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Implementing the Peer Support Specialist Role: Providing direct, individualized support in a local program
Year Published: 2013
Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures
This information brief presents an example of how one locally-initiated program has implemented the Peer Support Specialist role for youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions. The Youth Empowerment Support (YES!) Program provides resources and trainings for community and system transformation as well as direct support, groups, and leadership opportunities for young people at risk of, receiving, or emancipating out of system services. The authors provide an overview of the YES! program and describe the role of the Youth Coordinators, including aspects of training, coaching, supervision, role definition, and financing. They also highlight challenges and solutions to creating and sustaining that role, and briefly outline plans for future work.