At our core, and woven into all of our programs, is our legacy as a peer agency with rich foundational ties to the consumer/survivor/patient/ex-patient movement. With that history comes a commitment to advocacy, peer support, bridging (aka direct linkages), and client-driven, person-centered recovery & wellness coaching.
If you’re interested in receiving information, assistance, or consulting from PEOPLe, Inc. in these areas, contact our CEO, Steve Miccio.
- Helping someone get & understand the information they need to make intelligent decisions about their mental health care and other things needed for their recovery & wellness
- Supporting or defending someone side-by-side (when asked) to help make sure their voice is heard, and their decisions are understood & respected
At PEOPLe, Inc. we focus our advocacy in the following areas (primarily focused around mental health services and essential conditions for recovery):
- Education: Helping people get & understand the information they need to make intelligent choices about their mental health services, and to overcome barriers to better quality of life.
- Access: Helping people receive the mental health services they need when they feel there are barriers.
- Quality: Enhancing the quality of mental health services people receive when they feel there are issues.
- Rights: Making sure mental health policies, plans, programs, and laws are implemented correctly.
- Basic Needs: Ensuring that people have access to food, clothing, shelter, and income as the foundation of the recovery process.
- Stigma & Discrimination: Helping people overcome instances of others treating them with prejudice, avoidance, rejection, and discrimination.
- Directly connecting someone to the people, places, and resources they need for their recovery & overall wellness
- How it’s done (in priority order):
- In-person introductions or assistance
- Conference calling
- Referrals with follow-up (automatic 24 hr. check-ins)
In our line of work, we have a lot of opportunities to educate people about resources in our communities. We also interact with a lot of people in transition, sometimes coming directly out hospitals after a crisis. Whether someone needs to connect with a new service in the community, or they have to transition back to their homes, we’re there to support them. We’re there to help people overcome fears and barriers.
We aim to directly connect (link, or bridge) people to the resources and places they need to go. Some call this method the ‘warm hand-off’ but we don’t, because it’s not about ‘handing off.’ It’s about providing assurance: that our hands will be there when people need them the most.
- When two or more people with personal lived experiences (in our case mental health issues) come together to share their stories, personal feelings, information, and strategies for living
- Engaging with each other in ways that allow for & promote listening, understanding, acceptance, respect, meaningful connections, co-learning (together), and positive futures.
Some key words stick out in our definition of Peer Support: listening, understanding, acceptance, respect, meaningful connections, co-learning (together), and positive futures.
You can see how each of these steps feeds into the next. When we listen, truly listen, we begin to understand someone. If we’re seeking to truly understand someone, we must turn off our egos and accept them for who they are. When we remove judgment from our thinking, we’re showing people that we respect and value them in all their personhood. That becomes the foundation of a meaningful connection, a relationship far stronger than the patient-provider kind. Now we’re ready to stand together – as peers – and learn from each other, to share those stories, personal feelings, information, and strategies for living well. Once we commit to that sharing – that mutuality – we can help each other move towards positive futures.
- Providing guidance to help someone achieve their own self-directed health & wellness goals
- Done through a combination of education, consultation, goal setting, exploring strategies, action planning, manageable steps, motivation, focusing, regular follow-ups, and positive feedback.
We all want to be looked at as whole people, and not defined by our so-called ‘diagnoses’ or ‘symptoms.’ We also know that treatment and medication can help, but they’re not the only referrals & prescriptions we need for our wellness.
There’s so much more to all of us. Our wellness comes from all different parts of our lives!
Take mental health for example: our diet affects our mental health; our social lives affects our mental health; our work affects our mental health, books and art affect our mental health; our finances affect our mental health; where we live affects our mental health; and our philosophy on life affects our mental health.
We’re whole people, and all our various dimensions of wellness are interrelated! We all want care that recognizes that.
At PEOPLe, Inc. we aim to give people what they want by paying attention to their strengths and needs as whole people, and supporting them if they want to make positive changes in their lives, in all areas of their wellness!