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Member Engagement

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Formerly known as “OPA!”, staff members serve each day to build the peer workforce and engage members in deliberations and decision-making. This program was originally started in 2013 to elevate the voices of persons served. Since, the department has worked with its provider partners to continuously increase the number of people employed as peers in the community mental health workforce, and started the Constituents’ Voice, a “consumer” advisory group. Sharply focus on greater community inclusion as a key outcome of its work, this team hosts several events during the year to promote the paradigm shift.

DWIHN Constituents' Voice (read more)

The Constituents’ Voice (also known as the “CV”) is the DWIHN consumer advisory group. The CV members include individuals who have gained valuable experience as recipients of services, and give DWIHN input concerning the design, delivery, evaluation and implementation of policies, procedures and activities, specifically as it relates to community inclusion, i.e., “a personal sense of valued participation and interaction in everyday life.”

DWIHN Sponsored and Co-Sponsored Events

  • Behavioral Health Workforce Development Program Friday Intensives - Monthly training series on current topics for the “with it” peer. (Training sessions are offered on the 2nd Friday of each month)
  • DWIHN Constituents’ Voice: Meetings are held the 3rd Friday of each month
  • EVOLVE!: A new training series for persons served to gain knowledge and power to exercise choices and decisions about their lives. (Events are held quarterly on the 5th Wednesday)
  • Peer Mentor Professional Development: Each month certified and aspiring peer mentors meet to hone their skills as service providers. (Meeting dates and locations vary)
  • Tri-County Peers Connect Quarterly Meetings: These quarterly gathering are open to all peers across Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties, and involve professional development on key topics of interest and networking to their field. (Meeting dates and locations vary)

For more information about Member Engagement please contact:

Donna M. Coulter, PhD - Administrator of Member Engagement
313-344-9099 ext. 3109

Events and Opportunities

Note: Times and/or dates may change.
Please call ahead to verify
Save the Date! May 5, 2020





The DWIHN Ambassadors are available to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with interested groups throughout Wayne County. Find out more about the Ambassador Program.


What is a peer?
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services defines Peers as “individuals who have a unique background and skill level from their experience in utilizing services and supports to achieve their personal goals of community membership, independence and productivity. Peers have a special ability to gain trust and respect of other beneficiaries based on shared experience and perspectives with disabilities, and with planning and negotiating human services systems health.”

In Michigan, there are five categories of peers who work within the community mental  system. They are:

  • Peer Support Specialist: CMH professionals with lived experience with mental illness who provide community mental health services to the same. (For more information contact: Steve Kuhlman at
  • Peer Mentors: CMH professionals with an intellectual or developmental disability trained to provide services to their peers with the same conditions. (For more information contact: Robert Spruce at
  • Recovery Coaches: CMH professionals who live a life of recovery from substances and provide prevention, support, and treatment services to others like themselves. (For more information contact: Judy Davis at
  • Parent Support Partners (For more information  contact: Kimberly Hunt at
  • Youth Peer Support Specialist and Youth Advocates (For more information contact: Brittany Horton at
What is a peer run drop-in center or a drop-in center?
Drop-In Centers are non-clinical settings that are 100% run by and for people with mental illness and/or co-occurring disorders. Drop-In Centers are an evidence-based practice and a billable Medicaid service that help reach uninsured and underserved persons. They provide opportunities for people to learn about recovery.

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