What is a Youth Peer Support Specialist?
A Youth Peer Support Specialist is a young adult (18 to 26 years of age) who has lived experience as a youth with mental health challenges. As part of their peer role to youth, they share their direct experiences and help empower youth to reach their goals. The type of support they provide is unique to each youth they work with. They work with youth directly to provide various skill-building activities such as exploring career options, success in school, increased community inclusion, and other activities outlined in the treatment plan. They provide youth with hope that they can achieve the things that are important to them.
What Do Youth Peer Support Specialists Do?
Youth Peer Support Specialists help support youth with a serious emotional disturbance through shared activities and interventions. The services provided help youth by decreasing isolation, increasing hope, increasing engagement with other service providers, decreasing stigma, and by enhancing the youth and family mental health service array. The goals of Youth Peer Support services are to support youth empowerment, assist youth in developing skills to improve their overall functioning and quality of life and working collaboratively with others involved in delivering the youth's care.
What is Calling All Youth?
Calling All Youth (CAY) Motivating Others through Voices of Experience (MOVE) is a group of young people, 9th grade to graduation, who have experience with an emotional, mood, or behavioral challenge. As a group, members work to reduce mental health stigma, educate the community, and develop their own leadership skills. They work alongside professionals, parents, and community members to improve mental health services in our community. The mission of this group is, "CAY seeks to educate and empower youth who have mood, emotional, or behavioral challenges to advocate for themselves, and use their experience and voice to improve the system of care of children's mental health services".
What are the benefits of Calling All Youth?
CAY MOVE offers many benefits to Youth in Kalamazoo County in a safe and respectful environment that celebrates the diversity of its membership. Being part of the group, allows youth members to have a voice and be heard by authority figures in their life. Through CAY MOVE, there are many opportunities to make friends and develop new healthy relationships while giving back to their community in an important way. In addition, youth who attend and participate in a meaningful way, get paid a stipend for their work. CAY MOVE youth also have the experience to add to their resume.
What is a Transition Peer Support Specialist?
A Transition Peer Support Specialist is a young adult who has lived experience as a youth with mental health challenges and has successfully made the transition to independence. As part of their peer role to youth and young adults, they share their direct experiences and help empower them to reach their goals. The type of support they provide is unique to each youth or young adult they work with. Services are provided based on goals outlined in the treatment plan and may include assistance with finding employment, obtaining housing, or educational goals. The Transition Peer Support Specialist works on a team and utilizes the Transition to Independence Process (TIP) model of service delivery. They provide youth with hope and support that they can achieve the things that are important to them.
What Do Transition Peer Support Specialists Do?
The services provided by the Transition Peer Support Specialist are focused on youth engagement, future planning, and skill building through a person-centered approach. The Transition Peer Support Specialist and other team members, assist youth and young adults with exploring education opportunities, employment and career options, housing possibilities, and overall achieving personal effectiveness and wellbeing. These services are provided from the perspective of our staff’s own lived experiences.