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Published in: Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 2/2024

Open Access 21-01-2024 | Original Article

Variability in the Integration of Peers in a Multi-site Digital Mental Health Innovation Project

Authors: Biblia S. Cha, Judith Borghouts, Elizabeth Eikey, Dana B. Mukamel, Stephen M. Schueller, Dara H. Sorkin, Nicole A. Stadnick, Xin Zhao, Kai Zheng, Margaret L. Schneider

Published in: Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research | Issue 2/2024

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Abstract

Peer support specialists (“peers”) who have the lived experience of, and are in recovery from, mental health challenges are increasingly being integrated into mental health care as a reimbursable service across the US. This study describes the ways peers were integrated into Help@Hand, a multi-site innovation project that engaged peers throughout efforts to develop and offer digital mental health interventions across counties/cities (“sites”) in California. Using a mixed methods design, we collected quantitative data via quarterly online surveys, and qualitative data via semi-annual semi-structured phone interviews with key informants from Help@Hand sites. Quantitative data were summarized as descriptive findings and qualitative data from interviews were analyzed using rapid qualitative analysis methods. In the final analytic phase, interview quotes were used to illustrate the complex realities underlying quantitative responses. 117 quarterly surveys and 46 semi-annual interviews were completed by key informants from 14 sites between September 2020 and January 2023. Peers were integrated across diverse activities for support and implementation of digital mental health interventions, including development of training and educational materials (78.6% of sites), community outreach (64.3%), technology testing (85.7%), technology piloting (90.9%), digital literacy training (71.4%), device distribution (63.6%), technical assistance (72.7%), and cross-site collaboration (66.7%). Peer-engaged activities shifted over time, reflecting project phases. Peer-provided digital literacy training and technology-related support were key ingredients for project implementations. This study indicates the wide range of ways peers can be integrated into digital mental health intervention implementations. Considering contextual readiness for peer integration may enhance their engagement into programmatic activities.
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Metadata
Title
Variability in the Integration of Peers in a Multi-site Digital Mental Health Innovation Project
Authors
Biblia S. Cha
Judith Borghouts
Elizabeth Eikey
Dana B. Mukamel
Stephen M. Schueller
Dara H. Sorkin
Nicole A. Stadnick
Xin Zhao
Kai Zheng
Margaret L. Schneider
Publication date
21-01-2024
Publisher
Springer US
Published in
Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research / Issue 2/2024
Print ISSN: 0894-587X
Electronic ISSN: 1573-3289
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-023-01331-5

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