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MDOC Peer Support Program
“Strengthening the wellness of the MDOC Community through entrusted,
confidential peer to peer relationships.”
The Mission of the Peer Support Program:
The Michigan Department of Corrections and the MDOC Wellness Program have recognized the value of providing a way for their employees, retirees, and eligible family members to deal with personal and professional stressors. A successful enhancement to this approach will be to provide a program which offers peer support, in addition to the wellness services provided by the MDOC Wellness Unit. The Peer Support Program is composed of MDOC employees who have been nominated by their colleagues, reviewed and selected by the Wellness Unit, and specially trained in peer support. Peer support services are available to any MDOC employee, retiree, and eligible family member.
What is the purpose of the Peer Support Program?
The purpose of the MDOC Peer Support Program is to offer assistance and appropriate support resources to all employees when personal or professional problems negatively impact their lives. This assistance is confidential, on the condition that it meets the confidentiality standards described within this document and the Confidentiality Agreement.
The Peer Support Program provides a way for employees to “talk-out” their problems with specially trained co-workers, who understand and want to help. The Peer Support Persons (PSP) are trained to use active listening skills, help clarify issues, explore options, assist with the problem-solving process, and refer to a Wellness Program Coordinator as appropriate.
The PSP role is not one of a counselor or a therapist, but one who will LISTEN, ASSESS, and, when necessary, REFER to a Wellness Coordinator. Team members are selected for their experience and personal qualities. These team members are caring individuals who have compassion to support others. Participation is strictly on a voluntary basis.
Working in Corrections has always been a demanding profession. At times, the stress of the job increases to the point where it may be difficult to cope with it alone. The reality is, we all can use a little help every now and then. The accumulation of the stress negatively effects the health and well-being of our employees to varying degrees, but the impact of the distressed employee may be felt by all. The PSP has been specially trained to help address these stressors in a natural and confidential manner.
What does a Peer Support Person do?
Almost everyone has experienced, or will experience, a stressful situation in his/her lifetime. It is during these times that family and friends may be there to help. They can provide needed support and understanding in overcoming life’s problems. The Peer Support Program is one of those “friends” who is available to every employee, retiree, and eligible family member (for purposes of services, eligible family members are defined as spouse, children or stepchildren under 21 years of age) of the Michigan Department of Corrections.