Developing Peer Support Communities
Developing Peer Support Communities (DPSC) is a partnership of two Washington State consumer-run organizations, Consumer Voices Are Born (CVAB) and United Peers of WA (UP of WA). The organizations will work mutually with adults experiencing serious mental illness (SMI) and behavioral health comorbidity from multiple WA Regional Service Area (rural and urban) to shape the development and implementation of recovery-oriented policies and practices, and ensure that peer-delivered services are a part of the array of healthcare and community-based supports.
This project will emphasize the development of UP of WA and affiliates in rural regions, and CVAB’s Washington Peer Advancement Coalition (WAPAC) will continue its work to educate about and promote the use of a peer support services. Washington’s peer support opportunities need to expand in and beyond communities where it is presently available. To have a positive impact on the more than 300,000 individuals living with SMI, implementing regional networks as part of a statewide network of peer support communities is necessary to shape recovery oriented practices and policies meeting the needs of the identified population.
CVAB and UP of WA will collaborate in building a clear strategy for each part of the DPSC project and in each community as the projects unfold. This collaborative effort will use the strengths of each organization to support one another and for meeting the goals of project. DPSC anticipates engaging more than 1500 individuals over the lifetime of the grant resulting in a membership for UP of WA at approximately 1000. An anticipated outcome is that at the end of the three year grant, UP of WA will be a viable and strong organization with regional affiliates.