peer support specialists

colorado recovery coach credential update

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Peer recovery is experiencing rapid growth, whether it is provided by a peer recovery coach, peer recovery support specialist, or peer recovery mentor. Peer support services - advocating, mentoring, educating, and navigating systems – are becoming an important component in recovery oriented systems of care. Sharing recovery experience is deeply rooted in the addiction field, but it is a newer concept in mental health.
Peer recovery is experiencing rapid growth, whether it is provided by a peer recovery coach, peer recovery support specialist, or peer recovery mentor. Peer support services – advocating, mentoring, educating, and navigating systems – are becoming an important component in recovery oriented systems of care. Sharing recovery experience is deeply rooted in the addiction field, but it is a newer concept in mental health.

 

Colorado is currently in the completion stage of introducing the Peer and Family Support Specialist Credential which will encompass 3 types of peer supporters-/recovery coaches, peer support specialists for MH and Family Support Specialists. The credential is a collaboration with IC & RC and will have rereciprocity for professionals with other states that are IC & RC accredited.

This process brings some sense of standardization of skill levels and expectations for PSS to bring to the table when working with people and organizations. PSS for MH are already approved to be rendered payment for services through CO Medicaid programs. It is hopeful that the other types of peer support will also qualify for payment through those same Medicaid programs and create more employment access for PSS through State funded agencies.

COPA- The Colorado Providers Association is hosting the PSS credential. Input in the development of the credential was given through an Advisory committee made of up providers and peers from multiple modalities around the state. A smaller alternate committee has been created to see the credentialing process through to virtualization.

Here is the latest update about the process and where it stands.

I’m reporting to you and the members about the Peer and Family Certification Board.
  • We agreed to keep the standards for the credential the same as decided by our larger group.
  • It was decided to slim down the name because the acronym was very big. Peers will be called Certified Peer and Family Specialist. 
  • We are looking for individuals who would be interested in creating a “stand alone web page.” We are looking for a full commitment from an individual. If you are good at this and have had experience, please send to Matt  Sundeen some web portals you have created. Think about what a bid might be for you.
  • Matt will be reaching out to ask for 2 committees to be put together. One for “Marketing” and one for “Acceptable Trainings”. If anyone is interested please let Matt know which committee you would like to participate on. Matt’s e-mail address is matt@coprovidersassociation.org if interested. \
  • The next meeting is September 30th
The Standards for Colorado are :
Education: HS/GED, 60 hours with 10 hours each in first 3 domains. During Grandfathering period, applicants may count hours from trainings taken up to the last 10 years prior to the application date with some trainings being in the last 5 years. Persons outside grand parenting period can only count training in the last 5 years. 
Supervision: 50 hours, specific to domains, maximum of 25 hours of group supervision.
Experience: 500 hours volunteer or paid work experience specific to domain.
Must sign the Code of Ethics.”
for more information on recovery coach training- check out my website- http://www.rodrushing.com

 

an unexpected pairing

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There's monsters in all of us, but there's also vulnerability. Finn Wittrock
There’s monsters in all of us, but there’s also vulnerability.
Finn Wittrock

well my friends- wonders never cease. a decision was made to get back into the management side of work. after the last few years and positions left me wading through frustration because decisions that were made regarding direction and implementation without much input from me.

i had left management because i became so frustrated with managing people. it felt much more like childsitting. what was more frustrating though was that leadership felt hollow and foreign and completely disconnected from me.

i managed a bucketshop for international ticketing in colorado for 12 years for a relative and his best friend from college. the business grew from a meagre $1M in sales to $17M after 10 years. we grew a wholesale niche of our business as we had become so adept at growing the retail aspect of our business. it felt quite a feat to sell directly to our competition and have them feel fairly confident about buying from us because we were closer and felt more reliable that the bucket shops on either of the coasts.

1988- 1998 was a giddy and madcap time in my life. i joined the lgbt mixed chorus and sang with them for several years, making new friends who had the chorus in common with me. i drank way too much then to douse my feelings as i was still waiting to die at any moment from aids. i had tested positve in 1985 and had moved to colorado in 1988 with the intention of dying. i worked on the travel company as a distraction the darker fears. it worked well. but i managed to over-imbibe myself into a year’s probation and an emotional break which caused me to leave being in charge behind. i haven’t looked back until late last year. upon taking yet another glass ceiling position, i was swirling in the stench of professional and creative stagnation and opted to take a big leap of faith.

mind you- after having survived the death knoll and surviving the grimm reaper shadowing my door as well as losing everything material and spiritual to addiction, the fear of losing everything has lost much of its impact. i know i have survived so much and have faith that i will somehow be able to do it again if required. but really i needed a challenge. i needed something to yank my chain and fill my heart and mind with wonder and hope.

and amidst the pages of this queer and colorful storybook in which i have taken a position, i have perhaps tapped the tree of life and am catching its sap in to quench a thirst.

i have been promoted and am at liberty to implement some changes and ideas and programs into several small SA/MH clinics in our state. I am at liberty to train recovery coaches. i am encouraged to create a small community of peer coaches and peer supporters to help my community feel better about itself. i hope to leave my world and my workplace much better than i found it.

“And as the years flowed by, some villagers told travelers of a beast and a beauty who lived in the castle and could be seen walking on the battlements, and others told of two beauties, and others, of two beasts.”
Emma Donoghue, Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins

trainers

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A student asked Suzuki Roshi why the Japanese make their teacups so thin and delicate that they break easily. "It's not that they're too delicate," he answered, "but that you don't know how to handle them. You must adjust yourself to the environment, and not vice versa." From: "To Shine One Corner of the World: Moments with Shunryu Suzuki: Stories of a Zen Teacher Told by His Students"
A student asked Suzuki Roshi why the Japanese make their teacups so thin and delicate that they break easily. “It’s not that they’re too delicate,” he answered, “but that you don’t know how to handle them. You must adjust yourself to the environment, and not vice versa.”
From: “To Shine One Corner of the World: Moments with Shunryu Suzuki: Stories of a Zen Teacher Told by His Students”

today a colleague asked if i would be interested in contracting with them to do some peer recovery coach training within their peer mental wellness trainings. of course, i said yes. of course i am flattered. i am also excited to dive into this work. i have been doing this for awhile as an afterthought to the jobs i have secured. now though i think that the distinct business of asking people to succeed and then following up with asking them to share their success is brilliant. i didn’t conceive of it, but i will utilize it.

below is a brochure for the basic trainings – it’s 9 days of opening your eyes and connecting them to your heart. i am excited to participate.

i am also doing more supervision for other addiction counselors. i think i am providing supervision for at least 6 counselors now. that also feels really good. and feels like a good use of time.