W·I·S·E UP!
strengthening California's public mental health workforce,
one workplace at a time

 
WINTER 2015
THE W·I·S·E WEBSITE IS LIVE!

WISE is excited to announce the launch of our new website, www.wiseup.work.  The user-friendly navigation provides easy access to our peer and employer resources, downloadable information, news and events.
 
The WISE website is a centralized location of resources and information for peers and employers working in California's public mental health system. Our website offers a comprehensive list of trainings as well as a calendar of upcoming WISE events, downloadable content, financial incentives applications, WISE news and updates, information about our Peer Professional Development Network's Facebook page, and links to additional mental health and peer support resources. Stop by and explore the website today!
 
For more information on what our program does and the services available to your agency, visit www.wiseup.work  or contact Dawniell Zavala, Esq., WISE Program Director, at dzavala@norcalmha.org.
did you know ...
a group of owls is called a parliament

W ·I ·S ·E
OWLS IN FOCUS


Our WISE OWLs (Official Wise Liaisons) ensure every county in California has access to the high-quality resources, trainings, coaching, and on-call technical assistance WISE is known for.

Each quarter, we highlight one of our statewide partners who provide services throughout California on behalf of the WISE program. This quarter, we are recognizing the outstanding work performed by Peer Recovery Art Project.

Featured WISE OWL: Peer Recovery Art Project (PRAP)
PRAP is an independent nonprofit organization located in Stanislaus County working to end stigma and revitalize downtown areas through the use of art to create healthier and more connected communities. PRAP's Executive Director is John Black, a recognized leader in California's consumer movement, who actively advocates for client empowerment in Modesto and beyond. John also supervises peer staff working in Stanislaus County and is highly familiar with peer employment matters. PRAP's WISE staff includes John Black, John Aguirre, and Bill Floyd, who conduct outreach and engagement to employers, deliver trainings and workshops, and disseminate WISE program tools, resources, and best practices, throughout the following counties in the southern Central Valley and southern Bay Area regions:
  • Inyo County
  • Kings County
  • Madera County
  • Mariposa County
  • Merced County
  • Mono County
  • Monterey County
  • San Benito County
  • Santa Clara County
  • Santa Cruz County
  • Stanislaus County
If you are located in any of the counties listed above and are a peer support worker or volunteer, or if you represent an organization that utilizes peer support, contact PRAP via email at peerrecoveryart@yahoo.com or by phone at 209.581.1695 to learn more about the free services WISE offers in your area. 



Driving Modesto: Video of John Black discussing PRAP 
John Black's story is an inspiring one. It's impossible not to root for him and his mission of removing the stigma from mental illness, and weaving into our community those who struggle finding a place in this world. See his story, what drives him, and why we're proud PRAP has teamed forces with WISE! 

Driving Modesto: John Black with Peer Recovery Art Project
Driving Modesto:
John Black with Peer Recovery Art Project

W ·I ·S ·E
@ WORK: SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

Congrats to the 17 Stanislaus County peers who took part in Peer Recovery Art Project's first WISE Recovery 101 training on Saturday November 14, 2015, facilitated by WISE OWLs John Black and Bill Floyd. The training was held at the Peer Recovery Art Project's Mod Spot training center.

WISE OWLs Bill Floyd (front row, first on right) and John Black (front row, third from right) deliver Recovery 101 to peer support staff and volunteers in Stanislaus County


"The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is  wise ." 
- Maya Angelou

INTRODUCING THE W·I·S·E OWLIE AWARD: 
CELEBRATING EMPLOYERS THAT GIVE A HOOT ABOUT PEER SUPPORT 

WISE is excited to announce the creation of its Owlie award, recognizing organizations taking significant steps to improve working conditions and enhance professional development opportunities for peer support staff. Each quarter, WISE will award an Owlie to an agency that has demonstrated outstanding commitment to advancing recovery principles and peer support services in its workplace. Winners of the Owlie will be highlighted in WISE's quarterly newsletter and will receive a custom-engraved owl trophy commemorating their achievement. Owlie winners will also enjoy unlimited bragging rights for the three months immediately following the announcement of their award.

For more information about this award, or to nominate an organization for an Owlie, contact Dawniell A. Zavala, Esq., WISE Program Director, at dzavala@norcalmha.org.

AND THE FIRST W·I·S·E OWLIE GOES TO ...

FRESNO COUNTY 
DEPARTMENT OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

WISE's very first Owlie award goes to Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health (Fresno DBH), which has closely collaborated with the WISE team over the past year to implement recovery-oriented practices and boost the status of peer support workers within the County. Fresno DBH's dedicated efforts are led by Clinical Supervisor, Joan Keenen, and Division Manager, Stacy VanBruggen, who have worked tirelessly to bring WISE's educational tools and resources to their organizational leadership, supervisors, and peers.
 
An essential component of WISE's intensive organizational assessment involves the completion of surveys by key informants and peer support staff. Fresno DBH had, by far, the highest rate of survey participation for key informants, with 25 organizational leaders, managers, and supervisors responding. This was no easy feat, as these key informants are generally busy individuals who don't have time to respond to extraneous requests. This level of participation evidences leadership's deep commitment to establishing and maintaining high-quality peer support services.
 
Furthermore, Fresno DBH was the first and only WISE participating agency to request a train-the-trainer workshop for its own peer staff. On August 10 and 11, 2015, WISE spent two full days teaching peers and other Fresno DBH staff to deliver our core Recovery 101 training. Over 20 employees and contracted staff attended this workshop, which resulted in the certification of five Recovery 101 trainers who are now eligible to independently deliver this free resource throughout Fresno County. We also approved six Recovery 101 co-trainers to assist primary trainers in delivering portions of our core training. Since becoming certified trainers, Fresno DBH peers have gone on to deliver five separate Recovery 101 trainings to over 90 participants in just four short months. Way to go, Fresno County peers!
 
Fresno DBH has also participated in numerous WISE trainings and other sponsored activities. Fresno peers are regular participants on our Peer Professional Development Group calls and webinars, and several have taken advantage of WISE's career coaching, mentoring, and professional development services. WISE recently delivered three separate trainings to Fresno DBH supervisors and peers on November 12 and 13, 2015, and hosted two group coaching sessions for peer staff on these dates. Joan Keenen, WISE's primary Fresno DBH liaison, has also provided outstanding support to our program. She attended our Disruptive Innovation conference back in June 2015, and has participated in nearly every monthly WISE Employer Learning Exchange call and webinar since the program's inception.
 
We are proud to call Fresno DBH a true partner in this program, and we wholeheartedly welcome Fresno DBH staff to our WISE family. Please join us in congratulating Fresno County and in celebrating their receipt of the first ever WISE Owlie award!

   
Joan Keenen, Clinical Supervisor, Fresno County DBH


"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am  wise , so I am changing myself." 
- Rumi

W·I·S·E AND PEERS: STRONGER TOGETHER

In addition to our numerous trainings and educational resources, WISE offers a variety of services for peer employees and volunteers throughout California. These additional supports help peers make the most of their professional careers and promote sustained peer employment in public mental health settings. Check it out!

Job Coaching and Mentoring
Employment is an important social determinant of health and working can enhance health and wellbeing.  But did you know that 80-90% of people diagnosed with a serious mental health condition are unemployed? Or that even for those who are working, workplace environments often contribute to the development and/or exacerbation of mental health challenges and disability? (Source.) These factors create tremendous obstacles for individuals with lived experience seeking to obtain and/or sustain productive employment. 

WISE's seasoned peer professionals provide individualized consultations and career support sessions for peer staff and volunteers via telephone, email, and in-person meetings. WISE helps peers identify barriers to workplace success and discover new pathways to overcome them. Our coaches have decades of combined experience working as peers in California's public mental health system, both for county agencies and CBOs. If you're a peer who is dissatisfied with your current career path, why not take advantage of WISE's free mentoring services today? 

Financial Incentives
WISE offers financial assistance to individuals with lived experience working and/or volunteering in the public mental health system, allowing peers to take part in educational, skills-building, and/or internship opportunities where financial constraints would otherwise limit their participation. If you're a peer and have identified a professional development opportunity that you'd like to attend, complete an application for financial assistance right away. You can access this application on the WISE website, or by clicking here.

Peer Staff Professional Development Group Calls and Webinars
Peer support workers and volunteers working for different agencies rarely have a chance to interact with one another or locate informal mentors outside of their own workplaces. To overcome this, WISE has created its Peer Professional Development Network, which meets on a frequent basis through webinars and conference calls to discuss peer workplace experiences, trends in peer employment, and other hot topics related to peer support. Upcoming calls and webinars are listed in the next section of this newsletter. 

Peer Staff Professional Development Group Facebook Page
Continue the conversation on WISE's peer Facebook page! This private group is open only to peer staff and volunteers. To minimize privacy concerns, all new additions are subject to moderator approval. Since managers, supervisors, and organizational leaders are not eligible to join, group members can share work-related trends and observations with one another without fear of judgment or workplace retaliation. This group also offers peers opportunities to connect with one another, find mentors from outside agencies, seek advice from experienced peers, and expand their knowledge and work skills. If you're interested in joining this group, click here or go to Facebook and search for "WISE Peer Staff Professional Development Group."

Peer Employment Opportunities
WISE collects job notifications for peer support positions and disseminates this information to our statewide peer network. This helps experienced talent connect with new opportunities, creating a win-win for both peer staff and hiring organizations. 

PEERS:  Be sure to participate in our peer webinars and conference calls, and join our peer Facebook group to stay informed of new employment opportunities as soon as they arise! 

EMPLOYERS:  If your agency has a peer-related job opening you'd like WISE to share with our network, let us know! WISE will post the opening on our Peer Professional Facebook Group page, announce the opportunity on our Peer Professional Development Group calls, and list the position on WISE's new website. 

F or more information about any of the services listed above, contact Stephanie Ramos, WISE Peer Services Liaison, at sramos@norcalmha.org .

"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." 
- Jimi Hendrix

EXPAND YOUR WISDOM WITH W·I·S·E 
CONFERENCE CALLS AND WEBINARS

Note:  For the latest information on webinars and conference calls, please visit the   Events page on the WISE website.
 
Advisory Council Meeting
hosted by David Czarnecki, WISE Peer Employment Liaison
The WISE Advisory Council is comprised of WISE staff, consumer/family member advocates, and peer leaders from our partner agencies. We meet on the first Monday of each month from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM to discuss program messaging, planning, and activities, and to receive the input and views of those on the ground regarding important issues related to successful and sustainable peer employment.
 
This is a great chance to hear from people in the field about their work, share strategies, and connect with each other. For more information about the WISE Advisory Council, contact David Czarnecki, WISE Peer Employment Liaison, at dczarnecki@norcalmha.org

January 4, 2016 | February 1, 2016 | March 7, 2016
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Join the conference call:
Dial-In Line: 1.916.246.0723
Conference Code: 391858


Peer Staff Professional Development Group 
hosted by Stephanie Ramos, WISE Peer Services Liaison
The Peer Staff Professional Development Group conference calls and webinars are for individuals with lived experience working in peer support roles in the public mental health system. This includes line staff who identify as consumers or family members. This call is not for managers, supervisors or organizational leadership.
 
We meet regularly to learn about important self-help topics, peer workforce developments and to connect with one another through professional networking. The calls can be a great venue for program staff to receive input and views of those on the ground regarding important issues related to successful and sustainable peer employment. For more information about the Peer Staff Professional Development Group, contact Stephanie Ramos, WISE Peer Services Liaison, at sramos@norcalmha.org.
 
January 4, 2016 | January 18, 2016 | February 1, 2016 | February 15, 2016 
March 7, 2016 | March 14, 2016
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Join the Webinar:
Meeting ID: 756-679-981 
Dial-In Line: 1.800.356.8278
Conference Code: 391858
 

Employer Learning Exchange
hosted by Dawniell Zavala, Esq., WISE Program Director
The WISE Employer Learning Exchange (ELE) calls and webinars take place on the last Monday of each month from 2:00 PM. - 3:00 PM. The ELE is for organizational leaders, policy planners, managers, directors and human resources staff that oversee peer programs and/or work directly with peer staff. It is not for line staff or peers who are not working in a supervisory or leadership position.
 
The ELE offers a forum for key decision makers to discuss their experiences, ideas, tips, challenges and best practices related to peer employment and get their questions answered in a friendly, supportive and nonjudgmental environment. For more information about the ELE, contact Dawniell Zavala, Esq., WISE Program Director, at dzavala@norcalmha.org.
 
January 25, 2016 | February 29, 2016 | March 28, 2016
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Join the Webinar:
Dial-In Line: 1.408.650.3123
Access Code: 827-613-909
 

Special Upcoming Webinars Hosted by WISE OWLs

Peer Staff Professional Development Network Webinar 
hosted by Tina Wooton, CEO of Hope 365
The Peer Staff Professional Development Network features webinars for individuals with lived experience working in peer support roles in the public mental health system. This includes line staff who identify as consumers or family members. This call is not for managers, supervisors or organizational leadership.
 
We discuss self-help topics, peer workforce developments and to connect with one another through professional networking. The calls can be a great venue for program staff to receive input and views of those on the ground regarding important issues related to successful and sustainable peer employment. For more information about this webinar, contact Tina Wooton, WISE OWL/CEO of Hope 365, at tinawooton@yahoo.com.

February 1, 2016
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Join the Webinar:
Meeting ID: 419-744-013
Dial-In Line: 1.916.246.0723
Conference Code: 391858
 

Employer Learning Exchange Webinar 
hosted by Rocco Cheng and Associates
This webinar discusses how managers and supervisors can better support peer staff experiencing stress during the holiday season and help provide employees with a fresh start for the New Year. After dealing with holiday stress and blues, it is time to let go of burdens accumulated over the holidays. As peers face new beginnings, what can supervisors do to help them set realistic new year resolutions and move towards a positive start?
  
The ELE is for organizational leaders, policy planners, managers, directors and human resources staff that oversee peer programs and/or work directly with peer staff. It is not for line staff or peers who are not working in a supervisory or leadership position.  For more information about this webinar, contact Rocco Cheng, WISE OWL/Principal, Rocco Cheng and Associates, at roccocheng@yahoo.com.

January 19, 2016
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Join the Webinar:
Meeting ID: 385-745-765 
Dial-In Line: 1.916.246.0723
Conference Code: 391858


Dawniell A. Zavala, Esq.
Associate Director, NorCal MHA
WISE Program Director

Phone | 916.366.4600
 
W·I·S·E  is a program of NorCal MHA funded by California's Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) and administered by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD)