Upcoming Funding Opportunity: $1M to Expand Peer Support for Behavioral Health Services for Community-Based Organizations

King County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Division (BHRD) is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the Expand Peer Support for Behavioral Health Services request for proposal (RFP) on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.  A total of $1,000,000 will be awarded and we anticipate several proposals will be funded.

This RFP responds to needs identified during BHRD’s community engagement process, which centered the voices of individuals in mental health and/or substance use recovery and their family members.  We are grateful for those who contributed their voice to this process.

King County’s behavioral health service system is based on the goals and principles of recovery within a trauma-informed framework. Access to peer support is a key component of both recovery and trauma-informed approaches. 

A peer support worker is someone with the lived experience of recovery from a mental health condition and/or substance use disorder, or a parent or guardian of someone living with a behavioral health condition. Peer support workers provide non-clinical, strengths-based support and are “experientially credentialed” by their own recovery journey. Evidence suggests that peer support increases one’s sense of hope, social support, and engagement in self-care and wellness, and decreases substance use, depression, and hospitalization rates. 

Artwork by Jen Hanson, winner of the 2011 King County Recovery Poster Art Contest 

Peer support workers offer a variety of recovery support services, including emotional, informational, instrumental, and affiliational support. Through the sharing of lived experience, behavioral health Peer Support services include a wide range of activities such as: 

  • Peer mentoring or coaching 
  • Recovery resource connecting  
  • Facilitating and leading groups 
  • Helping individuals build Community and social support networks

Because peer support services are so valuable in the recovery journey and are widely accepted as an evidence-based practice, the Expand Peer Support for Behavioral Health Services program intends to expand community-based behavioral health peer support for King County residents who self-identify as being impacted by mental health and/or substance use issues and their family members. 

This RFP will be open to community-based organizations that do not have a Medicaid license with the State Department of Health (DOH) for peer support services who wish to initiate or expand peer support services. 

More information about this funding opportunity and application process can be found on the Department of Community and Human Service’s contracting webpage, Contracting with DCHS – King County, on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. 

Organizations led by members of underrepresented communities in the behavioral health field are highly encouraged to apply.