More and more agencies and departments are developing their own internal peer support teams.

A peer support team (PST) is a group of selected personnel (1) who are formally established and recognized as a peer support team in agency policy, (2) who have been specially trained in the principles of individual and group peer support, (3) who function under agency approved operational guidelines, and (4) who provide peer support under the advisement or supervision of a licensed mental health professional. Properly trained and clinically supervised peer support teams have two primary functions. They (1) provide peer support for personnel confronting challenging stressors of everyday life and the stressors and challenges following traumatic calls (2) serve as an essential component of the agency’s response to personnel-involved critical incidents.

ICISF guidelines indicate the importance of the Behavioral Health Clinician as part of a peer support team. It is recommended that a peer support program have clinical support for mental health consultations and training. Preferably, this consultation will be available 24 hours a day and is recommended to be with a licensed mental health professional, who is specifically trained in Emergency Services Psychology and understands the specific nature of the agency involved.

Responder Support Services provides clinical consultation to peer teams on the local and federal levels. Contact us today to discuss adding highly qualified clinical support to your peer team. Contact us by calling 828-333-5708