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A Decade of Peer Culture, Support and Leadership: Igniting Behavioral Health Transformation in Philadelphia

DBHIDS Commissioner Dr. Arthur C. Evans is pleased to announce the completion and distribution of the report, A Decade of Peer Culture, Support and Leadership: Igniting Behavioral Health Transformation in Philadelphia. The report is the culmination of a rigorous effort conducted during 2014-16 by the Department’s Strategic Planning Division under the direction of Dr. Marquita Williams, Deputy Commissioner. Dr. Williams’ Peer Culture and Community Inclusion Unit (PCCIU) as well as the Department’s Transformation Research Unit led the effort.

In 2014, DBHIDS decided that the future course of peer culture expansion of the Philadelphia recovery/resilience-oriented transformation required:

1. Gathering lessons learned from the work accomplished in the area of peer culture, support and leadership in Philadelphia over the last 10 years;
2. Evaluating those lessons in light of current realities and opportunities; and
3. Determining the direction DBHIDS and stakeholders should take to keep their efforts true to the spirit and principles of peer culture while they move toward a reimagined future.

Focus Groups and Surveys were used to gather the experiences, challenges and future ideas from 108 certified peer specialists (CPS), 33 supervisors/managers, and 38 CEO/upper level managers who participated. Findings reinforced the following: CPS’ passion for service; the importance of “lived experience” as fundamental to the recovery of people who receive services; and a key role of CPSs as navigators, helping people successfully access other supportive services from multiple resources throughout the city.

Next steps include the creation of a Peer Culture Strategic Plan and the Peer Culture Transformation Advisory Board.

To learn more, please visit the Peer Culture Report page on DBHIDS.org.

If you have any questions regarding the report or peer culture in general, please contact the DBHIDS Peer Culture and Community Inclusion Unit at DBHIDS.PeerCulture@phila.gov.