Discussion Questions for BestNow!
- BestNow! is a program that trains people who have had lived experience with mental health problems to become peer specialists who will work to help others. Why do you think that peer specialists might be particularly suited to help others with similar problems?
- Do you see any drawbacks of having peers helping to treat other peers with similar problems? Why or why not?
- The idea that peer specialists can join the work force flies in the face of some widely held attitudes that people with mental illness have nothing to contribute to society. What do you see as the unique gifts that such a person may have?
- Why is it important to share stories of peer specialists in a public way as was done on this show? Do you see any problems of doing so?
- The program that is taught to the peer specialists is rigorous in classwork and has a lengthy internship. The success rate of completing the program is 70%. Why do you think so many can’t complete the program? What do you think of the philosophy of BestNow! in letting people take a break and come back into the class when it is offered later?
- What did you hear as something unique about the BestNow! program that might not be offered in other peer training programs?
- What do you think about the buddy system, pot lucks, and group assignments that they described? What do you think is the effect of these activities?
- Jamie Works-Wright said the employment rate of BestNow! graduates was 60%. How do you think this compares with peers who have not been trained?
- What struck you about the stories that Jeff Caiola told about the people he has been able to help in his job at Choices Learning Center?
- Can you think of any friends or acquaintences that might benefit from such a program? If so, do you plan to tell them about BestNow!?
For resources see: Resources Mentioned in the Show
These questions are to provide family and peer discussion and education. The information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical or psychological condition. If you think someone is too fragile to be part of the discussion, please have them consult their mental health care provider for individual advice regarding the situation.