Expert Q & A with Dr. Nev Jones (Stanford University) in work with NASHMPD:

Jen Padron M.ED, ACPS, CPS, CHW, PhD(c)

Jen Padron is a nationally recognized expert on peer support and peer workforce development and is currently the Principal at Padron & Associates, based in Georgia.  The consultancy are subject matter experts in co-locating Behavioral and Physical public health care environments which directly impact the US Peer Workforce (Certified Peer Specialist Certification).  Before moving to Georgia, as Project Manager to The Hope Concept Wellness Center and Director to The HOPE Project her extensive experience as a recovery consultant and evaluation specialist supported Texas and national mental health transformative initiatives.  Recently, Jen has contracted to provide technical assistance and program development on a Latino/a-focused early intervention in psychosis (EIP) peer support development project based in Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Q:  Given your expertise in peer support and peer workforce development, what do you think current priorities should. be for peer inclusion/support in EIP services?

 Jen Padron:  SAMHSA’s naming the Certified Peer Specialist as a Best Practice of Peer Services and Supports, paired with their recent CPS Core Competencies is fab. In order to be considered an EBP and melded into federal wordspeak, it “normalizes” a US Peer Workforce to grow and rolls-out proven Accountable Care Act public health Integration initiatives via various types of Peer Services | Supports deliverables.  It also means that CLAS must be adhered to. In other words, the CPS must ultimately adhere to National Standards for Culturally Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care.  CLAS addresses and preserves multicultural, linguistic and diversity through inclusive accountability for ethnicity, religion, gender, age, geography and socioeconomic status, language and literacy, sexual identity where “orientation” and gender identity cross a binary continuum.

Q:  Not a lot of work in early intervention has focused on cultural sensitivity or culturally-informed intervention.  Why do you think such work needs to be prioritized?

Jen Padron:  Priority #1. In simple terms, the backstory on Recovery, is still that she is the orphan child of the clinically medical based psychiatric and psychological community globally. More than the majority of early interventions center around people identified as living with a schizophrenia affective disorder. There are numerous longitudinal studies having ease in quantifying where something as “new” as the CPS does not. If you want Recovery-based look at time tested work coming out of Boston University, University Pennsylvania, Temple University, Rutgers University, Yale University, the University of Southern California, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the work of Pat Deegan, Mary Ellen Copeland, Steve Harrington, Sheri Mead and Chris Hansen, Dan Fisher, Peggy Swarbrick, Mark Salzer, John Brekke, Laysha Ostrow, Lauren Tenney, Ron Manderscheid and others. It is interesting to me but makes total sense that most, if not all of innovative and emerging work around Recovery, the CPS, Recovery Coach, Community Health Worker Promotora is being developed by peer-led interest groups who are carefully tucked into national oversight behavioral and health leadership organizations (e.g., ACMHA College for Behavioral Health Leadership’s Peer Leadership Interest Group) and initiated MCO Integration initiatives are rolling out (in ’15-’16) an array of CPS service deliverables that will grow a US Peer workforce exceeding the recognized state’s Medicaid Rehabilitation Option billing model (e.g., Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Medications Management, Case Management).  As well, the national consumer related TACs, funded by SAMHSA are doing excellent work (e.g., BRSS TACS, Peer Link, MHA National, The National Self-Help Consumer Clearinghouse/MHASP).

Q:  How do you see peers in particular contributing to culturally-informed services, including planning and evaluation?

Jen Padron:  The National Consumer Technical Training and Assistance Centers (TACs) are producing quality and worthwhile mentionable Youth and Peer-Led initiatives regionally and nationally.  For example, the SAMHSA ADS Center work around social inclusion and SAMHSA / CMHS’ campaign on whole health and wellness (e.g., 10X10, National Wellness Week, National Wellness Month, Million Hearts) accomplished much to hallmark leadership in the myriad of regionally and nationally centric communities in multiculturalism, cultural linguistic diversity and stigma reductive measures directing social change efforts (e.g., Gitane Williams, Craig Lewis, Tracy Love, Sharon Cretsinger, Tina Minkowitz, Adam Slosberg, Daphne Klein, Diane Engster, Lauren Tenney, Leah Harris, Amy Smith, et al.). The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association produced outstanding psychiatric multicultural principles under the direction of Lisa Razzano, Peter Ashenden, and Boston University’s Sargent College.  Gender and women’s studies prevailing thought centers on Hope, WRAP(R), IPS (R), eCPR (R), and the CPS core competencies (SAMHSA, 2015) guarantee a culturally-informed, sustainable community and trauma informed recovery oriented system of care.