Trauma Informed Supervision of Recovery Coaches

Session Description: The peer workforce is an essential part of any treatment team or organization. However, the work in behavioral health settings can be stressful. And especially for peers, it can reactivate past traumas, or cause secondary trauma or moral injury. Peers may also experience imposter syndrome that may cause peer drift, or empathy fatigue from sharing and listening to recovery and war stories every day. Trauma informed supervision has been shown to be one of the effective strategies in increasing job satisfaction, increasing self-care practices for peers, and preventing crises or reactivation of symptoms, which in return decreases turn-over rates. In this presentation we will look into trauma informed care principles and consider ways to implement them into supervision for the behavioral health workforce, especially supervision of the peer support workforce.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to identify signs of peer drift, secondary trauma, and/or empathy fatigue
  • Participants will learn how to use trauma informed care principles in supervision practices for peer specialists
  • Participants will learn different tools and tips to assist their peer specialist to practice self-care to maintain recovery while working in the behavioral health profession

Mirna Herrera, MA MT-BC, CPS
Regional Behavioral Health Advisor, SAMHSA
Mirna Herrera, MA MT-BC, CPS, has been working in the behavioral health field since 2011, focusing on the peer support workforce and trauma informed practices. She worked as a peer manager at University Health in Kansas City; as a trainer through the Missouri Credentialing Board for peer support certification and peer supervision; and as a consultant with the Mid-America Addiction Technology Transfer Center on peer support services. Her personal lived experience with PTSD ignited her passion for trauma informed care for which she trained and consulted multiple organizations across the region. She is also an advocate and educator for Naloxone and harm reduction practices. In her current role as a Regional Behavioral Health Advisor for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), she continues to focus her work on peer support and recovery services in region 7.