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WHAM Training for Peer Leaders

Whole Health Action Management (WHAM) training-followed by membership in a virtual support group community-supports the emerging peer workforce for an integrated healthcare setting. WHAM prepares peer leaders to support other peers in creating achievable whole health and resiliency goals through eight-week WHAM support groups. This training is intended for Peers already trained to work in behavioral health settings and prepares them for work in an integrated healthcare environment.

Whole Health is defined as having mind and body illness under good control. Wellness is defined as a personal awareness of creating a new healthy lifestyle. Resiliency is defined as prevention.

The training is intended to promote extensive strength-based, person-centered planning to create new whole-health behaviors for self-managing chronic physical and behavioral health condition.  The training also teaches mind-body resiliency.  The ten health and resiliency domains included in the training are recommended by the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, renowned for decades of research on promoting resiliency through stress reduction using the Relaxation Response. 

This training teaches the Relaxation Response as an essential resiliency tool with research demonstrating that it is as predictable as medication in immediately reversing the stress-induced, flight-or-fight response.  The Relaxation Response is also essential because of the growing awareness of the impact of trauma, especially childhood trauma, on all dimensions of whole health. 

The WHAM training is based on the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions curriculum designed by peers for peers and aims to battle the serious and chronic health problems that people with behavioral health disorders face.

The training prepares participating peer leaders to engage in person-centered planning to identify strengths and supports through 10 science-based whole health and resiliency factors.

Participants learn to write a whole health goal plan and create and lead 8-12 week WHAM peer support groups to support health behavior change.

The Relaxation Response and development of cognitive skills to avoid negative thinking rank high in the program's focus.


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