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Peer Professional Identity: What it is and Why it Matters

On Demand
1.25 CE Hour On Demand
Peer Support Specialist

Presented By

Recorded On

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  • On Demand
    Sessions will be available On-Demand

Mental Health and Substance Use Peer Support Specialists will explore what it means to have a professional identity and what it takes to value our profession and us as professionals. Peer Support Specialists have evolved as a profession with a unique challenge: How to be in but not of the system they work in or around. The idea of being a professional is challenging to Peer Support Specialists as it implies losing mutuality and horizontal organizational structures that include the people we walk along with on our recovery journeys. This discussion will address these concerns and the need to be responsible for the work we do as well as for the maintenance of our peerness.

Target Audience
  • Peer Support Specialists
Educational Goal

The educational goal of this workshop is to develop a strong and robust peer workforce that advocates fidelity to our scope of practice.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Know where and how to find the National Practice Guidelines for peer supporters.

  • Recognize the value of their lived experience as professional expertise.

  • Develop ownership of the profession and the responsibilities and privileges it provides.

Peer Support Specialist
Peer Support Specialists

Category 10: Supports collaboration and teamwork

Category 11: Promotes leadership and advocacy

Category 12: Promotes growth and development

CE Policy
This course is fiscally sponsored by Office of Behavioral Health, Louisiana Department of Health. There may be potential biases or conflicts of interest inherent to this relationship, and it must be disclosed to participants. These conflicts of interest have no bearing on the course content and have been resolved.
  • Waiting Room Opens
  • Workshop Begins
  • Workshop Ends
Note: Time designated for waiting room, breaks cannot be counted toward CE credit.
Anna H. Gray, M.Ed., MHPS, PSS

Anna H. Gray, M.Ed. is a Certified Mental Health Peer Specialist and Certified Peer Supervisor in the State of Texas. After dealing with life-interrupting mental health issues, she found meaning in mental health advocacy and recovery work. She has worked in the mental health field for 38 years as a houseparent, crisis intervention team captain, emergency room psychiatric assessor, psychotherapist, advocate, Peer Support Specialist, Peer Support Specialist trainer, Peer Support Specialist curriculum developer, and Peer Support Specialists Supervisor. Most importantly, she uses her ongoing recovery from lived experience of mental health concerns to impact service systems and policy. She is the co-founder of Prosumers International and serves as Executive Director.

Prosumers International is a peer-run, peer-driven service provider dedicated to supporting people in their recovery journey. Prosumers are proactive in their recovery and provide back to their community. She also currently co- owns PRO International, a consulting organization that specializes in integrating mental health recovery and peer programs. PRO International also provides training, coaching, and professional development services for peers, especially with the flagship program Focus for Life. Anna currently serves as the Vice-chair for the Texas Behavioral Health Advisory Committee and several sub- committees.

Additionally, she serves as the Vice-chair of the Texas Joint Committee on Access and Forensic Services. She also served on the Board of the World Federation for Mental Health and continues to advocate, locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally, for the rights of people with mental health concerns. When Texas began certifying mental health community centers as Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) in 2016, Anna began advocating for the involvement of certified peers in the implementation of the peer services requirements of CCBHC, as well as the implementation standards for representation on boards and advisory committees. This is an ongoing focus of her advocacy. Since Recovering, resilient and thriving, Anna stands for all people to have full lives.

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