VISN 5 MIRECC - Continuing Education for Peer Support Specialists
The VA Mental Health Strategic Plan includes the training and development of Peer Support staff as part of the VA’s transformation toward a recovery oriented model. As the VA has recently increased the Peer Support workforce to over 900 employees, it is critical that they receive ongoing education in order to perform their duties effectively and to successfully pursue their professional development. These opportunities are being provided on a national level but should also be available to Peer Support staff on a local level.
The VISN5 MIRECC hosts a webinar series for Peer Support Specialists and Peer WOCs from across the VISN so they may gain continuing education about subjects that are critical to their role, help them develop additional skills, and assist them in utilizing additional tools to aid in Veteran mental health recovery.
Each webinar has a topic about which there is a formal didactic presentation, followed by discussion or vignettes that illustrate the topic or some other activity that simulates discussion around application of the topic or skill to real-life professional situations. Attendees are encouraged to share their ideas and utilize networking opportunities.
Past webinars have utilized materials produced at the VISN1 MIRECC Peer Education Center on topics including Navigating Boundaries and Making Effective Use of Your Recovery Story. Future webinars will utilize materials and expertise from MIRECC Investigators or clinicians within mental health on topics related to stigma, health behaviors, and counseling skills.
These presentations are held quarterly and open to all VISN5 Peer Support Specialists, Peer WOCs, and supervisors.
If you would like to receive emails about upcoming presentations, or for more information, please contact:
Melanie Bennett, PhD
Ralf Schneider, MA, CPRP