Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2012 Dec;35(6):470-3. doi: 10.1037/h0094582.

National survey on implementation of peer specialists in the VA: implications for training and facilitation.

Author information

  • 1RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.



Peer support is fundamental to the promotion of recovery as indicated in the President's New Freedom Commission Report. Five years into the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) initiative to hire Peer Specialists (PSs)-individuals with serious mental illnesses assigned to clinical teams to support others with serious mental illnesses-this study explored challenges, facilitators, and progress of PS implementation from a stakeholder group involved in their management.


Ninety-two VA Local Recovery Coordinators (LRCs) from across the nationwide VA mental health system were surveyed about their perceptions about PS hiring, status of implementation, impact, barriers and facilitators to successful employment of PSs, and willingness to support implementation.


The data suggest that PS implementation is going well overall, but challenges remain such as hiring delays, lack of understanding about the PS role, and lack of funding.


Implementation challenges can undermine the employment of PSs. The VA and other organizations using PSs could improve implementation by monitoring the challenges and proactively facilitating the process on an ongoing basis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Psychological Association
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk