The Office of Employee Wellness recently hosted a two-day Statewide Peer Support Program (PSP) Training at the Correctional Training Center in Galt that included130 Peer Support team members.

The Peer Support teams consist of custody and non-custody staff at each institution, parole region, juvenile facility, and headquarters’ locations, including the Office of Correctional Safety and the Office of Internal Affairs.

The PSP was established to ensure staff involved in work related critical incidents are provided with intervention and available resources to treat the immediate effects of a traumatic incident.

Secretary Jeff Beard opened the training and expressed his support for the program.  He thanked each and every team member for their never ending dedication and commitment to serve their peers.

“This is the first time we had all our peer support teams together in one room, including members from DAI, DAPO, DJJ, HQ, OIA, and OCS.  It was exciting to watch the interaction among the teams and the bonds that were created as we all share the same goal – taking care of our CDCR family,” said Kathy Manzer, Chief, Office of Employee Wellness.

Participants received PSP training in Compassion Fatigue, Psychological First Aid, Staff Suicide Prevention, Depression and PTSD, and Understanding Types of Grief.

Enhanced resources were provided to the teams for the Military Peer Support Program and the Staff Suicide Prevention/Intervention program, both of which are components within the Peer Support Program.

The PSP team members have proven themselves very effective in supporting the overall health and well being of staff.

All CDCR locations have peer support available through PSP teams.  More than 900 CDCR staff members are trained in peer support.

For more information on the Peer Support Program, visit:

Also, Office of Wellness Chief Manzer recently received the 2013 Robert L. Negri Human Resources Achievement Award, presented annually by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR).

She was honored for the creation of CDCR’s Peer Support Program.

wellness group photo

Participants in the Peer Support Program training. (Photo by CDCR staff photographer Eric Owens)

Manzer honored

Office of Wellness Chief Kathy Manzer, second from right, is congratulated for her recent award by, from left, Dr. Diana Toche, Undersecretary for Administration and Offenders Services; Martin Hoshino, Undersecretary of Operations; and Secretary Jeff Beard. (Photo by CDCR staff photographer Eric Owens)