thanked the Legislature for their work and accomplishment on enacting 870 bills in the following statement:
“I want to take a moment to congratulate the Legislature on their work this year and to thank Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon for their leadership. Together, we have accomplished a great deal this year – through the budget and legislation – that helps California families get ahead and tackles some of the state’s most intractable problems.
“This year, California passed the nation’s strongest renter protection package. Our state made record housing and homeless investments paired with big new tools for housing production. We moved California closer to universal health care coverage by expanding coverage, increasing Covered California subsidies for middle-income Californians and taking on rising prescription drug prices.
“California, faced with catastrophic wildfires, invested $1 billion to prevent, mitigate and recover from wildfires, disasters and emergencies. And in July, our state enacted something that few people thought could be done – wildfire legislation that moved California closer to a safer, reliable and affordable energy future.
“Our state is doing more now than at any point in our history to help California families tackle the challenges of affordability and provide opportunity to all Californians – more than doubling tax cuts for working families, expanding paid family leave, increasing access to early childhood education, and taking on payday lenders.
“On education, California brought disparate sides in the education community together and forged a historic agreement on changes to charter school law that was years in the making. We invested more in K-14 education than at any point in our history, and put on next year’s ballot the chance to make long-overdue investments in school infrastructure and safety. California made two years of community college tuition-free, increased financial aid for parents pursuing a college degree and kept tuition from rising in our UC and CSU systems.
“We have helped defend our state from Trump’s attacks – blocking the Administration from using state lands to open up drilling on protected federal lands. We took on the long-standing challenge of clean drinking water systems, became the first ever to require SMOG tests for semi trucks and convinced four major auto-makers to stand up for higher emission standards and oppose the Trump administration.
“California is once again striking out against injustice and leading the nation by example. We passed one of the country’s strongest police use-of-force laws, and outlawed private, for-profit prisons. California became the first state in the nation to stand up to the NCAA’s long-standing profiteering from student athletes. California took first-in-the-nation steps to strengthen our gun safety laws, protect workers and defend reproductive health care rights. We continued to make progress reforming our criminal justice system – eliminating a major mandatory minimum sentence and establishing a system to seal arrest and conviction records for low-level offenses.
“We are proving that our state is successful not despite our diversity, but because of it. California isn’t just defending our vibrant immigrant communities. We are affording all Californians – regardless of immigration status – the chance to serve their communities and give back.
“In California, we are putting in place new reforms of agencies that don’t serve the public as well as they should – pushing the DMV to join the 21st century, giving new authority to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to enforce wildfire safety standards, and recasting the priorities of our state’s agency that regulates oil and gas extraction.
“California did all of this while living within our means: creating the largest rainy day fund in California history, paying down pension liabilities and eliminating our state’s wall of debt.
“In my inaugural, I spoke of the California Dream as a house – one that must be built on a strong fiscal foundation. For that reason, I am returning a number of bills to the Legislature without my signature that would significantly increase costs outside of the state’s regular budget process.
“We have clearly achieved a great deal together, and I commend the Legislature for their hard work. I look forward to our continued partnership as we head into the new year and continue to tackle challenges of affordability and work to expand opportunity to all Californians.”
In his final action of the 2019 legislative season, the Governor today vetoed a number of bills that would significantly increase costs outside of the state’s regular budget process. In total, Governor Newsom vetoed bills this year costing $1.2 billion, increasing to $3 billion annually at full implementation. He also took action on a number of other bills.
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
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.
Los Angeles peers, sponsored by Project Return, Peer Support Network, and CAMHPRO advocating at the Capitol. One picture is of a group of us after we visited Senator Jim Beall’s office, author of SB 906, the peer certification bill.
The Los Angeles novice advocates participated in a Macro Advocacy Project that trained peers on advocacy skills. CAMHPRO consulted on this project. The project culminated in the group coming to Sacramento and advocating for the bills they selected to support.
The intention of the Macro Advocacy Project was to train individuals on the state legislative process and how to effectively promote and advocate for legislation.