In 2012, members and supporters of ACMHA: The College for Behavioral Health Leadership who shared a lived experience of recovery from mental health and substance use related conditions came together to form the ACMHA Peer Leaders Interest Group (PLIG). Building on ACMHA’s mission, the PLIG has sought to provide the peer recovery community with a “premier forum for the development of leaders and the exchange of innovations that impact the health and wellness of communities and people with mental health and substance use conditions.”
In late 2013, ACMHA and the PLIG were funded by Optum to explore an issue of primary concern to both: the unprecedented opportunities and challenges that peer-run services currently face during the implementation of national healthcare reform. As a result, representatives from over 20 nationally recognized peer mental health and addiction service agencies were able to participate in a March 25, 2014 ACMHA Peer Leaders Seminar that preceded the 2014 Annual ACMHA Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During the day-long program, they shared common concerns that have helped to inform this ACMHA Peer Services Tool Kit, which is aimed at 1) supporting efforts to advocate and expand the capacity, capability and scope of peer services while 2) providing valuable background information for federal, state and local governments and for new payers.