Peer Specialists in Community Mental Health: Ongoing Challenges of Inclusion.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201800552
Despite the tremendous growth of the peer specialist workforce in recent decades, significant ethical, political, and procedural challenges remain regarding recruitment and retention of peer staff. This column explores such challenges and potential pitfalls by examining the limits of current accommodation practices, the complexity of "shared identities," and the fraught interplay of disability, stigma, and employee misconduct. Implications for human resources, the importance of proactively addressing power dynamics between peer and nonpeer staff, and potential structural stigma in mental health settings are discussed.