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Program Partners

The Roadmap program partners were an integral part in helping develop the Roadmap to Peer Support. Seven well-known peer support programs in the United States shared information about their programs and offered their experiences, including success stories and challenges. This section describes these programs.

  • About the Program

    Mission: To provide a 24-hour service that meets the needs of the individual, whatever they may be.

    Values: The participant’s willingness to recover is enough to receive help from Dee’s Place.

    Beliefs: “We live for the love to serve and serve to live.”
    “Anyone coming to Recovery is to do something good today.”

    Goals: To serve people seeking assistance in recovery from alcohol and other substances.

    Objectives: Dee’s Place aims to assist people seeking help with recovery by hosting 12-step meetings, referring individuals to appropriate drug treatment programs and connecting them to appropriate support services for their housing, legal, health and mental health services, job training and other needs.

    Population Served

    Format: 1:1 and Group

    Setting: Community

    People served: Individuals seeking recovery services

    Program location: Baltimore, MD

    People in the Program

    Dee’s Place has 10 staff members who run group meetings, offer 1:1 counseling and peer support.

    Recruitment & selection: Staff and volunteers have been through a recovery program themselves and are recruited to help others.

    Motivation: Staff and volunteers may be motivated by the recovery successes they see and the difference they can make; they may be motivated by each other to do the best they can; and they may be motivated to continue their work because it can help with their own recovery.

    Sustaining the Program

    France-Merrick Foundation provided the critical funding that enabled the start-up of Dee’s Place, and the funding to keep it going for the first four years. Current funding for Dee’s Place is provided by Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems, Inc. and The Abell Foundation.

    Challenges and Solutions

    Funding and resources: Dee’s Place actively works through the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition to find funding and partner programs.

    Participants who come in for immediate help but might not be ready to commit to recovery: Because the staff and volunteers have been in their position, they provide understanding and are ready to offer support as and when needed

    Mentors and counselors are affected by the struggles of participants: The staff and volunteers support each other and give each other the time and freedom to step away and recoup.

    Contact Us

    Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition (HEBCAC)
    1212 North Wolfe Street
    Baltimore, MD, 21213

    Phone: 443-524-2800
    Fax: 443-524-2806


  • About the Program

    Goals/Mission: To improve the quality of life for individuals and their families coping with mental illness.


    • Use of personal experience to try to improve systems and to provide community outreach and education
    • Effective peer-based, recovery-oriented programming and services
    • Leverage the power and networks of volunteers and community partners to spread NAMI’s message of hope and effective action

    Beliefs: Our core principle is that empowering family members and individuals is a critical factor in recovery, a potent force in providing community education and bringing about systematic change.

    Population Served

    Recruitment and selection: We recruit from those who come to us for help and have graduated from our programs.

    Training: Peer train the trainer; train the educator/facilitator, etc.

    Motivation: Passionate people empowered to use their personal experience to try to change lives, including their own, are trained to effectively use very structured peer models for education and support groups, and to go back to their communities to deliver them. They are often encouraged to become leaders in other NAMI programs, advocacy, outreach, and in governance and organizational work.

    Challenges and Solutions

    Outreach: Leveraging primary and secondary stakeholders and partners for grassroots marketing.

    Free programming, funding and resourcing: NAMI model completely decentralized: funding is up to each “level.” Passion and volunteerism are core to these free programs Keeping independence while partnering: Just keeping it in mind when getting free sites, funding, etc. What is the quid pro quo and how will it affect comfort of stakeholders, our image, our advocacy, etc.

    Research: Developing the evidence base: Ongoing partnerships with researchers who are also NAMI stakeholders

    Planning for program growth and training and support needs: Always a challenge, have developed tools for projecting needs and planning.

    Rare fidelity and quality assurance issues: Basic policies and procedures at national level have been developed and inserted into training materials; state organizations execute Memos of Understanding with affiliates and trainees; fidelity emphasize din all trainings and materials; dedicated trainees who come from the programs are the most likely to maintain fidelity since they have seen the power of the programs as they are.

    Contact Us

    NAMI Maryland
    10630 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 475
    Columbia, MD 21044

    Phone: 410-884-8691
    Fax: 410-884-8695
    Warm Line: 877-878-2371


  • About the Program

    Mission: To provide outstanding, compassionate patient-centered care, educate mentors, and support new parents to improve adjustment to parenting.

    Values: Integrity, respect, compassion, excellence, innovation, diversity, collaboration and transparency.


    • Support parent’s adjustment to parenting during the prenatal and postpartum period by providing emotional support and education.
    • Link families to both medical center and community-based resources.
    • Early identification of postpartum mood disorders and referral to appropriate treatment.
    • Encourage a long lasting relationship between patients and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

    Population Served

    Format: Mentoring Moms: volunteers provide 1:1 support through weekly phone call support

    Setting: Healthcare

    People served: First time parents who deliver at BIDMC; any first time parent in the community with a baby age 0-1yr

    Program location: Boston, MA, and surrounding communities

    Estimated number served: Since our start in 1999, we’ve served over 10,000 families. In 2015, we have served a total of 650 families.

    People in the Program

    One full-time Program Manager who is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker ( LICSW); 1 part-time Program Coordinator (LICSW); 40 volunteer mentors

    Recruitment & selection: Mentors are typically prior program “graduates”, and are recruited via a program evaluation process.

    Motivation: Volunteers have ready access to program staff for identifying resources, or reviewing a challenging situation or encounter.

    Sustaining the Program

    Key strategies: Consistent and regularly available support to our mentors as provided by LICSW clinicians.

    Critical support: Financial support and commitment by the OB/GYN department; BIDMC Social Work Department

    Marketing/Communication strategies: We provide opportunities for mentors to support each other and forums that allow peer supervision.

    Quality control: We solicit feedback from our mentees and group attendees and share that information directly with our volunteers.

    Challenges and Solutions

    Mentors become discouraged when mentees do not respond to the mentor’s efforts to connect: If after 2 weeks the new mom has not responded (4 attempts at contact have been made via voicemail and email), the patient is closed out and removed from the program.

    Volunteer turnover: Volunteer commitment period is explained at the point of initial contact with a potential volunteer.

    Contact Us

    For more information, contact:
    Christine Sweeney
    Phone: 617-667-BABY (2229)
    Email: [email protected]


  • About the Program

    Mission: Promote excellence in P2P programs across the nation.

    Vision: All children with disabilities and special health care needs grow up in a family who supports them to potentially lead full lives.


    • Every parent’s journey has potential value.
    • Parents often have strength and resilience.
    • There may be power in parents supporting one another.
    • Support should be available to parents and families throughout the lifespan.

    Population Served

    Format: 1:1

    Setting: Programs are both community and health care based

    People served: Families of children (aged pre-birth to end of life – full lifespan) who have special needs

    Program location: Nation-wide; Statewide P2P programs have been established in 38 states and five new ones are currently emerging

    Estimated number served: 2016 data shows 19,500 matches made, and an additional 77,000 requests from families for information (31 reporting statewide Parent-to-parent programs)

    People in the Program

    Recruitment and selection:In the early developing stages, the Parent to Parent program starts with a small number of Support Parents and makes sure that the Support Parents represent the diversity of the families being served.

    Training: Generally, training is provided to groups of 8–12 parents, as this group size is small enough to foster comradeship and intimacy but large enough to stimulate the sharing of diverse backgrounds.


    • P2P offers 1:1 consultation with the program coordinator.
    • Many programs offer Support Parents the opportunity to participate in on-going training sessions.
    • Many P2P programs also hold annual recognition events thanking veteran Support Parents.
    • P2P provides training for emerging leaders in policy, health care financing, and advocacy.

    Sustaining the Program

    Key strategies: Creating evidence-based practices based on research

    Critical support: Everyone

    Quality control: Annual survey

    Contact Us

    Parent 2 Parent USA
    1825 K St, NW, Suite 250
    Washington, DC 20006

    Phone: 855-238-8979
    Email: [email protected]


  • About the Program

    Mission: To broaden health care for patients and families through the unique support and understanding of peer-to-peer mentoring to foster coping skills, promote healthier lives and reduce isolation.


    • Provide unique support and understanding in peer-to-peer mentoring to patients and caregivers.
    • Help patients and their caregivers cope with the challenges related to a medical condition or the effects of treatment.
    • Work to develop meaningful relationships based on trust and shared experiences.

    Population Served

    Format: 1:1

    Setting: Health care

    People served: Subject to disease criteria; transplant patients; Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer; gynecological-oncology.

    Program location: Hospital, Clinic and Community in Stanford CA.

    Estimated number served: 39 in 2015 and 52 in 2016

    People in the Program

    One part-time program coordinator & 50 Mentors in 2016

    Recruitment & selection: Recruitment and training of mentors is continuous via social workers, nurses, physicians, and other staff.

    Training: Mentors are required to complete the standard hospital volunteer training program via computer,  as well as a four hour interactive workshop to develop mentoring skills.

    Motivation: To share their experience, to help others manage difficult health care challenges, and to give back to the hospital and the community. 

    Sustaining the Program

    Key strategies: Multi-base support from Social Work, Nursing and Patient Experience; support and Integration as part of the larger hospital wide Patient and Family Partner Program; ongoing Patient and Family advocacy (some of the Patient Advisory Councils have made it a goal).

    Critical support: Stanford Health Care Administration, Department of Social Work and Case Management, and the Department of Patient Experience have all committed to sustain this program. 

    Marketing and communication strategies: Educational presentations to staff and physicians; inclusion in the Volunteer Program Newsletter; a brochure with program information is in development. 

    Quality control: Utilize a variety of recording forms for data collection; new tool for program evaluation is under development (initial tool was too long).

    Challenges and Solutions

    Health of the Mentors: As this is a program relying on patients and families with significant health challenges, there are periods when mentors cannot participate. The program coordinator monitors mentor’s health.

    Matching difficulties in small programs: The match is based on issues/concerns and whenever possible , on  age and  gender. Informational updates to mentors: Difficult to reach all constituents- many venues utilized. Recruiting younger mentors in certain areas: Outreach to key staff for assistance. Mentors completing hospital volunteer requirements: Program coordinator ensures HIPPA compliance and provides individual/group assistance; have decreased the number and complexity of volunteer modules.

    Mentors with compromised immune systems: We limit in person contact, use phone or e-mail strategies

    Clinical areas underutilizing services: Coordinator meets with key staff/patient leaders; utilizes social workers in these areas as champions.

    Growth of program: Occurs systematically or individually as people volunteer; constraining factor is funding for the coordinator’s time.

    Contact Us

    Morgan Gross, LCSW
    Program Coordinator
    Peer to Peer and Woman to Woman Programs
    300 Pasteur Drive, HC029
    Stanford, CA 94305

    Phone: 650-474-1001
    Fax: 650-725-3589
    Email: [email protected]

  • About the Program

    Mission: Provide one-on-one support to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients through a peer support program.

    Vision: One day all survivors will provide help for someone else who is newly-diagnosed, no matter what stage of their disease.

    Values: A survivor volunteer may be a vision of hope, even for those with stage IV metastatic breast cancer.

    Beliefs: There are elements of psychosocial support that may only be fulfilled by someone who has “walked the walk” and “talked the talk”.

    Goals: Provide one-on-one support to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients through a peer support program.

    Population Served

    Format: 1:1; on-site support during biopsy and imaging procedures; two overnight metastatic retreats per year are also offered

    Setting: health care setting, via email, cell phone, or in person off-site

    People served: newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with any stage of breast cancer

    Program location: virtual and within breast center in Baltimore, MD

    Estimated number served: offered to 700+ annually.

    People in the Program

    23 survivor volunteers; two nurse navigators for oversight, training, mentoring and tracking.

    Recruitment and selection: Volunteers are often program participants who express interest in helping others and giving back to the program.

    Training: On-site volunteers must shadow a seasoned volunteer in breast imaging for several visits before being allowed to mentor.

    Motivation: Quarterly dinner meetings; regular thanks; feedback.

    Sustaining the Program

    Key strategies: Volunteers need to feel fulfilled and that they are making a difference in the lives of patients.

    Critical support: Breast center leadership, nurse practitioners and breast imaging personnel.

    Marketing and communication strategies: Online advertising of our retreats plus word of mouth and feedback from patients.

    Quality control: We monitor the number of service hours from each volunteer by collecting their info each month. For monitoring quality, we receive feedback (both good and not so good) from patients served.

  • About the Program

    Purpose: Inspire and guide healthier choices.

    Population Served

    Format: People can follow the Weight Watchers program by signing up for Meetings or OnlinePlus memberships. Weight Watchers Meetings offer a group format, facilitated by a Weight Watchers Coach who has lost weight on the program and kept it off, where members discuss their scale and non-scale victories, and problem-solve with others in similar situations. The 24/7 Chat feature embedded within the Weight Watchers app and website allows members to connect at any time with a Weight Watchers expert.

    Setting: People can experience Weight Watchers Meetings in their community at WW Centers and community organizations, such as churches and recreation centers. Weight Watchers also brings meetings to the workplace through ‘Weight Watchers Health Solutions’.

    People served: Adults in the community who are looking for a flexible, livable way to create healthier habits while potentially losing weight.

    Health State/Condition: Weight management and healthier living

    Program location: Weight Watchers has locations worldwide and also offers its program online, which can be followed regardless of location. As of the end of fiscal 2016, Weight Watchers has 32,000 meetings worldwide.

    Estimated number served: As of quarter 3 2017, there are 1.3 million meeting members and 2.0 million online members globally. Of those, 0.9 million meeting members were in North America and 1.3 million of the online members were in North America.

    People in the Program

    As of the end of fiscal 2016, Weight Watchers has 8,800 Coaches globally.

    Recruitment & selection: Coaches are members who have lost weight on the program.

    Training: In addition to knowing the program from experience, new coaches complete approximately 35 hours of in-person training on a variety of skills including: The science behind the Weight Watchers program, the program approach to food, fitness and mindset, the behavioral skills of weight management, and meeting facilitation. All Coaches complete 6-7 hours of annual refresher courses, both online and in person.

    Sustaining the Program

    Key strategies: The Weight Watchers program is consistently evaluated by independent researchers to assess efficacy, safety, and acceptability. Additionally, Weight Watchers is one of the few commercially available weight management programs that fulfills the United States Preventative Task Force, The Obesity Society, The American College of Cardiology, and the American Heart Association criteria for behavioral lifestyle interventions for weight loss. We also have a Scientific Advisory Board of 10 renowned experts who are enlisted to inform and advise the company as it continues to innovate its program. The Weight Watchers program is based on effective behavior change strategies, positive reinforcement and community to help motivate members to initiate and maintain healthy behaviors that fit their lifestyle in manageable and enjoyable ways. Behavior change strategies include: Problem solving, clear goal setting, stimulus control, skill-building and action planning. Positive reinforcement is demonstrated through positive recognition and rewards, positive messaging and feedback through our service providers, emails and digital messaging.

    Quality control: Weight Watchers has a dedicated team of scientific researchers, led by Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Gary Foster, Ph.D., who have worked with universities over the past 15 years to conduct dozens of randomized controlled trials that independently evaluated the effectiveness of the Weight Watchers program.

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