Input from stakeholders: Hiring and retaining people in Recovery in the behavioral health workforce


  • Chyrell Bellamy Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
  • Heather E. McDonald is an educator, activist, and consultant. She is the former Executive Director of Focus on Recovery-United, Inc. (FOR-U)
  • Dietra Hawkins is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 15 years’ experience working with providers, communities and large health care systems to enhance their cultural and linguistic approaches as a means of eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities. Her background in qualitative research, community based participatory research methods and experience as a Clinical Director for a small urban mental health clinic help her customize curriculum, webinars, supervision and workshops for school systems, health care setting, and system leaders.
  • Kimberly Guy Kimberly Guy is a Peer educator/Supervisor and Research Associate at Yale PRCH.
  • Yolanda Herring Yolanda Herring is a Peer Supporter/Financial Health Coach and Research Assistant for Yale PRCH.
  • Larry Davidson Professor and Director of the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health


Peer Supporters, Laypersons, Recovery-Oriented, Hiring, Mental Illness.


The hiring of people in recovery (PIR) from mental illnesses in the behavioral health workforce has bloomed in the past few years. PIR have been hired in a variety of positions including as peer supporters, case managers, clinicians, and CEOs. This paper highlights findings from focus groups that were conducted with behavioral health organizations to gather input on hiring and retaining PIRs in the behavioral health workforce. Suggestions were mostly targeted to the areas of 1) Hiring Peers— the value and benefits and challenges, and suggestions for organizational readiness and, 2) Retaining PIRs—transitioning PIRs to the behavioral health workforce and supervision, flexibility and accommodations. Input from these discussions has informed the creation of development and implementation guides for organizations wanting to hire PIRs as peer supporters. In addition to the development of training guidelines for PIRs in roles as peer supporters. This paper signifies the importance of gathering input prior to developing implementation initiatives on the employment of PIRs as peer supporters, in the behavioral health workforce.



Como Citar

BELLAMY, C.; MCDONALD, H. E.; HAWKINS, D.; GUY, K.; HERRING, Y.; DAVIDSON, L. Input from stakeholders: Hiring and retaining people in Recovery in the behavioral health workforce. Cadernos Brasileiros de Saúde Mental/Brazilian Journal of Mental Health, [S. l.], v. 9, n. 21, p. 66-78, 2017. Disponível em: Acesso em: 28 jan. 2022.

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