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Thursday, August 05, 2021

[In Conversation With Series] The Need for Equity in Peer Support

[In Conversation With Series] The Need for Equity in Peer Support

Thursday, August 5, 2021

2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT

Mental Health America’s “In Conversation With” series is a dialogue by peers, for peers that highlights topics related to the field of peer support. Peer support allows for individuals to give and receive encouragement from those who share their lived experience. It also allows individuals to move toward long-term recovery. Peers’ lived experience can be having a mental health condition. It can also include other characteristics such as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, language, or even disability. 

Even though peer support is beneficial, many who receive peer support experience discrimination. Peer specialists and facilitators also experience racism, ableism, misogyny, and transphobia. Studies show that peer specialists often experience microaggressions that impact their sense of self and leave them feeling isolated. In MHA’s recent BIPOC LGBTQ Peer Support Survey, peers described the various ways they experienced discrimination in relation to their race and sexual orientation. 

Join Mental Health America in the second part of our “In Conversation With” series as we explore the need for equity in peer support. Here we will:

  • Discuss equity in peer support.
  • Identify the impact discrimination can have on peers.
  • Explore how peer organizations can focus on equity and inclusion.

This webinar will be recorded and available to the public within one week. We do not offer CEUs but are happy to provide a certificate of attendance upon request.

Meet the Presenters:

Lisa-Sun Gresham - Lisa-Sun Gresham graduated magna cum laude from Roanoke College in Salem, VA with a double major in Sociology and Theatre in 2009. Afterward, she completed three years of AmeriCorps service. Having graduated in 2015 with a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, Drama Therapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco she joined the staff of MHASF in 2016 as a Triage Peer Provider. In 2017 she became the Peer Programs Coordinator co-facilitating mental health training in community-based organizations, is WRAP Group certified and provided professional development for Peers through the PROPEL program. In 2019 she became the Manager of Peer Services programs supporting the facilitation of support groups, community presentations, trainings, and a team of Peer Counselors who provide 1:1 direct service. Currently, she is the Clinical Peer Manager overseeing the Saint Francis Peer Navigation program, provides on-call crisis support to MHASF programs, and conducts group supervision for the CA Peer Run Warmline for professional development, support, and training.

Kelechi Ubozoh - Kelechi Ubozoh is a Nigerian-American writer, mental health advocate, and facilitator with nearly a decade of experience working in the California mental health system. Previously, Kelechi supervised mental health programs at PEERS, a consumer-run mental health non-profit, facilitated Participatory Action Research (PAR) with young adults, and later worked as the Peer and Community Engagement Manager for CalMHSA where she conducted community outreach and supported the development of mental health literacy programming for peers. Her story of surviving a suicide attempt has been featured in The S Word, O, The Oprah Magazine, and CBS This Morning. Her first book with LD Green, We’ve Been Too Patient: Voices from Radical Mental Health, uplifts stories of radical healing, peer support, and lived experience. Last year, she presented at Yale’s inaugural Mental Health Symposium and dedicated her time to facilitating healing-centered spaces for Black employees to respond to the ongoing racialized violence toward the Black community. In 2021, she was named a Mental Health Champion by the Steinberg Institute. Learn more at

Faye McCray - Faye McCray is editor-in-chief of PsychCentral, a property of Healthline Media. PsychCentral is a premier destination for mental health content that believes exploring your mental health is about fortifying your strengths and deepening your understanding of your innate ability to heal. Faye is also an author and former health care attorney and advocate. She holds degrees from Binghamton University, Howard University School of Law, and Johns Hopkins University. She is based in the Washington, D.C. area where she resides with her husband and sons. You can find Faye on Twitter @fayewriters and Instagram @heyfayemccray.