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Peer Support Specialist Work and Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Longitudinal Study

This Psychiatric Services brief report describes a study that followed up with peer support specialists (PSSs) responding to an earlier survey to assess the pandemic’s continued employment and personal effects. A total of 496 PSSs completed both surveys. Unemployment remained at 7%. The proportion with full-time employment increased by December, but financial instability also increased. Tasks involving individual support and group facilitation, which had decreased significantly, rebounded somewhat by December, when nearly all PSSs (86%) reported having some new tasks. Job satisfaction remained stable and high. In both surveys, about 75% reported pandemic-related benefits. Symptoms and housing instability among clients increased. Conclusions: Pandemic-related PSS unemployment was relatively stable, and work tasks evolved. Respondents reported increasing needs among clients, as well as pandemic-related work benefits.

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Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Improving Employment Outcomes for Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities
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Journal article
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