In Fiscal Year 2009-2010, we accomplished the following:
- PEERS was awarded the Alameda County Social Inclusion Campaign) funded by Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services (BHCS).
- One-day Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) monthly workshops totaled to 345 unduplicated attendees, exceeding our year-end goal of 300.
- Total weekly participant contacts for all WRAP groups were 2,349.
- We increased the professional growth of two of our Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) facilitators to Advance Level WRAP Trainers, ensuring PEERS’ ability to certify WRAP Facilitators in compliance with the Copeland Center’s requirements.
- We piloted a Tobacco Information Program and our facilitators, all POCC members, organized and facilitated 13 Tobacco Information Presentations to over 128 individuals. Some of the sites we presented to included Latino Best Now, Casa de la Vida, Asian Community Mental Health, ACNMHC Berkeley Drop- in Center, the Creative Living Center, Bonita House, and Villa Fairmont.
- We coordinated and awarded scholarships to over 60 POCC members to attend conferences like the National Alternatives Conference, the California Mental Health Advocacy Conference, and the California Network of Mental Health Clients Bay Area regional conference.
- Our staff presented workshops such as Ethnic Realities: The Intersection of Stigma, Prejudice, Race and Culture; Organizing Alameda County’s POCC to Combat Stigma and Discrimination; Promoting Social Inclusion and Challenging Stigma and Discrimination in Employment; and Wellness and Recovery at Work.
- Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), PEERS coordinated a group of members from POCC to take part in and travel to Sacramento on May 26 for Disability Capital Action Day.
- We have continued our efforts locally and statewide on increasing awareness of spirituality as a resource and tool in mental health wellness and recovery. On October 6, 2009 in collaboration with the Alameda County Spirituality workgroup, we organized the National Day of Prayer event. More than 40 individuals representing consumers, family members, providers, spiritual communities and agencies committed to recovery, gathered to recognize the power of unity and its benefits to wellness. We applaud the spirituality workgroup and their continued commitment and involvement in moving this important initiative forward. Their efforts are greatly appreciated.
In Fiscal Year 2010-2011, we accomplished the following:
- To kick off the Alameda County Social Inclusion Campaign, PEERS hosted the Social Inclusion Dialogue in September 2010. As the first milestone moment in the campaign planning year, PEERS hosted 79 participants at a community-wide event to address mental health stigma and discrimination.
- In January 2011, PEERS received the Mental Health Association Award for Excellence.
- In planning for the Social Inclusion Campaign, PEERS conducted two "Town Hall" working groups where consumers and family members were surveyed and engaged in dialogue. The first Town Hall focused on the African American community and their views about sources of support, key sources of messages about mental health issues, their feelings with re- spect to those messages, obstacles to getting help, and concerns about mental health issues. Attendees of the second Community Town Hall Meeting on Housing contributed substantially to our current understand- ing of the challenges faced by consumers and family members with respect to housing and offered specific recommendations to remove the barriers and obsta- cles to finding and staying in quality housing.
- To support the program of social inclusion advocacy and outreach, PEERS' communication capability took a giant leap forward this year with the addition of tal- ented program staff and a new range of media-based communications. These include a new and greatly enhanced website, the expansion of Mental Health Matters Cable Access television show, the creation of PEERSTV and social media leadership.
- For this fiscal year, PEERS hosted 3,288 total WRAP participants, a 25 percent increase over the prior year. We had 570 unduplicated attendees (34% increase over prior year). The average weekly attendance for WRAP Groups was 68 individuals.
- The John George Peer Mentor Program is a collaboration between PEERS, BestNow and the John George Psychiatric Pavilion (Alameda County) to support individuals who are in transition from the psychiatric emergency hospital by connecting them with a mentor who has had similar lived experience. Thirty-five mentor-mentee pairs are actively involved with this pilot program so far. After one year, the pilot program saw a 68 percent drop in mentees returning to the John George Psychiatric Pavilion in Alameda County.
- PEERS became an active member of the TAY Initiative. TAY, or Transitional Age Youth, refers to the 16-25 year-old consumer population and is an important group to consider in the mental health system. Not kids and not yet full-fledged adults, the TAY group has historically been under- and inappropriately served. In the last few years, Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services has intensified efforts to change that and PEERS is its active partner, managing the Youth Advisory Board, the TAY Pool of Consumer Champions (POCC) and by hosting weekly TAY WRAP meetings.
- In partnership with the National Center for Empowerment, PEERS hosted two 3-day and 5-day trainings on how to respond effectively when persons experience distress and certification for eCPR trainers.
- To better serve the needs of these communities and to support spiritual leaders, PEERS has begun a spirituality initiative to reach out and engage leadership with mental health education and crisis management tools.
- As part of its effort to increase awareness of mental health in the community, PEERS hosted the inaugural Mental Health and Wellness Walk on Saturday, October 1, at Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley. A project of the Social Inclusion Campaign, the day included a morning walk throughout the park, remarks by prominent community leaders, live entertainment, resource tables, children’s activities, an arts and crafts center, and stories of hope and recovery from consumers, providers, and family members. The free, family-friendly event was open to all ages and members of the community.
- PEERS launched the "Stigma Stops with Me" Facebook pledge to allow people to share with the world how will contribute to ending mental health stigma.
Check out our full 2011 report with more accomplishments here.