PRCH provided the evaluation component of the CT Dept of Mental Health and Addiction Services Peer Engagement Specialist Initiative Project with funding from the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. The program employed peer outreach workers on community-based treatment teams to engage into treatment persons with serious mental illness and histories or threat of violence who clinicians assessed as disengaged from traditional mental health treatments. The evaluation compared clients who received community-based treatment alone to those who received community-based treatment plus the peer specialist intervention at selected sites.
Data analysis has so far demonstrated statistically significant results for the Peer Specialist intervention in engaging clients, through establishing positive relationships and increasing clients' participation in treatment. Moreover, client satisfaction with the peer engagement treatment was high. Results strongly suggest a valued role for peer specialists on community-based treatment teams, where they can play a vital role in forging positive relationships with clients and fostering their participation in treatment.