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 recent Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling striking down the statewide Safer-at-Home order, we will be continuing with all scheduled virtual trainings, and we will not be returning to offering in-person trainings in the near future.

Please see our upcoming trainings page to see a list of available virtual trainings as well as in-person trainings currently scheduled for late summer and fall. 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 virtual exams this spring with the help of UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education. Currently, the next opportunity to take an in-person exam will be in September for both prospective CPS and CPPS.

Recertification:

The August 30th deadline for recertification applications/continuing education forms will remain in place. Because Certified Peer Specialists have two years in which to complete their 20 hours of required continuing education, and the availability of many free continuing education opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, this deadline will not move. We send out many continuing education opportunities (most of them free) through our contact list. Additionally,  we have opportunities listed on our COVID-19 page for continuing education specific to this time.

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.

The Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network, and the Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network are facilitating a FREE, national online discussion and resource sharing opportunity for the substance use (SU) prevention, treatment, and recovery workforce focused on emerging issues around social determinants of health (SDH) and COVID-19. Dates include April 22nd, 28th, 30th, May 5th, 7th, and 12th all starting at 1pm Central.

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.

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.

This list of virtual support resources and platforms for substance use-related challenges was shared with us. It comes from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

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.

Check back here frequently for new and updated resources and news!

 

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