I-PEER Program

Applications for 2022-23

I-PEER applications are now closed for the 2022-23 academic year. I-PEER is a federally funded grant opportunity for students to receive $10,000 stipends and extra training in behavioral health in the final year of your MSW. To qualify, you must be completing your MSW concentration year placement in fall 2022 and spring 2023, and your placement needs to meet the following criteria:

  • Provides integrated, interdisciplinary training of at least two health disciplines using a team-based care approach
  • Provides behavioral health services for adolescents and/or young adults with or at risk for behavioral health conditions
  • Prioritizes cultural and linguistic competency
  • Is located in one of the following counties: Allegan, Barry, Benzie, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Great Traverse, Hillsdale, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lake, Leelanau, Lenawee, Manistee, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa, St. Joseph, Van Buren, or Wexford

The Interprofessional Peer Education and Evidence for Recovery (I-PEER) program provides training for current and future behavioral health professionals in culturally- and developmentally-appropriate, integrated care for adolescents and young adults in Michigan. I-PEER participants are a diverse group of graduate students completing their final internships in integrated, interdisciplinary healthcare settings that use a team-based care approach to providing services. In addition to supporting students, the I-PEER program expands meaningful community partnerships in Michigan to assure that the diverse lived experiences of adolescents and young adults remain seen.

I-PEER is federally funded through a four-year, $1.92 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, awarded to Dr. Bridget E. Weller, School of Social Work, Dr. Carla Adkison-Johnson, Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology, and Dr. Jennifer Harrison, School of Social Work.


Components and video

I-PEER Components

Master-level students participate in the below I-PEER components.

  • Specialized field placements in rural counties or mental health professional shortage areas for counselor education and social work students 

  • Stipends of $10,000 for student participants 

  • Synchronous, virtual interdisciplinary, team-based learning opportunities 

  • Self-paced trainings on: culturally- and developmentally-appropriate care, Goal Scaling Solution, suicide prevention, motivational interviewing, and Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

Community partners may participate in our self-paced trainings. Many of the trainings are eligible for continuing education credits. To receive our mailings about trainings, please contact us at swrk-ipeer@wmich.edu.

Video of I PEER recruitment

More info

Application Information

All social work and counselor education students (in one of these three programs: clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, and marriage couple family counseling) in their final placement or final-year internship at any eligible I-PEER site can apply to participate in the program.

Online I-PEER Application

Student FAQ

Frequently asked questions


Program Participants

WMU graduate students who have a qualifying Master of Social Work final placement or Master of Arts in Counselor Education internship (one of three programs: clinical mental health counseling, marriage couple family counseling or school counseling) in integrated, interdisciplinary healthcare settings that uses a team-based care approach to providing behavioral health services are eligible to apply to be a program participant. Note that placement sites must be in a Michigan county that is considered a mental health professional shortage area or a rural area. See the FAQ for more details.

History of I-PEER

I-PEER was first federally funded 2017 through a four-year, $1.92 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, awarded to WMU professors Dr. Ann Chapleau, Department of Occupational Therapy, and Dr. Jennifer Harrison, School of Social Work. Dr. Bridget E. Weller joined the team in 2020.

In its first iteration, the I-PEER program provided enhanced interdisciplinary education for social workers, occupational therapists and peer specialists in evidence-based practices in behavioral health. The long-term goal of I-PEER was to provide workforce training in best practices to better serve rural and medically underserved communities in state psychiatric hospitals and community mental health providers in medically underserved and rural Southwest Michigan. I-PEER partnered with community providers at Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital, Recovery Institute of Southwest Michigan and community mental health programs in Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Cass, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Ottawa, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties to implement this workforce development training model.

In an effort to continually evolve the program to best meet the needs of Michigan, changes to the I-PEER program are reflected in the current four-year, $1.92 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Partner Organizations

The I-PEER team is always looking for opportunities to partner with integrated, interdisciplinary healthcare settings that use a team-based care approach to providing behavioral health services. For more information on working with WMU social work or counselor education students, please contact: 

Dr. Bridget E. Weller  |  bridget.weller@wmich.edu  |  (919) 360-5036
Bridget E. Weller, Ph.D., is a professor for the School of Social Work at WMU.  Dr. Weller’s research focuses on promoting and achieving equity in access, quality, and outcomes experienced by individuals with mental health disorders from historically underserved racial and ethnic groups.  She also specializes in statistics.  She is a licensed clinical social worker, with a specialization in using science to improve mental health outcomes for adolescents, young adults, and their caregivers.

Dr. Carla Adkison-Johnson  |  carla.adkison-johnson@wmich.edu  |  (269) 387-5120
Carla Adkison-Johnson, Ph.D., is a professor of Counseling Psychology Department and has practiced as a licensed professional clinical counselor and supervisor in communities of color for over 30 years. She is nationally known for her research on culturally competent counseling. She has published extensively in the areas of culturally competent mental health counseling, recruitment and retention of counseling professionals and African American child rearing practices. She is the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development. 

Dr. Jennifer Harrison  |  jennifer.harrison@wmich.edu  |  (269) 387-3173
Jennifer Harrison, PhD, LMSW, CAADC is a social worker and chemical addictions counselor.  She is a professor and the director for the School of Social Work at WMU. Jennifer has been in clinical, research and administrative practice for more than 25 years. Her research, teaching, and service interests include international social justice, co-occurring mental health, substance abuse and medical needs among adults, peer services, and translational research in evidence-based behavioral health.