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Table 2 Summary of Barriers to Compliance with Standard for Peer Support Specialist

From: Identifying barriers to mental health system improvements: an examination of community participation in assertive community treatment programs

Categories and Sub-categories Number of Comments (% of total) Selected Sample Comments (R = Respondent Id. No.)
Human Resource Issues:
• Staff shortages (recruiting difficulties, maternity leave, illness)
• Staff training required
35 (48%) Peer support worker requires clear job description and adapted (role). Should be a mental health worker first and a peer specialist second. If they are going to carry primes, they need to have the skills. It doesn't work if skills are less.(R20)
A peer is someone who once met the admission criteria, lived the experience, and who can also function in a meaningful way... difficult to find.(R61)
Having trouble recruiting the position.(R4)
Seems to take a long time for a peer support worker to get into the role. They don't go to school for the peer support role--once they get there it is fabulous.(R41)
[Our] peer support specialist is on sick leave for approximately one year.(R49)
Standard Related Issues:
• Standard deemed unattainable/unrealistic/unnecessary/unimportant
• Standard needs improvement/modification
• Standard requires clarification (or not aware of standard)
21 (29%) The definition of a peer was stretched a little bit... [Our] peer doesn't have a major mental illness.(R30)
The peer support specialist is excellent ... just ill enough to be a peer support. Need to back up and support if the peer support needs time off. Question whether there should be a different standard... from general to evaluation. The work that this person does is a "10"... contributes a lot... does leisure and recreation.(R31)
Lack of clarity of the role... what added value does it bring?(R60)
Peer support is only .7 FTE ... cannot take a full patient load. Full caseload is not possible.(R46)
Organizational Issues:
• Structural barriers, e.g. problems with ODSP* and/or unions
• Standard implementation is a "work in progress"
• Process barriers
*Ontario Disability Support Program
17 (23%) The intention is to have a peer specialist... we are resolving union issues.(R23)
We had a peer support working in the past (for about a year and a half) but no longer have the position due to demands of supervising this person and union dispute over the classification of the job. (e.g., which bargaining unit should it fall under? But we do acknowledge that the position is needed.(R8)
Probably other teams hire from a different mental health population.(R61)
We don't have the position in a formal way. Will recruit ... once a position is freed up. This is a new standard.(R19)
TOTAL 73 (100%)