The peer support workforce will become an increasingly critical sector of the behavioral health workforce. BHECN launches Project Propel, a workforce development initiative for peer support professionals in Nebraska. BHECN will support adult, family and youth peer support professionals as they grow and organize their workforce. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in collaborating on this project.
Q: How will we grow the peer support workforce and stay true to the peer support model?
A: This is a big question and we have to answer it. BHECN hopes to grow the workforce, but understands that quality cannot be compromised in the process.
Q: What can we do to prevent peer support from becoming case management?
A: Employers of peer support specialists seem to need more education about the nature of peer support and how to effectively integrate peer support into a system of care. BHECN hopes to incorporate peer services into new settings in Nebraska and it will be critical that the peer model is not compromised as this happens. One of the purposes of Project Propel is to answer these questions and then operationalize the steps identified by the stakeholders involved.
Q: What will happen if Medicaid pays for peer support services?
A: We will examine this through the Project Propel process. We may not know the answer to this question, yet. We do know that peer support in Nebraska is in need of sustainable funding structures and we also know Nebraskans want to provide high quality peer services that are not compromised by federal regulation.
Q: How can we connect peer support employers and peer support specialists?
A: This will have to be a great focus for Project Propel. One suggestion, in the short term, is to direct employers and applicants to use nebraskabehavioralhealthjobs.com, a website created by BHECN and Region 5 that is available for free use.
Q: In some areas of the state there are too many jobs and not enough peer support specialists. In other areas of the state the situation is the opposite. What do we do?
A: BHECN’s ‘organization’ goal for Project Propel should help with this. A solution would include training that is available consistently across the state and also education for employers about why peer support would be valuable to their practice. In essence, we have to get people trained and get the employers ready to employ appropriately. What we emphasize will vary depending on the area of the state.
Q: Who will work on Project Propel?
A: BHECN asks that anyone who is interested volunteer to work on some aspect of the project. BHECN will collaborate with many organizations, agencies and individuals on the project, but the peer voice will drive the process and decision making.
Q: Does Project Propel include adult, family and youth peer support?
A: Yes. We believe it is critical that these groups come together to do some planning related to Project Propel.
Q: How will Project Propel work with existing efforts related to credentialing, training, etc.?
A: BHECN will take all current and past efforts into account and we will collaborate with the stakeholders to avoid duplication and work efficiently.