Contribution of Peer (Consumer) Providers to Change in Forensic Practice
Peer-provided services for people with mental illnesses have grown exponentially over the past fi ft een years. Deployment of persons with histories of mental illness as mental health providers has been described as vital for transformation of mental health care systems to a recovery orientation in the U.S., most notably in the 2003 President’s New Freedom Commission report (USDHHS 2003). Since 1999, many states have secured Medicaid reimbursement for peer services (CMS 2005), and the Veterans Administration has mandated that all its facilities hire peer specialists (Chinman, Shoai, and Cohen 2010). Between 2002 and 2006, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services granted over $125 million in systems change eff orts emphasizing peer-based services, most of these for persons with serious mental illnesses (Davidson 2013; Chinman et al. 2014).