Sept 27 on Peer-Driven Innovations Features Bluebird, Werner





Peer-Driven Innovations:
Changing Systems, Changing Lives

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET

(2 p.m. CT; Noon PT)

Gayle Bluebird, RN, is Peer Services Director in the State of Delaware. She is a pioneer in the recovery movement who continues to work nationally to promote networks for talented consumer artists and create peer roles in inpatient settings.

Pamela Werner, M.A., LLP, is a Specialist in the Bureau of Community Mental Health Services where she is responsible for leadership and policy direction for the Certified Peer Support Specialist Initiative.

Teleconference Overview:

People with lived experience have long been aware of the significant value and positive benefits of peer-provided services. Research conducted over the last 10-15 years has also documented these benefits. Peers, individuals in recovery from mental health and substance use issues who have valuable knowledge to share about their journeys of recovery, can be very supportive since they have “been there” and serve as living examples that individuals can and do recover from mental health problems and addiction.

Peers also serve as advocates and support others who may experience discrimination and prejudice. As leaders in their communities peers promote positive change to ensure dignity and respect for individuals in recovery and full access to resources including health, social, economic, and cultural systems that promote recovery. By promoting a broader concept of recovery from mental health and substance use conditions that engages all aspects of community life, peers are primary drivers of a social inclusion perspective. Peer support networks and the dedicated people who work in the peer support community continuously strive to find ways for peers to take their rightful place at various levels in the mental health system as experts through knowledge and experience. They also strive to ensure that peers are paid equitably and have opportunities for advancement and further skill development.

The Recovery Support Initiative of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is one of eight strategic initiatives outlined in Leading Change: A Plan for SAMHSA’s Roles and Actions, 2011–2014. This initiative highlights the need for the active participation by people with lived experience in the development and implementation of a broader array of care and support services. It also provides a framework for moving communities and service systems to become more socially inclusive.

During this webinar you will hear how Michigan has accessed and utilized Federal funds to train and develop a strong peer workforce within the State. You’ll also learn about the large-scale systems transformation underway in Delaware, a concrete example of what can be accomplished when a powerful and effective collaborative alliance between people with lived experience and a bold, visionary State mental health commissioner is established. Our speakers today are both visionaries who are changing the face of healthcare service delivery.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about innovative peer support initiatives that highlight the collaboration of people at the Federal, State, and local levels.
  • Hear about legislative and policy issues that enhance the implementation and financing of innovative peer services.
  • Understand the role of training and development in the creation of a strong and diverse peer workforce.
  • Hear inspiring success stories of courageous peers who are blazing new paths in the mental health movement.

Target Audiences:

  • People in recovery from mental health, substance use, and trauma-related challenges
  • Families
  • Peer-run or recovery organizations
  • Mental health and substance abuse service providers
  • Staff of State and county mental health or behavioral health departments
  • Healthcare providers
  • Peer support professionals and advocates
  • Federal, State, and local agency personnel, policymakers, and public officials
  • Faith-based and community-based organizations that provide support to individuals and families in recovery


If you have any questions, please contact the SAMHSA ADS Center at 1-800-540-0320 or by e-mail at

SAMHSA Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health