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Peer Support:

The Peer Employment Learning Center (PELC)

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This episode relates to Peer Support Services in a MHOTRS clinic because it demonstrates what the principles of peer support can do and what needs to be done to support the success of peer services in an organization.  Be a part of this exciting transformative process!  Check out the website for more information here.  In this video/podcast, Lori Ashcraft interviews the main engineers of the Crestwood Peer Employment Learning Center (PELC). In 2019, a visionary team at Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc. developed a program that transformed the way they provide behavioral health services.  That program is called the Peer Employment Learning Center (PELC).

The PELC is a peer support specialist training program conducted in Crestwood’s residential treatment centers.  This pioneering initiative teaches participants the skills of peer support while they are residents of Crestwood’s facilities.  Participants engage in a group-based training program followed by a paid, three-month internship at the Crestwood campus where they received treatment.  It has had amazing outcomes, and many people who were former patients/residents at Crestwood facilities are now working as certified peer specialists throughout Crestwood and other organizations.

Chris Martin is the Director of Learning and Performance for Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc. Chris is a gifted and inspirational leader and an internationally acclaimed peer support specialist trainer. Chris was one of the lead architects of the PELC.

Jim Richie is the Director of Operations for Crestwood Recovery Resilience Solutions. He earned a Ph.D. in the field of cognitive linguistics and has more than 25 years of experience as an educator, including as a college instructor and as a certified peer specialist trainer/instructor/facilitator.

In this exciting episode, Chris and Jim share their experiences with developing and implementing the PELC program at Crestwood.  In it, you will learn:

  • The values behind the PELC program.
  • The three ways participants, staff, and organizations can prepare for this transformative process.
  • Common needs for both participants and organizations to be successful with PELC.
  • Key periods in a person’s recovery journey that require additional support for maximum success.

© 2024, Crestwood Recovery Resilience Solutions, All rights reserved.
Viva La Evolution #010 – Interview by Lori Ashcraft. Used with permission.
Summary provided by Stephen Nawotniak, Alliance for Rights and Recovery (formerly NYAPRS). 

More about Viva La Evolution and Crestwood

Developed by Crestwood Behavioral Health
With Contributions by the Alliance for Rights and Recovery (formerly New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services)
For PeerTAC
Funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health