Medicaid-billable Peer Support Implementation Update

April 30, 2004

This past week the SCDMH Office of Consumer Affairs trained 18 certified peer support specialists, all of whom are now hired at the mental health centers. Four of the current candidates: Linda Arledge of the Columbia Area MHC, Chuck Hulsey now of Orangeburg Area MHC, Brenda Johnson of the Beckman Center, and Clayton Sperry now of the Waccamaw Center for Mental Health, are all up for re-certification, having participated in the first certification training last spring.

Once certified, certified peer support specialists (CPSS) will need 40-hours of approved and documented continuing education annually.  Over the next two months a plan for continuing education will be finalized and distributed to the CPSS.  

Every three years the CPSS will need to be re-certified.  If the CPSS has not completed 40-hours annually, then they will be expected to attend the standard 40-hour Certification Training when it is held.  These are requirements of our new Medicaid regulation on Peer Support Service (DHHS-approved).

This spring the oral and written examination process for certification will occur on three dates:  May 24, May 25, and June 21.  The testing will be held in rooms 119 and room B-12 of the Clinical Education Building at 3555 Hardin Street Extension. 

We are thankful for Dr. Linda Leech of USC Medical School's  Rehabilitation Counseling Program who arranged our use of the Medical School's facilities at Medical Park Buildings 2 and 15) for both the training and testing.  Their support staff (Rosemary Faille and James Sykes) couldn't have been more helpful.  We look forward to working with Dr. Leech as she investigates the idea of having the peer support curriculum approved as a University certificate course.

Ike Powell of Cairo, Georgia, continues to do a fantastic job for us as the trainer.  George Gintoli has agreed to let us have him back in the fall to train the next class.  Every time I hear Ike do the training, I try to hold onto one of his quotes.  Last year it was: "It's not what you want to change or fix (medical model) about your life, it's what you want to create (recovery)."  This year, it's --  "Religion is for people who believe in hell; spirituality is for people who have already been there." 

It's little wonder why this trainer appeals so much to self-identified consumers -- if you have any doubts, you can read our students' daily evaluations of the training or you can visit our next training in September.

We also want to thank the following speakers who came in and customized sections of the training for us:

George Gintoli - Welcome and Overview of SCDMH;
(myself/Katherine Roberts in future) - Consumer Involvement in SCDMH;
Maris Burton - SC Independent Living Council;
Ligia Latiff-Bolet, Ph.D. - SCDMH Corporate Compliance and Quality Assurance;
Jerome Hanley, Ph.D. - Working Toward Cultural Competency;
Susan Monogan, Charleston-Dorchester MHC -- Documentation;
Beth Adams, SC Share -- WRAP and Crisis Planning
Sharan Ramsauer/myself--  Psychiatric Advance Directives.

The next peer support certification training will be in Columbia, September 27 - Oct. 1, 2004 ... and their testing days are planned for October 25 and 26.  Ike will also return September 8-9-10, 2004 to work with our Trainers-in-Training. They will then assist him throughout the September training.

At last week's training, we had five individuals participate as trainers-in-training:  Amy Jolly of WIP, Beth Adams of SC Share, Martin Gardner (CAC) of Morris Village, Sharan Ramsauer of MHASC, and Katherine Roberts (CCET) and myself of the SCDMH Office of Consumer Affairs.  In addition to the speakers, important visitors to the training were Cheryl Krumholtz (CAC) of Columbia Area, Judy Hassam (CAC) of AOP, and Bonnie Franke (CAC) of Bryan Hospital.

Here's a snapshot of the participants in the peer support certification training.

Of the 18 participants ...

8 were males, 10 were females.

Of those, 3 females and 1 male were African-American -- the others were Caucasian. We also had 3 Deaf participants with interpreters (thanks to Drs. Barry Critchfield and Sue Leatherman who helped out with the week-long interpreting).

The participants self-reported where they thought they'd be providing services (many listed more than one service area): 5 case management, 1 all areas, 1 other, 1 duties in 3 different counties, 1 variety of places, 1 no answer, 3 not sure, 5 clubhouse, 1 home visits, 1 emergency calls, 1 CAS, 1 Cottage A,  2 as driver, and 1 Adult Services.

Of the 18 participants ...

10 are full time
7 are part time
1 had no response (wanted to complete the form with his supervisor)

Of the 18 participants ...

4 were CACs (Consumer Affairs Coordinators).
7 were already working in center programs (includes the CACs).

Of the 18 participants

4 were getting re-certified, having been certified on May 12, 2003 after our first training.

10 centers sent CPSS candidates to the training and will receive the MOA incentive funding:

Aiken-Barnwell - 3 (10,000)
AOP - 1(5,000)
Beckman - 3 (10,000)
Charleston/Dorchester - 2 (10,000)
Columbia Area - 2 (10,000)
Lexington - 1 (5,000)
Orangeburg - 1 (5,000)
Piedmont - 3 (10,000)
Spartanburg - 1 (5,000)
Waccamaw - 1 (5,000)

Total:  $75,000

Dan Davis has committed to helping use create a training video tape of Ike Powell over the summer -- we managed to get a couple sections video- taped and audio-taped this time around.  Eventually we'd like to create one tape on each of the 27 sections (one-hour modules) in the curriculum, to help the cpss refresh their skills on their own.  NY is also developing tapes of Ike teaching, but we'd rather not have to pay for theirs -- Ike says we can tape him whenever he's training and we have full rights to copy and distribute his curriculum for our trainings.

We hope this gives you all a good idea of where we are with peer support. 

As you may or may not know, our goal for South Carolina is to have 150 peer support specialists working in our system by the start of FY 2007.

We do believe peer support is on its way.

Thank you, as always, for your support.

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