In the past two years, the number of Coloradans who didn’t receive essential mental health or substance use¹ services nearly doubled. In 2019, Colorado’s behavioral health workforce only met 30% of the state’s needs². Peers support professionals can significantly alleviate the gap. Peer supporters are individuals in recovery from mental health/substance use conditions who help others experiencing similar situations.
Problem: Medicaid only reimburses peer support services in a clinical facility, which limits the scope of peer support services in other settings such as jails, OB/GYN clinics, and emergency departments. In addition, without additional educational opportunities, peer supporters reach a professional ceiling, resulting in burnout.
Data shows that peer support services cut hospitalizations in half, increase engagement in self-care and wellness, and decrease psychotic symptoms.³
The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities found that using peer support services in treatment saved an average of $5,494/person for the state.¹ª
For more information please contact Lauren Snyder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 970.946.8029
¹2019 Colorado Health Access Survey: Progress in Peril
²Mental Health Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)
³Peer support among persons with severe mental illnesses:a review of evidence and experience
¹ªA Report on Colorado’s Behavioral Health Peer Provider Workforce