Two friends at a kitchen table looking at a tablet device filling out a PAD.Two friends at a kitchen table looking at a tablet device filling out a PAD.

For Peers

Individuals living with mental health conditions may self-identify in various ways, including but not limited to, clients, consumers, peers, or persons in recovery.

A peer is an individual self-identified as having lived experience with the recovery process (either as a consumer of these services or as the parent or family member of the consumer) and who can help others experiencing similar situations.

What is the role of a peer?

  • Prioritizes the development of a strong, supportive relationship.
  • Acts as a first line of connection, using cultural responsiveness, a person-driven approach of advocacy, mutuality and authenticity.
  • Maximizes elements of person-centered care by ensuring client choice and self-determination.
  • Represents the voice of the client.

For more information on the Peer Support Specialist role, visit California Welfare and Institutions Code 14045.12. See SAMHSA’s Peer Support Workers for those in Recovery for more information.

Recovery

Recovery is a strength-based process of change through which individuals improve their individualized health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential. For guiding principles and more, see SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery.

A Psychiatric Advance Directive is a valuable tool empowering a person's voice and personal choices. The purpose is to assist in a quick recovery from a crisis situation. However, it benefits overall recovery as well, encouraging listening, being seen as a whole person, supporting self-direction and wellness.

Having a PAD is an essential component in our own recovery. Having your choices be heard gives a sense of empowerment.

– Maria G., Certified Peer Support Specialist

A PAD will support me when I am unable to support myself!

– John B., Certified Peer Support Specialist

For years, when looking in the mirror, I only perceived the brokenness of an identity primarily rooted in my disorder. Filling out a PAD was like rediscovering my unique self through the lens of personal choice.

– Danny G., Peer Support Specialist

Being a Peer Specialist in this project is like winning at a telephone game. I actively listen to people like me and use my voice to help PADs positively change the community's perception of mental health crisis.

– Jackie S., Certified Peer Support Specialist

Having a PAD is an essential component in our own recovery. Having your choices be heard gives a sense of empowerment.

– Maria G., Certified Peer Support Specialist

A PAD will support me when I am unable to support myself!

– John B., Certified Peer Support Specialist

For years, when looking in the mirror, I only perceived the brokenness of an identity primarily rooted in my disorder. Filling out a PAD was like rediscovering my unique self through the lens of personal choice.

– Danny G., Peer Support Specialist

Being a Peer Specialist in this project is like winning at a telephone game. I actively listen to people like me and use my voice to help PADs positively change the community's perception of mental health crisis.

– Jackie S., Certified Peer Support Specialist

Psychiatric Advance Directives Informational Sessions

Your Voice Matters

Peers • Family • Caregivers • Community Members

In a mental health crisis, what would you want hospital staff or first responders to know about you or a loved one? People who have lived experience with mental health and recovery – individuals, family members, and caregivers – have been invited to participate in input sessions as we create a Psychiatric Advance Directives (PADs) template in California.

Local sessions in progress and are listed below.

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Click on the county name or the arrow to view events in that county.

All Counties – Virtual Sessions
Contra Costa County
Fresno County
Mariposa County
Monterey County
Orange County
Shasta County
Tri-City Mental Health Authority