6a00d83420c49153ef01b7c781a9b2970bThis page will contain items of information that we believe will be of interest to our site visitors. The information we will be posting here will include announcements from the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), news about national trends in CPS work, and any other pertinent information to CPSs. Newer posts will be at the top of the page.

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CPS Workgroup Applicants Wanted (Posted 9/18/17)

Pennsylvania Peer Support Coalition (PaPSC) and the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) in partnership with the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) is forming a statewide workgroup for the purpose of developing a formal certification process for Pennsylvania’s Certified Peer Specialists (CPS) under the PCB. PaPSC is currently seeking CPS applicants interested in serving on the statewide workgroup.

This initiative is the result of information gathered from a statewide survey, focus groups, statewide teleconferences and feedback from the Mental Health Planning Council.

The Peer Specialist Certification Workgroup is time ended and will meet in person for three meetings. The meetings will be held at the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center, 403 East Winding Hill Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055. The meeting dates are: Friday October 13, 2017, Tuesday November 14, 2017 and Tuesday December 12, 2017 from 9:30-3:30. Workgroup members will be responsible for their own transportation costs and lunch. Attendance at all three meetings is required with no substitutions. CPS desiring to be considered for the workgroup should complete the application by clicking the link below.

Application Process Closes at the end of the day 9/29/17

Stakeholder Workgroup Application

Save the Date – NAMI Keystone PA Conference (Posted 9/11/17)

Join NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania for its annual state conference this March. The two-day event features an exciting lineup of speakers and workshops that will educate and enlighten all mental health stakeholders – from professionals, educators, and advocates to individuals living with mental illness and their families.

Look for more information on registration deadlines, accommodations, and scholarship availability in the coming weeks.

New DHS Secretary Announced (Posted 8/21/17)

This message is being sent on behalf of

Tom Wolf, Governor

 Good afternoon,

I am pleased to announce that, effective August 21, Teresa Miller, current Commissioner for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, will lead the Department of Human Services.

Commissioner Miller’s leadership, advocacy, and dedication to the people of the commonwealth have been evident during her tenure at Insurance, and I am confident that she will lead DHS with those same characteristics and commitment.

As Commissioner Miller joins DHS, Jessica Altman will begin serving at the helm of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

Please join me in welcoming Teresa Miller to DHS and wishing her much continued success.

Governor Tom Wolf

Save the Date: Overview of Parent Peer Support Practice Model (Posted 8/15/17)

Date: Monday, August 28, 2017

Time: 1pm-3pm

 The Office of Mental Health Services OMHSAS will be providing a Family Peer Certification curriculum overview that Pennsylvania will be utilizing in the future. The overview will be provided by Millie Sweeney, Project Coordinator from the Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA).

For More Information: SAVE THE DATE Family Peer 8-24-17

Volunteer Opportunities at Ft. Indiantown Gap (Posted 8/10/17)

The USO and RSVP of the Capital Region have announced a number of volunteer opportunities at Ft. Indiantown Gap. If you or a peer you are supporting is interested in helping the National Guard, please click on the following flyer for more information.

Volunteer Flyer: USO Presentation Flyer 081417 MG

PMHCA Announces 2017 Glenn Koons Scholarship Recipient (Posted 8/1/17)

PMHCA has announced their 2017 Glenn Koons Scholarship recipient. Below is their announcement:

Cambria County resident, Dontae George Myers was a young 29 when he lost his mom. Still grieving over his parents’ separation years before, and emotionally raw from five years of caring for his ill mother, Dontae went into a tailspin after her death. He was hospitalized and then spent time in rehab for co-occurring disorder.

Although Dontae came out of the hospital and rehab with tools to manage his mental health, he credits peer support and the community he found at the Peer Empowerment Network (PEN) Drop In Center in Johnstown, PA, with setting him on a solid path to recovery and leading him to pursue certification in peer support.

Scholarships for Alternatives Conference (Posted 6/27/17)

The ICAN program is offering scholarships to Alternatives, to be held in Boston August 18th-21st.
As you may know, Alternatives is a conference steeped in the understanding that recovery is possible. It’s a fantastic experience as the mental health recovery community joins together around best practices, common experiences, and most of all HOPE!
Anyone living in PA, who identifies as living with a mental health condition is eligible.
The application is due by July 14th. Please help spread the news and support folks to fill out the application which can be found on the ICAN webpage here. 

Webinar Presenters Wanted (Posted 5/4/17)

Doors to Wellbeing, a program of the Copeland Center, conducts monthly webinar series dedicated to bringing ideas, topics and methods to improve the work of peer specialists.  We are looking for new, exciting and innovative presenters for our monthly Peer Specialist Webinar Series.  This is a great way to reach the peer community.

Click here to submit a proposal to them.

Community HealthChoices vs. HealthChoices (Posted 4/21/17)

Community HealthChoices (CHC) is a new program being rolled out in Pennsylvania.

CHC was developed to:

  • enhance access to and improve coordination of medical care
  • create a person-driven, long-term support system in which people have choice, control, and access to a full array of quality services that provide independence, health, and quality of life. Long-term services and supports help eligible individuals to perform daily activities in their home such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, and administering medications.

Please see the below flyer for more information on what CHC is, how it is similar to HealthChoices, and how it differs.

Community HealthChoices Flyer

Interim Director of OMHSAS Announced (Posted 4/12/17)

Due to the unexpected and untimely passing of Deputy Secretary for the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), Dennis Marion, there was a need to fill his leadership roll at the agency. Below is a message from the Secretary of the Department of Human Services, Ted Dallas:

Today I am announcing that Dr. Dale Adair will serve as the Acting Deputy Secretary for the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). For those of you who have not yet met him, Dale currently serves with distinction as the Chief Medical Officer at OMHSAS and is an essential member of the OMHSAS executive team.

Dale’s nearly 30 years of experience in all levels of state government and his leadership experience will be invaluable as we move forward during this difficult time and begin the process of selecting our next Deputy Secretary. I have complete confidence that Dale will make the transition to a new Deputy Secretary as smooth as possible and that the critical work that OMHSAS does every day continues without interruption.

I would personally like to thank Dale for stepping up into this role, your leadership is needed now more than ever at DHS.

Please join me in welcoming Dale to this new role and working with him so that we can ensure that services continue for the vulnerable Pennsylvanians that OMHSAS serves.

Recovery Works Summit Registration is Open (Posted 4/7/17)

Registration is now open for the Recovery Works Summit on Wednesday, September 13 at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel.

Why attend the Summit? 

An agenda full of exciting keynote presentations, panel discussions and networking opportunities!

The Summit will focus on three ways to improve recovery success:

  • Exploration of opportunities and challenges for recovery workforce development and retention;
  • Advocacy within and between the recovery movements;
  • Working together to impact public policy that effects peer based recovery support services and our recovery systems.

Please join PMHCA and other stakeholders to use your lived experiences to improve our systems and change lives through recovery and new opportunities across our Pennsylvania communities.

To Register: Recovery Works Summit Registration

Certification through the Pennsylvania Certification Board (Posted 3/21/17)

On March 9 we posted an announcement on this page that the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has started the task of creating a formal credentialing process for CPSs through the Pennsylvania Certification Board. We posted that there will be an OMHSAS webinar held on April 4 to update people on this process.

The PaPSC, as the voice of CPSs in Pennsylvania, is in communication with OMHSAS staff and will be conducting multiple projects to gather feedback from CPSs and other stakeholders across Pennsylvania so that we can effectively advocate for CPS interests in this process. Some of the projects we will be conducting are:

  • a broad survey sent out electronically
  • ethics trainings to gather input from the training participants on aspects of ethics they would like included in a formal CPS Code of Ethics
  • focus groups to gather feedback from CPSs on a wide range of topics associated with this process including support for moving forward, fees, grandfathering, certification renewal times, expectations of benefits if implemented, etc.

Please watch this site and your email for updates and notifications as there will be a lot of information to communicate going forward.

CPS Certification through the Pennsylvania Certification Board (Posted 3/9/17)

At the Mental Health Planning Council meeting on March 2 OMHSAS announced that it is beginning the process of developing a formal credentialing process to certify CPSs through the Pennsylvania Certification Board. As part of this process OMHSAS is seeking broad stakeholder input. It has reached out to the PaPSC to participate in the discussions on how to move this process forward including developing procedures, a unified test, and a code of ethics. Other stakeholder organizations will be involved as well.

As a first step OMHSAS is hosting a webinar on April 4 to begin discussions on this topic. Please click here for registration and more information on the webinar.

WRAP Around the World Conference (Posted 1/26/17)

WRAP Around the World June, 2017The Copeland Center has released information regarding their WRAP Around the World Conference taking place in Sacramento, CA in June. 2017. Join them, WRAP Facilitators, and others from systems of care around the world to share emerging practices around the Wellness Recovery Action Plan. Network, build skills, learn about current research and innovative programs, and be part of the community! Click on the image to the left to view the flyer.

 DHS Press Release (Posted 1/18/17)

The Department of Human Services issued a press release on January 11 regarding the closures of the Hamburg State Center for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as the closure of the civil section of Norristown State Hospital. Please click here to read the full story.