From The PACT Model of Community-Based Treatment for Persons with Severe and Persistent Mental ILlnesses: A Manual for PACT Start-Up by Deborah J. Allness, MSSW and William H. Knoedler, M.D.
V. Staff Requirements
A minimum of one FTE peer specialist on either an urban team or a rural team. A person who is or has been a recipient of mental health services for severe and persistent mental illness holds the position. Because of their life experience with mental illness and mental health services, the peer specialists provide expertise that professional training cannot replicate. Peer specialists are fully integrated team members who provide highly individualized services in the community and promote client self-determination and decision-making. Peer specialists also provide essential expertise and consultation to the entire team to promote a culture in which each client's point of view and preferences are recognized, understood, respected, and integrated into treatment, rehabilitation, and community self-help activities. Peer specialists who also meet mental health professional qualifications should be compensated accordingly. (Added 3/31/99 - Guidelines for peer specialists under development)