This 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.
If you have a news story that you feel would be appropriate for this page please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mental Health Resources Page Launched (Posted August 20, 2020)
Understanding that mental health is just as important as physical health, Pennsylvania launched an online Mental Health Resources Guide intended to provide Pennsylvanians with a full complement of resources available to help everyone with their mental health needs.
Another Way to Connect (Updated June 4, 2020)
RI International is hosting a Monday and Friday connection meeting called Keeping Recovery Skills Alive. This is another opportunity for you to connect to others in peer services and the recovery field. The meetings are hosted by RI International staff: Michael Runningwolf, Vicki Rainey, Terrance Smithers, and Shelley Lesley on Mondays and Fridays from 6pm – 7pm. Click the below link at 6pm to join the meeting.
PeerStar Releases Video Series (Posted April 21, 2020)
PeerStar, LLC released a series of three videos in which they interviewed some of their CPS staff who are successfully utilizing telephone and telehealth services to maintain contact with their peers during COVID-19 restrictions. The links to the videos are below.
Video #1: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cSddRPiQ-x0
Video #2: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TQhc6RgYk24
Video #3: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HeenpIp8YP8
PMHCA Creates “Virtual Drop-In Groups” in response to COVID-19 (Posted March 19, 2020)
The Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association (PMHCA) has created three separate “Virtual Drop-In Groups” to help people stay connected in response to the precautions being taken due to the COVID-19 virus. The PaPSC applauds our friends at PMHCA for starting these groups as staying connected, especially in times of uncertainty and stress, is a major part of maintaining wellness. For more information click the link below.
Virtual Drop-Ins (w. Meeting Info)
OMHSAS Releases Guidance for Expanded Use of Telehealth and Telephone Services in Response to COVID-19 (Posted March 17, 2020)
The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has released guidance for the expanded use of telehealth and telephone support in response to COVID-19. In an effort to allow individuals to continue to receive necessary services while “social distancing” measures are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 OMHSAS has expanded who can provide telehealth support, the type of telehealth methods, and lifted restrictions on how much support can be provided through telehealth and telephone. Please click the link below to view the announcement from OMHSAS.
If you have not already heard from them, all providers are encouraged to also reach out to the Behavioral Health Managed Care Organizations (BH-MCOs) that serve their counties for specific guidance on how to enact these new temporary guidelines.
Telehealth Guidelines Related to COVID-19 for All Behavioral HealthChoices Managed Care Organizations, Fee-For-Services Providers, and County Mental Health Authories — Statewide
Pennsylvania Launches ‘Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters’ (Posted January 3, 2020)
Governor Tom Wolf announced a focused multi-agency effort and anti-stigma campaign, ‘Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters,’ aimed at expanding resources and the state’s comprehensive support of mental health and related health care priorities in Pennsylvania. The governor announced several initiatives and reviews the administration will undertake for commonwealth agencies to bolster the effort. Further, over the coming weeks, agencies will announce additional initiatives. The governor was joined by mental health advocates, social workers, educators, military veterans, and cabinet secretaries in making the announcement.
For the full press release Click Here.
New OMHSAS Bulletin on Peer Support (Posted December 26, 2019)
A new bulletin regarding peer support services was recently released by the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). The Bulletin, OMHSAS-19-05, is an update and includes new language regarding certification through the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) including provisions for allowing newly trained Peer Specialists to work for up to six months after finishing training, but prior to taking the PCB test.
Click the link below to view the bulletin.
Peer Support Services_ Dec 19th 2019 PCB certification Bulletin
Pennsylvania Certification Board Releases Final Report on CPS Grandparenting (Posted October 1, 2019)
In March, 2018 the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) officially switched the administration of Pennsylvania CPS credentialing under the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB). On March 1, 2018 a ‘grand-parenting’ period began in which current PA CPSs could receive their PCB credential at no cost and without taking a test. The ‘grand-parenting’ period was set to last for 18-months. On September 1, 2019 the ‘grand-parenting’ period ended. Below is the final report from the PCB on the number of CPSs who took advantage of this 18-month period along with other valuable statistics.
Peer Support Staff Job Satisfaction Study (Posted 9/24/19)
Jonathan Edwards is conducting a research study, “Exploring Factors Associated with Job Satisfaction among Peer Support Staff Working in Mental Health Treatment Settings” in partial fulfillment for the Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in Social Welfare, Graduate Center CUNY.
If you are at least 18 years of age, employed for at least six months as peer support staff in a setting that provides mental health-related treatment and/or recovery-oriented services, and reside in one of the 50 States in the U.S. or in one of the five U.S. Territories, you are invited to participate in an online survey that takes about 20 minutes to complete.
To learn more and confirm your eligibility, visit: Peer Support Staff Job Satisfactio
Suicide Prevention Resources from SAMHSA (Posted 9/20/19)
Today, SAMHSA released new videos and other resources to help prevent suicide and offer support to those in crisis. Suicide can touch anyone, anywhere, and at any time. But there is hope. Find resources to help prevent suicide at https://www.samhsa.gov/suicide
The Trevor Project Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health (Posted 9/1/19)
Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
They have released their first wide-ranging report on LGBTQ Youth mental health which was based on a nation wide survey they conducted of over 34,000 LGBTQ youth.
To read the report click here.
Crisis Text Line (Posted 2/15/18)
The Department of Human Services’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Crisis Text Line, a free and confidential service that is available nationally to provide support to those in crisis.
Crisis Text Line may be accessed any time by texting PA to 741741.