Certified Older Adults Peer Specialists (COAPS) as Advocates for Recovery

Free
Dec 9th
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
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The number of older adults in the US is rapidly growing as the Baby Boomer generation ages. As many as 5% of these older Americans live with a serious mental illness (SMI), placing them at higher risk for co-morbidities such as dementia, substance abuse, and other lifespan-shortening concerns. Social isolation is also commonly experienced among older adults, may be magnified for those with SMI, and has been further exacerbated by COVID19. Support services to mitigate these risks are vastly under-developed, leaving older adults with SMI with limited access to care. The Certified Older Adults Peer Specialists (COAPS) program was developed to address this need by training Certified Peer Specialists as older adult behavioral health specialists and wellness coaches. More than 300 COAPS have been trained across 6 states and a range of care contexts to support older adults in recovery through crisis management, developing community roles and natural supports, advocacy, self-help and self improvement, and navigating healthcare and social service agencies. COAPS work as part of the healthcare workforce to support and advocate for older adults experiencing or recovering from SMI or substance use disorders, broadening ease of access to healthcare and social services. In addition, most COAPS are themselves older adults in recovery, which provides opportunities for further engagement in the workforce. 

Dec 9th
Free
Webinar

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