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Certified Peer Specialist Application Opens Jan. 6

Applications for the March 2020 period closed as of Jan. 24. Bookmark this page for our next sessions.

Click for application form.

Do you know someone who has a lived mental health experience and would be an excellent candidate for the Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) profession?

Beginning Monday, Jan. 6, through Friday, Jan. 24, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services will accept applications for the Certified Peer Specialist Training Program.

Applications must be received by 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. There will be no exceptions to this deadline.

PLEASE NOTE: This application period is for the March 2020 CPS Training that will take place March  9-13 and 23-26. Interviews for this program will take place Feb. 3-18. Selected applications will participate in the 10-day training session in March.

All attachments must be submitted with a complete application. We will not accept incomplete or late application! Applications should be submitted by the individual who wishes to apply. Please do not complete applications on someone else’s behalf.

In addition, all applicants must attend a Story-Telling training in order to apply for the CPS training. Applicants should refer to the healthymindsphilly.com for Story-Telling training sessions open to the public.

Paperwork that is required is as follows:

Please be mindful that this is a competitive opportunity for a no-cost professional training for residents of Philadelphia.  Only 20 applicants will be selected.  A completed application does not guarantee interview selection.  An interview selection does not guarantee training selection!

If you are interested in being trained to be a Certified Peer Specialist, please submit this form along with all required attachments in person, mail or email to:

DBHIDS PCCI
Certified Peer Specialist Applications
1101 Market St., 7th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Email: DBHIDS.PeerCulture@phila.gov

For questions, please send an email to DBHIDS.PeerCulture@phila.gov.

Philly Leads the Way in Mental Health Awareness

Continuing the established trend of Philadelphia being a leader in mental health awareness, in December, the city surprised 25,000 people trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). This achievement makes Philadelphia the city with the most trainees in MHFA.

“This milestone for Mental Health First Aid trainees represents a monumental feat,” said DBHIDS Commissioner David T. Jones, “and DBHIDS is committed to training additional Philadelphians in MHFA!”

“Philadelphia continues to ‘walk the walk,’ demonstrating its commitment to increasing mental health awareness, reducing stigma, and promoting well-being for every Philadelphian,” said Assistant Director of Health Promotion Maria Boswell.

This latest achievement continues a long-established pattern of Philadelphia taking a position at the forefront of mental health awareness and providing an example for other cities nationwide and around the world.

Internationally, DBHIDS has partnered with the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) in 2016, and hosting the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership in both 2016 and 2017. Additionally, the City’s efforts to normalize mental health disorders through the “Get a Check-Up from the Neck Up” campaign has drawn praise from as far away as Australia.

Domestically, during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, DBHIDS was at the forefront of bringing mental health awareness to the forefront with the Like-Minded Rally, which drew hundreds to hear dozens of political leaders, including former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who called for reform of mental health and addiction treatment in this country.

With this great achievement, the city now turns it eyes toward 50,000 trainees in the year 2020.

“As we strive toward 50,000 trained in Mental Health First Aid by 2020,” said Boswell, “we hope that all who live, work, or study in our great city recognize that we are, indeed, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection!”

Human Trafficking Awareness

Human Trafficking Awareness

City Adds Beds, Services for Homeless Youth

In response to a rapid increase in youth homelessness, Philadelphia announced Tuesday that it will dedicate $700,000 to pay for additional beds, job training, and employment and counseling support targeting people 18 to 24.

“We are here to tell our most vulnerable young people, our children, our youth, that they matter, that we care, that we are there for them,” said Councilwoman Helen Gym, who with Council colleagues and Mayor Kenney’s administration secured the new funding. “They won’t face their challenges alone. We’ll be standing up as a city with them.”

At last count, 527 unaccompanied young adults lived in emergency or transitional housing in the city, and a point-in-time count found 25 sleeping on the streets. Those who track youth homelessness say the number of young people with “unstable housing” is much higher, likely 4,000 to 6,000.

 In the last four years, the number of high school students in Philadelphia who have experienced homelessness has increased 73 percent. That works out to one of every 20 high school students in the city.

Last year, 252 young adults aged out of the foster care system, many without a permanent place to live.

The $700,000 contract will go toward 50 new beds, job training, and employment support for 75 homeless youth, and counseling and mentoring for 40 LGBTQ youth.

Most of the money comes out of the city’s general fund, with some additional dollars from the Office of Homeless Services’ budget.

Five private providers were contracted to expand services and shelter: the Attic Youth Center, Covenant House PA, Pathways PA, Valley Youth House, and Youth Service Inc.

Donald Jackson, 23, was kicked out of his home by his mother when he was 18.

Jackson couch-surfed for a few months before landing at Covenant House, a shelter for young adults. He was lucky. The shelter turns away more than 500 people each year because of lack of space.

Jackson worked two jobs to get himself back on his feet.

Now he has his own apartment and works at Action Wellness, a nonprofit helping people living with chronic illness.

“Not everyone is fortunate enough to handle responsibilities, bills, the things an 18-year-old, a 21-year-old even, usually has people to help them deal with,” Jackson said. “It’s so important to provide that underlying support. At 18 you’re trying to figure out your life, and then even at 21 – who’s responsible at 21?”

Family Member Story Telling Training

Family Member Story Telling Training (FM-STT) is a FREE recovery-and-resilience-based Training. It recognizes that the stories of Family Members (Parents, Grandparents, Children, Siblings, Partners, Sponsors, Mentors, Faith, Friends, Family of Choice, Support Staff, etc.), play a Vital Role with assisting people who benefit from and contribute to systematic transformation. This Training is open to everyone (18 and older) and offers many helpful tools which encourages the sharing of personal and challenging experiences with others to help inspire and motivate them, along with creating mutual understanding. It also provides vast opportunities to network and share resources, along with being a positive gateway for those who wish to help others through their own life experiences; helps others to navigate through the Behavioral Health System, while supporting families, faith and communities.

Story Telling Training — For July 2016 CPS Applicants Only

Story Telling Training (STT) is a FREE recovery-and-resilience-based Training. It recognizes that the stories of each individual, the recovery (wellness) process and the experiences of our loved ones are a vital part of strengthening System’s Transformation. This training offers many helpful tools which encourages the sharing of personal and challenging experiences with others, to help inspire and motivate them to do the same. It also provides vast opportunities to network and share resources. Story Telling Training is a positive gateway for those who wish to help others through their own life experiences – through the Behavioral Health System, as well as with families and communities.

This training session is designed for participants in the July 2016 Certified Peer Specialist training, which is scheduled to take place July 6-27. For additional information and location for this training, please follow the registration link below.

Family Member Storytelling Training

Story Telling Training (STT) is a FREE recovery-and-resilience-based Training. It recognizes that the stories of each individual, the recovery (wellness) process and the experiences of our loved ones are a vital part of strengthening System’s Transformation. This training offers many helpful tools which encourages the sharing of personal and challenging experiences with others, to help inspire and motivate them to do the same. It also provides vast opportunities to network and share resources. Story Telling Training is a positive gateway for those who wish to help others through their own life experiences – through the Behavioral Health System, as well as with families and communities.

There are (2) FREE Story Telling Trainings available for everyone to take (age 18 and over) to learn tools on how to tell your own personal story effectively, learn more about the personal and challenging experiences of others, while learning about the Behavioral Health System Transformation.

Mental Health First Aid (Adult Curriculum)

Adult Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches community members how to assist an adult who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. MHFA teaches participants how to identify, understand, and respond to signs and symptoms of mental illnesses and substance use challenges. Upon completion of the training, participants receive a comprehensive Mental Health First Aid manual along with a three (3) year national MHFA certification.

The Adult Mental Health First Aid course is appropriate for anyone 18 years and older who wants to learn how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis or problem. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, psychosis, and addiction.

This training takes place over the course of two days on Tuesday, January 12th and Wednesday, January 13th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Attendance for both days is required in order to receive your three year national certification.

Trauma Transformation Unit

Trauma Transformation Unit

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

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Mental Health First Aid

logo-1We think of First Aid as something administered to people in need of physical health intervention. What about people who need immediate assistance for their mental health?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an eight-hour course that teaches the skills needed to identify, understand, and respond to signs of behavioral health challenges or crises. Philadelphia is one of the first metropolitan areas in the U.S. to implement MHFA on a large scale. DBHIDS offers the training free of charge for individuals who live, work, or study in the City of Philadelphia.

Once a certified aider, you will be able to recognize behavioral health signs and administer aid until appropriate treatment and supports are received, or until the crisis is resolved.

Our certification programs include:

Visit HealthyMindsPhilly.org for more information about MHFA.

You can also send us an email, or call 215-790-4996.

Connect with MHFA

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