**Certified Peer Specialists Recognized with Full Certification Process**

For Current CPS - Important Information - Time Sensitive

 To more formally recognize the value of peers in the workforce, Pennsylvania is moving to a new full peer certification offered by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB). This new formal certification will be necessary to provide Medicaid billable peer support services. To make this transition as easy as possible for current Pennsylvania Peer Specialists, there will be a time-limited grandparenting process for those who wish to obtain the new full certification during the grandparenting period.  

The grandparenting period begins March 1, 2018 and ends August 31, 2019.

Please view the webinar here for an in-depth description of the grandparenting process and click here to access the application. If you need to replace your original certificate from the Institute for Recovery, please fill out the form here.


La Salle Department of Social Work 2018-2019 Continuing Education Series (CEU)

La Salle Departmet of Social Work is offering several Continuing Education opportunities from September 2018 to February 2019. For a list of trainings and information about location, cost, and payment, please see the flyer here.


INAPS 2018 Conference Updates

Conference proposal deadline extended! Please consider sharing your knowledge and expertise!

Reinforcing Our Roots: Designing Our Future
Orlando, FL
December 3-5, 2018

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels at the Entrance to Universal Studios

Deadline for submission is September 10th, 2018

To submit a proposal, click here. To see some titles of proposals submitted click here.

To register for the conference, click here. To learn more about conference sponsorship, click here.


Mental Health America Presents: #MyStoryMyWay Minority Mental Health Month

Why are the topics of mental health and mental illness not regularly talked about in diverse groups of people, such as people of color, LGBT+ individuals, and refugee and immigrant communities?

Could it be that mental illness doesn’t occur in these communities and among its varied people?

Of course not. Mental illness can occur in all people and across all communities.

Through our 2017 Minority Mental Health Month campaign, #NotACharacterFlaw, we asked the question: How does your community talk about mental health or mental illness?

The answer most people came to, was clear – we don’t talk about these issues.

However, we believe and know that people do talk about these issues, but they express themselves differently. The phrases and expressions that people use to talk about these issues oftentimes never touch on terms like “mental health” or “mental illness.”

The fact is - the way in which individuals talk or don’t talk about mental health and mental illness is influenced directly by the society and culture that a person is a part of. The way we talk about these issues is a learned behavior.

That’s why, this year, we are focusing on highlighting and validating the voices and experiences of individuals from across a range of communities through our #MyStoryMyWay campaign.

We want to listen and learn from you as you help to shed light on the way diverse communities (i.e. people of color, LGBT+, refugee and immigrant communities) perceive, narrate, communicate, and address mental health and mental illness.

Click here to learn more about how you can get involved with #MyStoryMyWay!


Paint a Mural with Mural Arts Philadelphia!

Come make your mark on the neighborhood! Join us Saturday the 21st to paint mural panels that will be installed in West Philadelphia. This free paint-by-numbers activity is good for kids and adults.Free refreshments will be provided. The event will be taking place at A New Life, 3119 Spring Garden St. Philadelphia, PA 19104. Drop in any time between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.


This is My Brave Coming to Montgomery county

This Is My Brave, a live storytelling show focused on "shining a light on mental illness to end stigma, one person and one story at a time", is coming to Montgomery County this fall. The shows are real people, who have auditioned and been coached to to their story of hope and inspiration. Shows have been held around the country, and generally sell out. Please see the video here, or the This Is My Brave website here to get more information about the show and the audition process.


Poor People's Campaign - Stand Against Poverty Mass Rally & Moral Revival

In the face of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy/militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism — we must engage in mass nonviolent moral direct action. We must declare that we won’t be silent anymore about the war on the poor! On Saturday, June 23 the Campaign will head to the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. for the Stand Against Poverty Mass Rally & Moral Revival capping off our #40DaysOfAction and launching the next phase of our movement for the long-haul.

For details on this event, click here. To learn more about the Poor People's Campaign, click here.


City Moves People Out of Encampments

The city of Philadelphia moved individuals experiencing homelessness from encampments in Kensington on Wednesday, May 30th, as part of a program to fix the area's opioid epidemic. Click here for news coverage on the subject from NBC10.


Treating the Whole Person: State hospital patients take pride in greenhouse work

The greenhouse at Clarks Summit State Hospital hosted a spring sale just in time for Mother's Day. It boasted a variety of annuals, perennials, vegetables, and herbs. The majority of those offerings were grown from seed by patients at the hospital.

Judy Holland, occupational therapy supervisor at the hospital, says the sale - which has been taking place for five years now - is always well-attended because "our plants are so healthy and grown without pesticides, and also because our local community likes to show support for this positive, local gardening program."

The program is facilitated on the hospital's campus by occupational therapists, who oversee and assist patient gardeners five days per week, in the mornings and afternoons.

"Patients are extremely proud of the work they do in the greenhouse," Holland says. "Their hard work and dedication results in a beautiful end product, something that is valued by others."

On Fridays, herbs and vegetables are sold at an on-campus farmers market for staff. Patients prepare recipe cards that highlight what is being sold, which are given out with each purchase.

Holland says the group of gardeners is excited about a new, large garden patch they will break ground on this month. There, they plan to grow pumpkins, corn, and sunflowers.


Certified Peer Specialist Information Session

July 26, 2018 9:00am - 12:00pm

Community Behavioral Health

801 Market Street, 11th Floor, Room 1154A

 Session topics:

  • CPS training requirements
  • Certified Recovery Specialist overview
  • Volunteer opportunities with PRO-ACT
  • Mental Health Partnerships
  • Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner requirements

To register, click here.

For more information, call Cathy Washington at 215-685-5415.


Live Well Foundation's 2017 Annual Report

LiveWell Foundation is a Philadelphia, PA based organization dedicated to ensuring that all people with depression have equal access to information, support and hope, LWF's innovative community based programs are always FREE and open to the public. Click here to view the report:


doors to wellbeing state-by-state peer specialist database

Doors to Wellbeing is proud to announce the Peer Specialist Database - The one place where you can find out how to become a peer specialist in your state.
Click here to access the database: https://copelandcenter.com/peer-specialists


ground-breaking research on the side effects of therapy

While many people who suffer from depression and anxiety are helped by seeing a psychologist, others don't get better or actually get worse. Psychological treatment can have negative side effects, like any medicine. To read the full story click here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170207092804.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fmind_brain%2Fmental_health+%28Mental+Health+News+--+ScienceDaily%29


city of philadelphia - dbhids peer support toolkit

How to Use This Toolkit
The Peer Support Toolkit is an interactive PDF that presents key information in
brief reads, yet preserves your opportunity to delve deeper into subjects—as
your time and interests dictate—with just a click. The interactive format makes it easy to access content in an order that makes sense to you and to skip over content you don’t need in the moment. At the same time, this toolkit retains the essential benefits of a PDF format. For
example, you can share this file by email and print individual pages or the
document as a whole. You can also use the “find/search” feature to search this
toolkit by keyword just as you would any PDF. The toolkit is organized in four modules, each addressing specific implementation issues relevant to agencies in various stages of integrating peersupport services.The toolkit is designed to be downloaded to a device and opened with
Adobe Acrobat. Click here to download: goo.gl/pzmlZM

Please send correspondence about this toolkit to info@acharaconsulting.com.
Module 1:
Module 2:
Interviewing & Hiring
Module 3:
Service Delivery
Module 4:
Supervision & Retention


provider handbook for psychiatric and partial hospitalization services

To access the handbook click here: goo.gl/ijxOX8


MSNBC takes a long look at the cycle of poverty in Philadelphia

The network's Geography of Poverty series reports on how the criminal justice system has kept many Philadelphians trapped in the cycle of poverty.



Six Key Questions Counties Should Ask Themselves to #StepUp4MentalHealth
With more people with mental illnesses in jails than ever before—the majority of whom are not a public safety risk—county leaders across the country have united around a central realization: Jails can no longer be used as de facto psychiatric facilities...
Blueberries may offer benefits to post-traumatic stress disorder
For many people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), available medical treatments offer only limited relief. In a series of studies conducted in rats, researchers have found that eating blueberries...
Uses and abuses of recovery: implementing recovery-oriented practices in mental health systems
An understanding of recovery as a personal and subjective experience has emerged within mental health systems. This meaning of recovery now underpins mental health policy in many countries. Developing a focus on this type of recovery will involve transformation within mental health systems...
World Happiness Report Volume 1
The first World Happiness Report was published in April 2012, in support of the High Level Meeting at the United Nations on happiness and well-being, chaired by the Prime Minister of Bhutan. Since then we have come a long way. Increasingly, happiness is considered to be the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy. This is the fourth World Happiness Report... Click here for "World Happiness Report Volume 1"
Peer Specialist Career Development Experiences Survey
Are you a Peer Specialist or Peer Support Worker? MHASP is co-sponsoring a national survey with the University of Illinois at Chicago. Please follow this link to participate with your fellow peers!!!
Click here
Over the course of four weeks in early 2016, four individual conversations were held across Pennsylvania with youth and young adults, parents and family members, service providers, and Certified Peer Specialists (CPS). Conversations were held in Philadelphia (January 22nd), Bellevue (February 4th), Scranton (February 10th), and State College (February 17th) with a total of 98 participants (n= 21, 24, 26, and, 27 respectively).
CPS for Youth and Young Adult World Cafes - Click here for report
The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world, with over 2.4 million people currently behind bars. Poor people and people of color are incarcerated at vastly disproportionate rates. Many prisoners are held in solitary confinement or denied adequate medical care and educational opportunities, and few resources are invested in reentry or community programs. AFSC Friends Relations is piloting a program called Quaker Social Change Ministry. Read more about this important initiative here: 5 things your congregation can do to support criminal justice reform