Offered in partnership with the New York Association for Psychiatric Rehabilitation (NYAPRS) and Humannovations.
Lived experience of crisis and peer support can be incredibly valuable when people are experiencing ‘crisis-level’ emotions such as suicidal intensity. Dispensing with stigmatizing and dehumanizing language related to these experiences is a crucial first step, altering clinical and law enforcement practices that feel more like punishment than care is also crucial. Peer specialists and peer empowerment values need to be effectively integrated as supports in intense situations as well. But structural resistance, risk aversion and stigma have prevented anything like widespread involvement of people with lived experience in crisis or suicide prevention programming.
Given that the peer empowerment model developed in reaction, at least to some degree, to coercion and dehumanizing experiences associate with interventions when people were at their worst moments, how can the value of shared experience and peer support work in a new system of crisis care, such as envisioned through the 988 transformation?
The key to successful integration of “peer crisis support” is a set of core practices and skills that provide people with lived experience with distinctive competencies for supporting peers in these moments and settings, and the opportunity and confidence to employ them. Ie the practical transformation of lived experience into lived expertise for crisis support.
In this session we will present a comprehensive approach to bridging peer support values and practices to support in crisis services and settings, including core skills for encountering threat of violence and suicidal intensity. The presenters will outline the details of one model of advanced ‘peer crisis support’ training (Growing Through) and provide discussion on the integration of these practices from the point of view of both public mental health and suicide prevention fields.
Participants will learn:
- An approach to bridging peer support values and practices for ‘encountering intensity’ with peers.
- Trauma-informed reframes of clinical terminology for humanizing the experience of crisis and struggles
- A set of peer crisis support core competencies, including support for suicidal intensity
Eduardo Vega is an internationally recognized thought leader in recovery-oriented programs and policy, consumer/patient rights, stigma reduction, and suicide prevention, whose work continues to drive the forefront of change for public health and mental health worldwide. He is founder and CEO of Humannovations, a consulting and training firm providing innovative solutions for mental health and suicide prevention internationally, fueled by social justice and the “lived experience” of people who have been there. Clients of Humannovations include the World Health Organization, Asana, the White House Office of Science & Technology, the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Movember Foundation, Suicide Prevention Australia, the International Bipolar Foundation, the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Facebook and more.
A former Fulbright Specialist and California State Commissioner for Mental Health Services, Vega has led and served on multiple health policy bodies and as an invited expert to the Office of the White House of President Obama. He has presented and consulted on technical issues in behavioral health with stakeholder and consumer groups, private industry and government in the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, Fiji and Latin America. He serves on the the Steering Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the US National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.
For his transformative leadership Vega has been recognized by the United States Senate and the United States Surgeon General, the State of California, the nation of Fij. He holds an M.A. in Psychology from New School for Social Research.