“It is a privilege to recognize these impressive young adults as Oakland County public mental health team members,” says Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority (OCCMHA) Executive Director and CEO, Willie Brooks. “Their willingness to use their lived experiences as recipients of mental health services to support other young people in similar circumstances is both admirable and inspirational.”
Michigan’s Youth Peer Support Project is a statewide initiative in partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDDHS). The program provides Medicaid reimbursable Youth Peer Support to eligible minors as a part of Michigan’s Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment State Plan.
“Every family will be touched by disabilities, including — perhaps affecting their child, their neighbor’s child or their parents. Every family — yours and ours — may turn for help some day. As we continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of the community adding Youth Peer Support Specialists certainly enhances our ability to better offer meaningful services to those in need,” said Brent Wirth, president and CEO of ESM. “We have implemented similar initiatives with other demographics and this addition will benefit the many children and families that turn to us for support.”
Youth Peer Services assist young people with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) achieve goals, including: resolving conflicts; integration into the community, school, and family; achieving successful independent living options; obtaining employment; transitioning into adulthood; and navigating the public mental health system.
Youth Peer Support Specialists also receive regular supervision by a child mental health professional and participate as an active member of the treatment team. Qualifications for this important service delivery position include:
- Must be between 18 and 26-years-old.
- Able to self- identify as a person who has or is receiving public behavioral health services
and is prepared to use that experience to help others.
- Experience receiving services as a youth in complex, child serving systems (behavioral
health, child welfare, juvenile justice, special education, etc.)
- Employed by a Michigan Prepaid Inpatient Health Plan (PIHP), Community Mental
Health Services Program (CMHSP), or one of their contract providers.
- Trained in the MDHHS approved curriculum and ongoing training model.
Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority is the public mental health system responsible for identifying, influencing, and delivering services and supports to approximately 25,000 Oakland County residents, including individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, adults with mental illness, children with serious emotional disturbance, and persons with substance use disorders. Most of these individuals have Medicaid.
OCCMHA’s current network of service providers include: Common Ground, Community Housing Network, Community Living Services, Community Network Services, Easter Seals Michigan, Macomb-Oakland Regional Center, Oakland Family Services, Inc., and Training and Treatment Innovations. A complete list of substance use service providers is available on OCCMHA’s website. For more information about OCCMHA call (800) 341-2003 or visit www.occmha.org.