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Clin Gerontol. 2017 Mar-Apr;40(2):97-105. doi: 10.1080/07317115.2016.1255691. Epub 2016 Nov 7.

A Peer Mentorship Program for Mental Health Professionals in Veterans Health Administration Home-Based Primary Care.

Author information

1
a Bath VA Medical Center , Bath , New York , USA.
2
b G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center , Jackson , Mississippi , USA.
3
c Providence VA Medical Center , Providence , Rhode Island , USA.
4
d Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office , Washington , DC , USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Mental health professionals working in integrated, interdisciplinary primary or geriatric care settings may have limited training for this growing model of care. Peer mentorship is one avenue of professional development support. We describe the development and evaluation of a peer mentorship program for mental health professionals working within Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) programs.

METHODS:

Electronic surveys were administered to 57 peer mentorship pairs matched for program participation. The survey examined program utilization characteristics, nature of peer contact, and benefits and challenges reported by participants.

RESULTS:

Overall, mentor and mentee respondents (N = 58) cited numerous benefits of engaging in the program. Mentees reported their peer mentorship relationships provided acceptance, support, encouragement and positive role modeling.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings suggest peer mentoring can be an important professional resource to offer mental health professionals new to working in integrated, geriatric care settings.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

Mental health professionals new to working in geriatric and/or integrated care settings may have limited training to meet specialized needs of patients, families, and interdisciplinary care teams. Peer mentorship following formal academic training may be an important option for professional development, supporting enhanced competence and, ultimately, improved patient care and team functioning.

KEYWORDS:

Geropsychology; home-based care; integrated care; mentorship; professional development

PMID:
28452670
DOI:
10.1080/07317115.2016.1255691
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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