Maryland’s Behavioral Health Administration prides itself on our comprehensive system of treatment and recovery support services for individuals seeking wellness in our State. This recovery oriented system of care was designed utilizing ongoing and valuable input from individuals with lived experience in behavioral health recovery. The Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs has a leadership role in both policy and program development. The office coordinates with local peer support chapters, individuals, and advocacy groups in efforts to improve services, and empower individuals throughout their recovery. In addition, the office, in conjunction with Local Behavioral Health Authorities, can assist individuals with their concerns and/or complaints regarding services received or treatment provided.
Ongoing projects within the Office of Consumer Affairs include:
Community Based Peer Support
Peer Support services involve the development of a collaborative relationship between an individual seeking or maintaining their recovery and an individual in long-term recovery. This relationship will assist in developing healthy living skills, the acquisition and enhancement of recovery self-management skills, and will simultaneously reduce the isolation experienced by many individuals with behavioral health concerns.
Services include: providing outreach to individuals in need of behavioral health services, developing a recovery plan, identifying resources that reduce barriers to recovery, accompanying individuals to appointments/meetings and leisure activities, providing assistance with completing paperwork for social services and other support services, providing assistance/preparation for employment such as shopping for work related clothing, coaching to prepare for an interview.
Recovery Community Centers
Recovery Community is a term used to convey the sense of shared identity and mutual support of created between individuals who are in recovery.
These centers are designed to be a safe haven for those in recovery to convene and a place where individuals who are interested in recovery can obtain a multitude of services to support a healthy and recovering lifestyle.
Services include: mutual support meetings, meditation sessions, peer support groups and recovery coaching, wellness and holistic health activities, computer access for vocational purposes, along with other vital supports.
Wellness Recovery Centers
Wellness Recovery Centers are non-profit peer-operated organizations that provide community-based support to individuals who may be opposed to using traditional clinical services. These centers provide recovery support services to individuals with mental health and co-occurring concerns.
Services include: One-on-one and group peer support, WRAP groups, treatment referrals, benefits application support, housing and vocational support, self-advocacy support, isolation reduction activities, training and educational programs, and other resources including food banks.
Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) Program
Maryland’s Certified Peer Recovery Specialist program, in conjunction with the Maryland Addiction and Behavioral health Professional Certification Board (MABPCB), provides State certification for individuals who provide direct peer-to-peer support services to others who have mental health, substance use, or co-occurring disorders. Due to their lived experience, CPRS’s can, with specialized training and guidance, draw from their own journey of recovery to inspire hope and provide support to others who are facing similar situations.
FACEBOOK - Maryland Behavioral Health Peer Recovery Specialist
This Facebook page will allow peers to network with each other from all over the state of Maryland! Let's share ideas, events and resources with each other.
Peer Recovery Email ListServe
The Office of Consumer Affairs maintains an email listing of Peer Recovery Specialist and PRS Supervisors who are requesting information related to providing Recovery Support Services. The Office sends out information from all jurisdictions identifying training, resources, advocacy events, social engagement activities, and job opportunities for PRS.
Consumer Quality Teams
Consumer quality teams perform on site reviews of programs to ensure quality in services, based on the consumer perspective. The programs reviewed to date indicate that the CQTs are an invaluable asset to their programs. While, overall, consumers are generally satisfied with the services they are receiving, the site visits have resulted in suggestions for further program improvements.
The Carroll Conquest Outstanding Leadership Award
The Carroll Conquest Outstanding Leadership Award has been established by the Behavioral Health Administration and the University of Maryland Training Center, in Carroll’s (Chris) honor. This award recognizes Carroll’s dedication to peer support services and his work advocating on behalf of peers in Maryland and nationwide. Carroll’s enthusiasm for helping others, his generosity and kind spirit is sorely missed and with this award, we aim to recognize other peer advocates and their contributions to this growing field.
Annual Professional Development Conferences for Individuals Working as CPRS
The State of Maryland believes that by investing in the growing Certified Peer Recovery Specialist workforce we will be better prepared to meet the needs of individuals seeking recovery in our communities. These conferences are opportunities for Peers to further develop their professional skill set and network with other Peer professionals from across the State at no cost. These events include:
- BHA's Annual Recovery Month Kick Off Event
- BHA's Annual Peer Networking and Leadership Conference
- BHA's Annual Peer Summit
HB 772 (SB 765) MDH - Reimbursement for Services Provided by CPRS - Workgroup and Report
Requiring the Secretary of Health to convene a stakeholder workgroup to study issues related to the reimbursement of certified peer recovery specialists; requiring the workgroup to include representatives of certain persons; and requiring the Secretary to submit a report on the findings and recommendations of the workgroup to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1, 2018.
If you have questions regarding the Office of Consumer Affairs or the Office's ongoing projects, contact: Brendan Welsh, Director, Office of Consumer Affairs at Brendan.Welsh@maryland.gov