MCES Program Gets Attention From Australia

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Over the years, MCES programs have drawn interest far from Montgomery County. A recent example occurred this month.

MCES was among the first in this area to incorporate the services of Certified Peer Specialists into its programs, and one of the first to give peer specialists a support role on a psychiatric inpatient unit. In 2008, this role was expanded to include suicide prevention.

Two peer specialists facilitated a weekly inpatient suicide prevention support group, provided one-to-one suicide prevention counseling to inpatients, participated in suicide prevention training for providers and police officers, and developed a self-help, personal suicide prevention plan for consumers. These activities were the subject of an article in a national behavioral health publication and an MCES publication entitled "Suicide Prevention for Peer Specialists," which came to the attention of researches at the Centre for Mental Health at the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia.

The researchers are looking at programs to prevent suicide through the provision of peer-support delivered by peers with lived experience of suicide. Information on MCES's efforts in this area will be part of the study.