About the Mentoring Initiative

Increasingly, peer recovery support services are an important—and sometimes central—part of efforts to effectively address the opioid epidemic. Reseach and practice point to the promise of peer supports: Peer-based services can be a vital part of the continuum of care for substance abuse and of efforts to address alcohol and drug abuse—including opioid misuse.

The Peer Recovery Support Services Mentoring Initiative (PRSSMI) supports organizations and jurisdictions interested in incorporating peer recovery support services (PRSS) in their portfolio of substance abuse intervention and treatment strategies. The purpose of PRSSMI is to:

  • Promote networking and peer-to-peer learning among organizations that are implementing PRSS in criminal justice settings.
  • Disseminate promising approaches, best practices, and evidence-supported PRSS programming.
  • Enhance the capacity of selected programs  to develop a PRSS as a component of their diversion, alternatives to incarceration, or child welfare programs.
  • Improve the program’s ability to successfully implement an PRSS program, in collaboration with community partners.

Up to 15 peer programs (mentees) will be selected to be matched with mentor programs that are experienced in implementing PRSS.

Information for Potential Mentees

The initiative provides an opportunity for new or early-stage peer programs to be matched with and learn from an experienced program in a structured way. Mentee sites will receive consultation and support from staff of experienced programs, culminating in a visit to the mentor site (PRSSMI will cover travel for 2-3 persons). Mentee sites will be expected to:

  • Engage a consistent team of 3-5 individuals.
  • Participate in monthly virtually learning sessions during the first quarter of the mentorship.
  • Have at least two team members participate in the site visit to the assigned mentor site.
  • Develop a brief work plan for program development based on lessons learned from the mentorship.
  • Complete a survey questionnaire at the end of the mentorship.

Download a PDF of the application to preview the questions or apply to be a mentee by starting your online application today.

Information for Potential Mentors

PRSSMI is seeking programs that are experienced in implementing PRSS to be mentors to other jurisdictions. Mentor sites will receive training and a stipend. To be mentors, we seek programs that:

  • Advocate the value peer support services within the larger context of behavioral health, recovery-oriented systems of care, criminal justice, and/or child welfare.
  • Leverage the uniqueness of peer status in program design.
  • Have clearly defined roles for peers and other staff.
  • Use sound evidence-supported practices and policies.
  • Engage in systematic recruitment, screening, and hiring of peer workers.
  • Provide (or require) training in core competencies (basic) and specialized skills (advanced) for peer staff.
  • Promote continuing education and development for peer staff.
  • Train non-peer staff in value and purpose of peer supports.
  • Provide appropriate supervision of peer workers.
  • Focus on outcomes; use data to assess program efficacy.
  • Demonstrate that their intervention leads to positive outcomes.
  • Demonstrate strong collaboration among the courts, child welfare, substance abuse treatment agencies and others.

Apply to be a mentor: Download a PDF of the application to review the questions or start your application today.

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