As peer support specialists seek to quickly and effectively offer digital peer support across the United States, it is important that they — and their organizations — know the practical aspects of using digital peer support to deliver support services. This presentation covers topics including the latest scientific developments on digital peer support and presents guidelines and emerging best practices to support service users through remote and telehealth technologies.
Karen L. Fortuna, PhD, MSW, holds a doctorate in Social Welfare and a master’s degree in Social Work. Dr. Fortuna is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. Dr. Fortuna is co-producing digital peer support programs with peer support specialists as equal partners in development, research, and ownership. Her team has developed a commercially viable smartphone app, PeerTECH, in which they are currently testing its impact in a real-world environment. Dr. Fortuna was awarded an NIMH K01 award (K01MH117496), a NARSAD Young Investigator Grants from the Brain and Behavior Foundation and the Alvin R. Tarlov & John E. Ware Jr. Award in Patient Reported Outcomes for her work, and the Association of Gerontological Education Social Work Faculty Achievement Award. Dr. Fortuna’s work can be seen in numerous book chapters on digital peer support, in Nature, Psychiatric Services, and Forbes Magazine. She currently serves as editor of the JMIR: Journal of Participatory Medicine. She is a board member of the International Association of Peer Supporters. She currently serves on the International Editorial Board for the British Journal of Social Work. She was invited to serve as a member of the American Psychiatric Association’s Smartphone App Expert Advisory Panel.
- Define important digital literacy terms.
- Understand the effectiveness of digital peer support.
- Identify which technology platforms peer support specialists should use.
- Discuss the importance of bonding and connection through digital peer support.
- Understand how peer support specialists can assist their own recovery digitally.
Who Should Attend?
Peer support specialists, researchers, administrators, behavioral health care professionals, state and local policymakers, and community advocates.