AMP+: Developing the Young Adult Peer Support Workforce
Peer support for older adolescents and young adults with serious mental health conditions (SMHCs) is increasingly seen as a crucial part of the mental health service array. However, peer support roles have not been clearly defined, which has not only made research challenging but also created confusion for peer support providers, their supervisors, and other mental health professionals.
AMP+ is a field test of a workforce intervention that is focused on 1) training and coaching peer support providers who work with emerging adults with SMHCs, and 2) working with supervisors and administrators in agencies that employ peer support providers to ensure that the agencies are prepared to supervise and support them. This study will use an adapted form of an existing intervention called Achieve My Plan (AMP). AMP has been developed and tested at Pathways RTC over the past 8 years, and preliminary findings from studies underway show evidence of its efficacy in improving self-determination, treatment satisfaction and community participation outcomes among emerging adults with SMHCs.
Publications and Products
AMP's Top Ten Tips for Engaging with Young People
This tip sheet advises service providers and others how to engage successfully with youth, using specific examples to illustrate effective (and ineffective) communication.
Youth & Young Adult Peer Support: What Research Tells Us About its Effectiveness in Mental Health Services
Increasing the availability of peer support for youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions has been advocated by service users, researchers, and government commissions. Efforts to provide peer support for young people are becoming more and more common. This FAQ describes the research evidence for peer support, as well as some of the challenges that can be expected when peer support is implemented.
Think Aloud Tool
Implementation science has converged on the view that achieving conceptual clarity regarding intervention program principles and values are key for effective staff training, coaching, supervision and evaluation. The Think Aloud Tool is helpful in assessing providers' ability to identify principle-driven practice and key elements of program theory when applied in a naturalistic setting, which can illuminate providers’ level of conceptual clarity and understanding of program theory and intervention framework. This assessment is in the form of an interview with a service provider. The provider watches a series of consecutive one-minute segments of a video recording that shows another provider using the selected intervention with a client. After each one minute segment, the interviewer asks the provider to describe the practice he/she has observed in the segment in terms of its strengths (what the provider in the video was doing right) and "improvables" (what the provider could do better). The interview is recorded and scored using a reliable key.
The AMP+ curriculum is an adapted version of the Achieve My Plan curriculum, which has been developed at Pathways over the past 8 years. The AMP+ curriculum has been designed for peer support providers who work with young people with serious mental health challenges. The curriculum modules are focused on skill development and communication strategies that young people can apply in community settings where they are working with gatekeepers and facilitators. In addition, the curriculum can easily be adapted to meet the specific needs of individual young people and/or peer support models.
New Spanish Translation of YES-MH and YPP Scales
Pathways RTC now has Spanish language translations of the Youth Efficacy/Empowerment Scale-Mental Health (YES-MH) and Youth Participation in Planning (YPP) Scale. These measures were first introduced in English in 2007 by the RTC on Family Support and Children's Mental Health (now Pathways RTC). Introductions to the Spanish and English versions are available online, and administration and scoring information can be obtained at no charge with permission.
Findings from a Randomized Study of a Youth Engagement Enhancement for Wraparound
Presented at the Children's Mental Health Research and Policy Conference, Tampa, FL, March 14, 2016.