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Care from Inside the Trenches: Establishing Peer Support Services 

Michael McCafferty, MSW, PHR, Senior Account Manager, FEI Behavioral Health

Skill Building Session III
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Theme: Supporting the Whole Employee, Resilience

Supports: Benchmark 5

Careers and job responsibilities often come with emotional, behavioral and physical demands that, if left unchecked, can lead to unhealthy amounts of stress and eventual burnout. What if organizations could build a system of support for people around a rich resource that already understands the daily challenges faced in the workplace? What if they utilized the talents and skills of their own employees? 

Peer support is an approach to workplace wellness that uses the nonclinical strengths and abilities of motivated, trained staff volunteers to enhance the resilience and productivity of their co-workers and, by extension, their organizations. With peer support, employers can strengthen internal resources and sustain the well-being of employees with guidance from behavioral health expertise and consultation.

Join this engaging discussion and explore how organizational leadership, with the help of their employees, can organize a peer support program that formalizes an internal approach to sustaining ongoing workplace wellness. From addressing burnout to coping with presenteeism, attendees will learn how peer support practices can enable them to provide an empathetic outlet for employees that emphasizes active listening and psychological wellness support.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Explore the foundational principles of a successful peer support program.
  • Identify characteristics of a strong peer support representative, recognize how to select the best level of peer support for their organization, and understand how to recruit and engage employees for the program.
  • Learn how peer support programs can operate with, and be augmented by, an employee assistance program (EAP).


This program is an approved provider of continuing education units (CEUs) through NWI and NCHEC.

Speaker Biography: 

Michael McCafferty, MSW, PHR, is a skilled coach and consultant who partners with leaders, teams and individuals, motivating them to move from disengaged to engaged, and from problem to solution. Since receiving his Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 1997, Michael has provided consultation, training, counseling and EAP services to organizations of all sizes in industries as varied as manufacturing, financial services, state and municipal government, and higher education. With a diverse background including experience in healthcare, human resources and construction, he has a long track record and personal commitment to helping organizations create the conditions for success.

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