Impact of Being a Peer Recovery Specialist on Work and Personal Life: Implications for Training and Supervision

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Peer recovery specialists are an important resource in community mental health settings. This study, which was part of a larger statewide assessment, evaluates how the role impacts work and personal lives of peers, with implications for improving the training and supervision of this service. The importance of peer work has been investigated through client outcomes, however less work has investigated outcomes on peers themselves, which impacts the work force and service delivery. Nine focus groups were conducted with peer recovery specialists. A two-stage qualitative analysis led to two overarching themes, work and personal, and six subthemes. Findings suggest being a peer presents unique benefits and challenges in work and personal life. Peers benefit from more training and supervision, consistency within the role, and maintaining boundaries. Additionally, work environment roles may be improved by attention to needs of supervisors in terms of skills for effective supervision and clarification of supervisory roles.

Publication Title

Community Mental Health Journal