The Transition Age Youth (TAY) Peer Mentor Program provides youth and young adults with employment, job and life skills training, and leadership development. We collaborate with ACBHCS TAY System of Care, the BHCS TAY Pool of Consumer Champions (POCC) and other youth and young adult programs across Alameda County and the state.
The TAY Peer Mentors facilitate TAY Leadership Team meetings, a safe space to connect with other young adults to gain and exchange leadership skills, and use those skills to facilitate wellness workshops and trainings to TAY and TAY serving organizations.
TAY Peer Mentor Program and TAY Leadership Team participants are young adults who self-identify as having experience with mental health and value peer support as a tool in maintaining their wellness. Most of the participants also have experience in foster care, and/or juvenile detention or probation systems.
PEERS TAY Program staff, contractors, and interns are young adults who have extensive experience and expertise working with young people of diverse experiences, ethnic, cultural, racial heritage, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, and socio-economic backgrounds. We partner with many community organizations, including Fred Finch Youth Center, Family Education and Resource Center (FERC), Youth In Mind, POCC TAY, WCC Youth Advocate Program, Youth Uprising, Our Space (Bay Area Youth Center), California Youth Connection, Villa Fairmount, Alameda County juvenile justice services, Alliance4Girls, and other community based organizations.
Funding from Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services (ACBHCS), private grant-funds, including the Zellerbach Family Foundation, McKenzie Foundation, and support from Cal State East Bay provide PEERS the opportunity to work with youth and young adults through a wide range of activities.
PEERS gained national recognition for youth engagement in 2009 when it was named one of six winners of the SAMHSA Campaign for Social Inclusion State Awards. PEERS was granted $20,000 from SAMHSA to create and disseminate a documentary film telling the personal stories of youths living with behavioral health challenges and the impact of violence and trauma in Oakland. “Shine” was given an “Honorable Mention” at the 2013 SAMHSA Voice Awards in Hollywood and is a selection that was screened at the Oakland International Film Festival in April 2014.