People USA employs staff who are embedded in more “traditional” behavioral health care settings, such as hospital ERs, inpatient units, and intensive short-term treatment.
Our Integrated Peers are placed in such settings to add value to the already existing services by providing, modeling, and advocating for high-quality customer service, trauma-informed care (environments that are “safe spaces”), and better engagement between provider and patient.
Peer staff are also there to use the schooling of their personal lived experiences to educate people on various recovery pathways, health literacy, psychosocial rehabilitation, whole health / wellness, and other community resources that can help them on their journeys.
People USA was the first agency in the United States to embed peers in a hospital ER, blazing the way for a best and evidence-based practice standard today.
“The participants in our program sign on to work with our staff while they are in the hospital. Once they are discharged, the staff bring them to get their medications, bring them to get food, and get them acclimated back into their home environment. Once that happens, we work with them for up to 30 days, sometimes more, on getting them connected to services in the community. Part of that is to make sure they get to their follow up appointments, whether that is mental health or physical health, to ensure they are working on their whole wellness.” – Joleen Darby, Site Director