Promoting Health and Wellness Through Peer-Delivered Services: Three Innovative State Examples

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Abstract

Objective: This article provides examples of the development, implementation, and funding of peer-delivered health and wellness services in three states. Health and wellness services are critical to addressing the health disparities facing people living with mental health and substance use disorders served by the public behavioral health care system. Methods: Information was compiled from the authors’ experiences as champions in three states (Georgia, Michigan, and New Jersey) and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, as well as documents from and discussions with local state and national sources. Results: Key issues for the implementation and expansion of peer-delivered health and wellness services include defining the model to be disseminated, providing training to prepare the peer workforce, accessing funding for implementation, and establishing clear expectations to sustain the services and maintain quality over time. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Peer-delivered health and wellness services can help address the health disparities facing people who are living with mental health and substance use disorders through a variety of innovative models tailored to local needs and circumstances.

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