The Saratoga County EMS Council, in collaboration with the Saratoga County Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, is pleased to launch the Saratoga County Peer Support Team (SCPST) on November 1, 2022.

The newly organized team combines resources from multiple agency Peer Support Teams with clinical expertise from Saratoga County.  The unique experiences, training, education, and culture of emergency services personnel requires specialized resources.  Dr. Michael Prezioso, Commissioner, Saratoga County Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry/Albany Medical College will lead the SCPST startup.

The PST will offer agency members individual offsite meetings with a peer support team member for a “check-in and check-up” on issues of concern, with opportunity for referral to formal counseling services if needed.   Members may self-refer or be referred by agency leaders.  Meetings are confidential and information will not be shared without express permission.  The PST will maintain some de-identified data, to document accomplishments of the program.

In addition to Peer Support, the SCPST offers consultation to agencies regarding mental health and addiction, case consultation in circumstances involving repeated contact with mentally ill persons in the community and education regarding topics in mental health and addiction.

Finally, for critical incidents affecting members of agencies, the PST is available to meet with members and agency leaders for group activities targeted at protecting the resilience of each responder involved.  Initially, the team can be accessed through County EMS Coordinators with the eventual plan to provide access through Communications.