Peer support specialists are in high demand at Human Services, a Downingtown-based nonprofit that provides mental health services, but lack of training funding is creating issues, writes Aneri Pattani for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Human Services has multiple openings for certified peer specialists, with close to 30 clients awaiting peer support.
“There are a lot of people out there who are seeking the service and could benefit from it,” said Carl Nagle, supervisor of day programs and psych rehab.
Peer specialists provide informal support for people dealing with the same issues they struggled with. Demand for their services has grown in recent years, with some states, including Pennsylvania, covering the services under the Affordable Care Act.
However, for certified mental health peer specialists, the candidate pool is small. One of the requirements is having a serious mental illness, while being far enough along in recovery to support someone else.
Another requirement is training funding. Human Services only hires peers who are already certified, as it cannot cover the cost of training.
Read more about Human Services in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.