This page is new and will be updated with more information frequently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In time, we plan to include changes regarding trainings and exams, helpful continuing education and learning opportunities, wellness and recovery and/or virtual peer support resources, Initiative FAQs relating to COVID-19, as well links to articles detailing developments in peer support in response to COVID-19.

Please see the following link to find COVID-19 testing near you. Some counties are now offering free, community testing.

Impacts on the Wisconsin Peer Specialist Employment Initiative and How We Are Responding

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting impacts on all facets of life, including physical distancing measures, require us to adapt and explore new ways to ensure the Wisconsin Peer Specialist Employment Initiative remains a resilient force in the expansion and improvement of peer support services in Wisconsin.

Trainings:

Despite the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling striking down the statewide Safer-at-Home order, we will be continuing with only offering online trainings for the rest of 2020.

Please see our upcoming trainings page to see a list of available online trainings. Our focus will remain on ensuring that quality trainings are available and offered in a way that responsibly supports the public health of Wisconsin residents during this time.

Exams:

We have begun holding online exams this year with the help of UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education. We had hoped that in-person CPS and CPPS exams would be possible by September, but the continuation of the COVID-19 public health crisis requires that we remain with online exams only for the September 2020 exam dates.

Recertification:

After initially deciding to keep the August 30th recertification deadline in place, we have since reviewed this decision and discussed possible changes to the 2020 CPS recertification deadline with Wisconsin Department of Health Services and UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education in light of public health crisis.

We are offering a 6-month extension for those who were scheduled to recertify as Certified Peer Specialists in August of 2020. The new CPS recertification deadline (for those whose certificates expire this year) will be February 28th, 2021.

You have until that date to send in required forms and checks to UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education. Upon recertifying by the end of February in 2021, your next recertification date will be August 30th, 2022.

Please note: This deadline extension does not automatically recertify you. It is the responsibility of each Certified Peer Specialist to send in required forms and payment by February 28th, 2021 in order to recertify.

Helpful Resources to Turn to During COVID-19

Webinars:

The Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute is also offering an on-demand webinar on Working from Home During COVID-19.

The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery is offering a course on Creating Online Peer Groups.

The Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network has provided a resource of various upcoming webinars regarding Telehealth’s role in responding to COVID-19.

Resources Related to Coping/Supporting Others throughout COVID-19:

Professional Resources:

WISE has put together some blog posts about Staying Resilient During COVID-19.

Folk Time and Intentional Peer Support have created a helpful PDF showing ways to apply Intentional Peer Support principles during COVID-19.

The following is an article people may find useful on making Zoom meetings more accessible.

The Western Mass Recovery Learning Community has created the following video as a resource to use to Bring Your Support Group Online. In it, Caroline from the Western Mass RLC explores considerations around distributing access links, creating a connected group dynamic, and the basics of Zoom as a platform.

Virtual Peer Support Resources:

The Western Mass Recovery Learning Community has a large number of online and over-the-phone peer support offerings found here. Meeting times in the link are Eastern time, so please adjust accordingly.

Trans Lifeline continues to be an over-the-phone peer support resource for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people in Canada and the United States. All Trans Lifeline operators go through extensive peer support training and are trans, non-binary, or gender non-conforming themselves. Operators also practice informed-consent and will not engage in non-consensual active rescue measures.

Iris Place, Solstice House, and Monarch House, three Wisconsin Peer-Run Respites also have warmlines available for Wisconsin residents seeking over-the-phone peer support.

Other Resources, Articles, Surveys, etc:

Here’s an article on the growing mutual aid projects in response to COVID-19 and how peer support is playing an important role.

 

 

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