FCS PEER Support
Peer Supports at FCS
Principles of Peer Support
Meet the Peers
For More Peer Information
Ways to Get Involved
FCS PeerThe Alaska Commission for Behavioral Health Certification (ACBHC), in partnership with the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health created a board in 2020 to oversee the development of a certification program for Peer Support Specialists. The ACBHC defines the role as "A Peer Support provider is a person in recovery from a behavioral health issue, or the family member of a person in recovery from a behavioral health issue, who plays a vital role in support similar individual in their recovery journey."
Yellow FCS Peer SupportPeer Supports at FCS

Peer Support Specialists at Frontier Community Services focus on assisting those with dual diagnoses, adults experiencing developmental disabilities and a behavioral health diagnosis.

Peer Support Specialists are uniquely qualified through their own Lived Experience. Lived Experience refers to personal choices and knowledge gained along the way in the Peer's own process towards independence.

Peer Support Specialists are at a point in their own life where they have the skills to live as independently as possible, have the abilities to support themselves, and are ready to help others learn skills to manage their own lives or grow to the next step.

Peer Support Specialists work within the Behavioral Wellness Program at Frontier Community Services and are overseen by Frontier's in-house Clinician, Cindy Vasilie, MS for Clinical Supervision.

Currently all the Peer Support Specialists are working towards gaining the brand new, as of January 2021, Specialist Certification.

Yellow FCS Peer SupportPrinciples of Peer Support

Peer Support Specialists follow the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Core Competencies List. These are:

  • Recovery-oriented: Peer workers hold out hope to those they serve, partnering with them to envision and achieve a meaningful and purposeful life. Peer workers help those they serve identify and build on strengths and empower them to choose for themselves, recognizing that there are multiple pathways to recovery.
  • Person-centered: Peer recovery support services are always directed by the person participating in services. Peer recovery support is personalized to align with the specific hopes, goals, and preferences of the people served and to respond to specific needs the people has identified to the peer worker.
  • Voluntary: Peer workers are partners or consultants to those they serve. They do not dictate the types of services provided or the elements of recovery plans that will guide their work with peers. Participation in peer recovery support services is always contingent on peer choice.
  • Relationship-focused: The relationship between the peer worker and the peer is the foundation on which peer recovery support services and support are provided. The relationship between the peer worker and peer is respectful, trusting, empathetic, collaborative, and mutual.
  • Trauma-informed: Peer recovery support utilizes a strength-based framework that emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety and creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.
Yellow Meet the Peers

FCS PeerLars Russell
Peer Support Specialist
Lars is a kind guy with a big personality. Lars is into many things "Geek" and likes bringing social groups together to enjoy their hobbies.
FCS PeerNicholas "Nick" Kolanach
Peer Support Specialist
Nick prides himself on his professionalism and timeliness. He is a strong proponent of Disability Advocacy.
FCS PeerKatherine "Kat" Flanders
Peer Support Specialist
Kat is a relaxed personality and a great listener. When a client sets their mind to something, she is determined to assist them reach their goal.

And Their Team

Cindy Vasilie
Clinical Supervision, MS

Isaac Cryer
Peer Support Program Coordinator

Yellow FCS Peer SuppprtFor More Peer Information

For Certification Information, Requirements in Alaska:

Alaska Commission for Behavioral Health Certification

More Information, Resources, Videos:

Peers: SAMHSA.gov

Core Competencies for Peer Workers: SAMHSA.gov

Yellow FCS Peer SupportWays to Get Involved

A Yearly Self Advocate Summit in Alaska with Many Opportunities:

Peer Power Alaska

Peer Power Alaska Facebook

The Developmental Disabilities Shared Vision Bill (DD Vision of Alaska) and Monthly Advocate Meeting:

DD Shared Vision Alaska Facebook

The Developmental Disabilities Shared Vision Bill

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