Peer Advocacy & Support
Our staff have the knowledge, skills, and hands-on lived experiences to ensure that people can make informed choices about their health care and their lives. This can include education and information on available options for treatment, medications & side-effects, whole health wellness strategies, alternatives to traditional treatments, coping skills, natural supports, Advance Directives & Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAPs), patient’s and human rights, and prevention.
We want people to be self-determined and make decisions based on their own values and goals, understanding of information, and communication of desires. If people need help taking action to represent their rights and interests, we’re there to support them side-by-side. And most importantly, we encourage people to become their own best advocates.
Our staff are also there to create safe spaces for people to share their stories, together as peers (including staff of course), whether in private one-to-one settings or in support groups. We’re all there to share in a collective empathy – “the ability to identify with or understand the perspective, experiences, or motivations of another individual and to comprehend and share [their] emotional state.” In that way we build a culture of respect, trust, collaboration, and ultimately positive expectations.
We have Peer Advocacy & Support programs in Dutchess and Ulster Counties.
At PEOPLe, Inc. we believe that everyone has a right to realize their dreams, unconditionally, and move towards their own vision of self and future. And we know that people can live independent, self-determined lives if they have the right supports. The people who participate in our Supported Housing programs are the evidence!
With our Supported Housing programs, people live where they want (on their own terms), get help with their rent, work towards more health and independence, and receive mobile support from our staff to ensure that they’re living well and meeting their self-defined goals.
PEOPLe, Inc. is proud to be a ‘Housing First’ provider. This means that people’s housing is not dependent on any participation in treatment, they’re not disqualified because of their histories, and even sobriety is not a precondition. Housing First is just that: looking at housing as the first foundational step in the recovery journey.
We’re also proud to be on the front lines of de-institutionalization and the drive towards full community re-integration. In fact, we’re providing services directly in Rockland Psychiatric Center, bringing an innovative model of psycho-social rehabilitation and recovery-oriented peer bridging services directly to people there. We want the residents there to see the light of hope, realize that a fulfilling life outside is possible, and know that they’ll have the individualized supports they need to write new chapters in their lives.
We have Supported Housing programs in Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, and Putnam Counties.
Rose House Respites
Rose House is a successful 100% peer-run alternative to psych. emergency rooms and inpatient settings. Rose House is based on a common sense approach to crisis response that:
- Ensures that people feel comfortable and safe – physically, emotionally, psychologically
- Delivers 5-star customer service that meets and exceeds people’s personal expectations
- Aligns all behaviors and actions with core values that promote recovery & wellness
- Uses the mutuality of lived experiences to unleash the world-changing power of storytelling, listening, and dialogue
- Helps people to look at their emotional & psychological distress differently: as opportunities for positive change.
Rose Houses are open and accessible 24/7/365. They are safe, empowering, self-determined learning communities that allow guests to stay up to 5 days in a home-like environment. While there, people can work on their own recovery & wellness, however they define it. Beyond just being site-based, Rose House services reach beyond their walls through 24 hr. peer-operated ‘warm lines’ and mobile community in-home services.
The Rose House model has been quite effective at breaking cycles of crisis and hospital recidivism. Not only do Rose House guests not use the hospital when they’re in crisis, but our 30-day follow-up study shows that over 88% of them stay out of the hospital after their stay; 98% of those guests state that the Rose House helped them to accomplish that goal (N=119).
Our Rose Houses serve Orange, Ulster, Putnam, Warren, Washington, and Dutchess Counties. We also provide warm line services in St. Lawrence County.
If you’re interested in receiving information, assistance, or consulting from PEOPLe, Inc. in this area, please contact our CEO, Steve Miccio.
Coming up with new health and personal wellness goals is exciting, but actually implementing them can be challenging. We all get stuck; sometimes it’s hard to find the will to act, to overcome the obstacles in our way, and to know where to find help.
To assist with the whole process, we employ a mobile staff of peers to meet people in all sorts of community settings, and personally join them as they make choices and engage in activities that move themselves towards positive changes in their lives.
Although people’s recovery journeys are deeply personal and wellness is ultimately self-defined, we generally help people to develop strong and positive support networks, to find new and exciting outlets for their minds and imaginations, to work towards improved physical health (exercise, diet, sleep, prevention, healthier habits), to improve their emotional well-being (self-awareness, self-management, coping skills, optimism), to find regular work or activities that give their lives meaning, to increase their ability to get around in community, to achieve greater financial literacy and independence, and to stay out of the hospital settings that have traditionally disrupted their lives.
We have Recovery Center programs in Dutchess and Ulster Counties. We also partner with Independent Living, Inc, and MHA of Rockland County to provide Recovery Center services regionally (Orange and Rockland Counties).
Benefits & Employment Counseling
Many people receiving benefits & other supplemental income (SSI, SSDI) are interested in joining or returning to the workforce. Our team is trained to provide them with up-to-date information about continuing eligibility and coverage, and available incentives for returning to work. We can then assist them with the whole process, from work readiness, to job searching skills, and even on-the-job support.
As peers ourselves, we know that entering or re-entering the workforce can be frightening. Some of us have worked years to secure benefits like SSDI or Section 8 Housing. We’re not sure if these things will get messed up by earning more income. These concerns are all valid! That’s why we begin all our employment counseling with a full benefits advisement session.
We then explore with people their interests, available jobs and careers, and any potential education or training programs they may be interested in. If people want to enter the workforce, we help them build strengths-based resumes and cover letters, search for jobs and fill out applications, and even work on their interviewing abilities. And our support is continuous even after people enter the workforce; we can help them learn how to perform their job tasks, manage their time, secure reasonable accommodations (for disabilities), manage potential stress, problem solve, work on memory and speed, build relationships with co-workers, and ultimately maintain their personal health and wellness while employed.
Our Benefits & Employment Counseling programs serve Dutchess and Ulster Counties.
Psych ER & Hospital Advocacy/Bridging
If we look at the research on what people say they want and need during a psychiatric emergency, particularly at hospitals, it’s clear they want more hopeful first contacts, more comfortable environments, more emotional support from others, more advocacy from others with similar lived experiences, more respect as ‘whole people’ (not just labels or symptoms), more involvement in treatment planning, more support during the transition out of the hospital, and more contact afterwards. (see the study: “What Do Consumers Say They Want and Need During a Psychiatric Emergency?”)
To that end, our Hospital Advocates & Bridgers aim to provide or ensure that these things are provided at our local psychiatric emergency rooms & inpatient units. Our peer staff are there to be a first light of hope and recovery, to ensure that people feel safe & comfortable, to listen with pure empathy, to advocate to ensure that their voices are heard, to look at the social & economic reasons they’re there (in addition to more traditional ‘medical’ reasons), and to help bridge the gap between patient and provider.
And we’re also there to support people after their stays, whether that means helping them to transition home, make their follow-up appointments, or go any other places they may need to maintain their wellness and stay out of the hospital.
We provide Psych ER & Hospital Advocacy/Bridging in Dutchess and Ulster Counties.
Our Care Coordinators are there to assist people in designing whole health plans of action that include not only mental health, physical health, and substance use care, but also whole health services and supports that can help them address the social and economic determinants of their own health.
Our staff are trained to view themselves as integrated parts of each individual’s overall ‘Wellness Team,’ which in effect consists of all of the various health and human services they need to succeed. For example, if the individual does not have a long-term primary care physician, we help to broker those connections, linking them to a physician who can meet their personal needs. Once that relationship exists, we work – with the individual’s permission – to integrate into an overall Wellness Team. This means promoting and facilitating open, transparent communication and coordination of care to ensure that participants receive the best possible recovery-oriented services, services that revolve around them (person-centered).
As an advocacy agency, we believe that consumers should be lead agents in this team-based approach to health care. Because of that, we encourage people to stand, empowered, alongside their care coordinators to ensure that their team is functioning effectively, and utilizing plans of care that are person-centered, accessible, and adaptable.
We provide Care Coordination in Ulster County.