The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Magellan Health Services Offers E-Courses for Providers, Consumers and Families

This is an exciting press release  about online classes for peer specialists.  At my hospital, we currently use peer specialists and the feedback from our patients has been overwhelmingly positive.  I was really pleased to find this press release and am just as happy to post it here.  Being a peer specialist is a valuable way for mentally ill people to help not only themselves, but to help others who are dealing with similar issues.

Please tell me what you think about this program?


May 20, 2010, 11:23 a.m. EDT · Recommend · Post:

E-Courses Focus on Critical Role of Peer Specialists

AVON, Conn., May 20, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Magellan Health Services, Inc. , an industry leader in specialty health care management, has joined with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) to offer a new series of online learning opportunities to consumers, families and providers that address the pivotal and growing role of peer specialists in helping individuals work through and recover from mental illnesses. DBSA, which is considered the leading patient-directed national organization focused on prevalent mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety, designed the four new e-courses.

As individuals recovering from mental illnesses themselves, peer specialists are trained and certified to help others with mental health challenges gain hope and move forward in their own recovery. Magellan employs a number of peer specialists, directly and through its provider network, and regularly offers educational opportunities about their role through community presentations and provider-specific trainings.

“The Magellan/DBSA e-courses are unique in that they highlight the advantages of working with peer specialists for providers, consumers and families, in addition to those who supervise peer specialists,” said Anne McCabe, senior vice president of Magellan’s public sector behavioral health business unit. “To our knowledge, these are the only online courses that serve to educate a broad group about peers’ role in mental health recovery.”


— The e-courses are offered free of charge at

— There are four e-courses that aim to help participants better understand the peer specialist’s role in helping others recover from mental illnesses:

#1: Research, Core Competencies and Ethics

#2: The Five Stages of Recovery and the Role of Peer Specialists

#3: Using your Recovery Story

#4: Effective Supervision of Peer Specialists

— The e-courses offer greater convenience than traditional on-site training programs, and each takes 30-45 minutes to complete.

— Each of the four new e-courses is tailored toward the beginner or intermediate skill level and offers providers in the Magellan network the opportunity to earn 1.0 Continuing Education (CE) credit hour. All other health care professionals who complete the new trainings will be issued a certificate of participation. Magellan is approved as a continuing education provider/sponsor by the American Psychological Association (APA), Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).

— These e-courses join 10 other interactive, self-guided training e-courses in the Magellan Resiliency and Recovery e-Learning Center, developed by Magellan in 2008. Since their launch, more than 8,400 e-courses have been completed by individuals spanning all 50 states. When asked about their value, behavioral health providers in particular reported that the e-courses were helpful in refreshing their skills, providing ideas to implement in their area of practice and generally in helping them to do a better job serving consumers.

“Peer specialists are an integral part of the recovery process, as they’re able to empathize with consumers and understand their experiences in a very personal way,” said Lisa Goodale, vice president of training at DBSA, who is also a featured trainer in the new e-courses. “With the extensive behavioral health expertise of Magellan and DBSA as their foundation, we expect the e-courses will be a powerful benefit not only to consumers, families, providers and peer specialists’ supervisors, but to the behavioral health field, overall.”

About Magellan: Headquartered in Avon, Conn., Magellan Health Services, Inc. is a leading specialty health care management organization whose customers include health plans, employers and government agencies nationwide. Magellan’s public sector behavioral health services assist approximately 1.9 million individuals in managing mental illnesses and substance abuse through innovative, community-based programs that deliver measurable outcomes and are grounded in the principles of recovery, resiliency and personal choice. In addition to behavioral health, the company operates in the areas of radiology benefits management, specialty pharmacy management, and public sector pharmacy benefits administration. Visit for more information.

About DBSA: The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the nation’s leading patient-directed organization focusing on depression and bipolar disorder. The organization, which has more than 1,000 support groups nationwide, fosters an understanding about the impact and management of these life-threatening illnesses by providing up-to-date, scientifically based tools and information. Assisted by a 38-member scientific advisory board comprising the leading researchers and clinicians in the field of mood disorders, DBSA supports research to promote more timely diagnosis, develop more effective and tolerable treatments and discover a cure. More than five million people receive information and assistance each year.

DBSA is nationally recognized as a leader in providing peer support services across the country. DBSA Vice President of Peer Services Larry Fricks has received national recognition for his groundbreaking efforts to establish and promote the role of peer specialists in helping others to recover from serious mental illnesses.

For more information about DBSA, please visit or call 1-800-826-3632.

SOURCE: Magellan Health Services, Inc.

Magellan Health Services, Inc.
Christine Barnhart, 410-953-2421

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