Training Needs of Peer and Non-Peer Transition Service Providers: Results of a National Survey

  • Pauline JivanjeeEmail author
  • Leigh Grover
  • Kristin Thorp
  • Brie Masselli
  • Johanna Bergan
  • Eileen M. Brennan
Regular Article


Participatory action research processes guided a national online survey of service providers working with transition age youth with mental health challenges. The survey investigated transition service providers’ ratings of the importance of competencies and skills, self-assessed need for training in these competencies and skills, their preferred training modalities, and obstacles to engaging in training. The 254 participants identified trauma-informed care, understanding youth culture, promoting natural supports, and using culturally responsive practices as most important training needs. Age, years in current job, years in transition work, and race/ethnicity predicted training needs regarding some competencies and skills. Peer providers expressed preferences for young adult-led training. Qualitative responses highlighted training needs for supporting specific underserved populations: youth from communities of color, LGBTQ youth, and those with co-occurring disorders. Results may guide future training initiatives for peer support and non-peer support providers and workforce development initiatives designed to improve behavioral health services for young people.



The authors express appreciation to the Youth MOVE National Best Practice Committee for their thoughtful contributions to this study.


This research and preparation of this manuscript was supported by grants from the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, US Department of Education, and the Center for Mental Health Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services (NIDRR grant H133B140039) and the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, and the Center for Mental Health Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services (NIDILRR grant 90RT5030).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive FuturesPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Youth MOVE NationalDecorahUSA

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