A clinical associate professor at the University of Florida, Jim Probert and works as an individual therapist and is coordinator of the peer support programs at UF Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC). That role includes provision of rights-based professional trainings and co-facilitation of peer support groups, including Intentional Peer Support, Wellness Recovery Action Plan, and Experiential Peer Support. His 2021 article, “Moving Toward a Human Rights Approach to Mental Health” published in Community Mental Health Journal, highlights an in-depth description of these CWC programs. Before working at the University of Florida, Dr. Probert was training coordinator at the Alachua County Crisis Center from 1996-2001.
"Moving Toward a Human Rights Approach to Mental Health," Community Mental Health Journal, May 1, 2021. The University of Florida Counseling and Wellness Center (UFCWC) has implemented peer support and professional training programs to address human rights identified within advocacy groups comprised of individuals who have, themselves, been diagnosed with mental illness. These programs are moving the UFCWC toward fulfilling a 2017 United Nations report emphasizing rights-based professional training, provision of genuine informed consent, and availability of non-compromised peer support alternatives. Collaborating with student peers, four UFCWC faculty members have facilitated forms of peer support developed within service-user movements, while openly identifying experiences of reclaiming their own lives from the impacts of adversity, intense mental distress, and traumatizing responses of others to their distress. In the wake of the current pervasive health, economic, and social justice crises, professionals have a collective opportunity to recognize the human experience and rights of those suffering mental distress. These UFCWC programs offer one example of steps taken toward that goal.