Welcome to the Public Comment space of the NC Peer Support Expert Commission (the “Commission”).

CLICK THIS LINK TO PROVIDE COMMENTS 

Thank you for providing feedback on the Commission’s recommendations related to the occupational regulation of peer support practice in North Carolina (the “Recommendations”). Your input is important. The comment period will close on September 25, 2020. 

View the Recommendations  

View a document providing background and context for the Recommendations

The Public Comment Process

Please be aware of the following aspects of this process:

  • Comments submitted through this link may be considered public record. They may be disclosed to parties requesting such records. Those disclosures include information that you provide in your comment that identifies you.  
  • If you do not want to be identified, you may submit your comment without information about your identity.  
  • Voluntarily providing identifiable information does not mean that you will be contacted about your comment.  
  • Please limit comments and questions to issues that are specifically related to the Recommendations. Outside issues should not be included in the public comments.  
  • All comments will be considered.  
  • The initial comment period for the Recommendations is 30 days.  An additional 7 day comment period follows if the proposed Recommendations are modified as a result of the initial comment period.

Background 

The Commission was established with the task to deliver recommendations to the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services on the occupational regulation of peer support practice and related matters. 

The Commission is composed of a diverse group of experts with representation from various geographical areas, age groups, racial, ethnic, and cross-disability groups, as well as the LGBTQIA community. Members have experience working within organizations that provide Medicaid services and state-funded Peer Support services. Members also are working in peer-run organizations and many are individuals who have lived experience in recovery with mental health and substance use disorders. 

On July 1, 2020, the Commission delivered Recommendations to the Division. The Commission has opened a public comment period to receive feedback from any interested stakeholders on the recommendations. 

“The work of this group represents a significant shift in the way behavioral health policy is developed in NC.  The majority of the Commission members are people that have been directly impacted by mental health and/or substance use challenges, independently convened to address an identified gap to ensure the most effective delivery of peer support in our state.  This group of NC Peer Support Specialists, leaders in recovery, and allies examined national and international standards and authored recommendations for credentialing, oversight and the introduction of safeguards needed for a competent, qualified and well prepared peer support workforce.  This approach to influencing policy and practice change is truly unprecedented in NC and paves the way for current and emerging peer support and leaders in recovery to organize, mobilize and activate sustainable system change” said Cherene Caraco of Peer Voice NC, a statewide movement of people in recovery from mental health and/or substance use challenges. 

CLICK THIS LINK TO PROVIDE COMMENTS. The comment period will close on September 25, 2020. 

Media Contact: Commission member Jennifer Whitfield, WhitfieldJ@southlight.org  

Meeting Date: 
Monday, June 1, 2020

About the NCCPSS Expert Commission

Based on feedback from peer support stakeholders across North Carolina, an expert panel was convened to examine available data, lessons learned, empirical evidence, and global examples regarding peer support best practices. The group will use the information gathered to inform the implementation, training, certification, and oversight of peer support practice, thus ensuring integrity to the values, ethics, and practices of the peer profession and workforce in North Carolina. This panel, known as the NC Peer Support Expert Commission (NCCPSS Expert Commission), is comprised of representatives from the following stakeholder groups:

  • Peer Voice NC as North Carolina’s Statewide Peer/Consumer Movement
  • North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist Workgroup
  • The NC Certified Peer Support Specialist Program, administered by Behavioral Health Springboard
  • North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services
  • Various stakeholders with knowledge, exposure, and experience with peer support

 

Group Composition:

The NCCPSS Expert Commission is composed of a diverse group of experts with representation from various geographical areas, age groups, racial, ethnic, and cross-disability groups, as well as the LGBTQIA community. Members have experience working within organizations that provide Medicaid services, state-funded Peer Support services, peer-run organizations, and individuals who have lived experience in mental health and substance use.

Purpose:

The mandate of the NCCPSS Expert Commission is to compile empirical evidence, examine best practices, and make recommendations to various governmental entities for the alignment of best practices of peer support across NC.

Areas of Focus

Priority 1: Establish recommendations for the composition, scope, and authority of an oversight and certification body for NC Certified Peer Support Specialist’s ethical practice and fidelity to best practices.

Priority 2: Establish short and long-term policies, procedures, and standards for NC Peer Support training, curricula, trainers, accountability for curricula owners, and related issues.

Priority 3: Plan for the sustainable implementation of this Commission’s work, including designing recommendations for authority that balances the firmness of statute and the flexibility of rules.

Priority 4: Design processes and standards related to Certification and Recertification of Peer Support Specialists, including a competency-based evaluation.

Priority 5: Establish processes and requirements for the training of and credentials for “specialty” Peer Support roles, including but not limited to forensic, integrated care, LGBTQIA, and transgender specialties.

Questions or Comments?
Click on this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSditpbOBRG4A8kkhuMFkZZoBJeS8t_q...

Recommendations

The NC Peer Support Expert Commission (the “Commission”) was convened in April 2020 to consider the occupational regulation of peer support practice and related matters, then provide recommendations to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services (the “Division”). Link to Commission member list.

What is this recommendation document?

On July 1, 2020, the Commission provided the Division with Recommendations for the creation of a Peer Support Certification Oversight Board. The Division is currently reviewing and considering this document. This is an overview document that explains:

  • occupational regulation in North Carolina,
  • how that regulation approach applies to the practice of peer support, and
  • suggestions for bringing the regulation of peer support into better alignment with that regulation system and best practices.

The Commission also provided the Division with some proposed language designed to carry out the recommendations suggested in this overview document. That part of the proposal is also being reviewed by the Division and is evolving. It will be posted for public review and comment in the coming months. 

How were these recommendations created?

These recommendations are the result of a collaborative process. That process included analyzing lessons learned and research into national and international examples of best practices. Links to all references cited in the recommendations are provided below.

Why is this being posted now? 

A founding principle of the Commission was to follow a transparent process. The member list has been posted and meeting notes are posted regularly. To maintain a transparent process, the recommendations are being posted now. It is important to remember, however, that these are suggestions. This is the beginning of a process that will unfold over time. We are not in the public comment phase yet, but there will be an opportunity for full review and comment in the coming months.

What happens next and when can the public comment on this process?

The next step in the process is for the Division to review, consider, and communicate with the Commission regarding the recommendations and proposed language for carrying them out. There will be a public comment period in the coming months regarding the recommendations and proposed language. Please check back for more details as they become available. 

Links to references cited in the recommendations:

Bringing NC into better alignment with best practices
GAO Report
White paper: Best practices in peer support: It all starts here
Program Evaluation Division Report (occupational regulation)
SAMHSA's working definition of recovery