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What is Peer Support?

Peer support is provided by individuals who have personal lived experience with mental illness or mental illness with co-occurring substance use disorder. Certified peer support specialists offer their peers encouragement, hope, and understanding to support their recovery journey by sharing their own story of recovery. It’s a powerful form of support that’s based on the belief that recovery is possible for everyone. Peer support focuses on strengths, recovery goals, hope, and building trust. It eliminates the “you don’t know what it’s like” feeling that many people entering recovery may be experiencing.

Certified peer support specialists (CPSSs) have experienced the recovery process firsthand and truly understand its challenges. This gives them the ability to establish safety, offer constructive feedback, and role model recovery for their peers. They know what it’s like to experience mental illness and overcome the confusion, loss, and grief that often results. Because of this, CPSSs can be integral to a person’s recovery by offering consistency and support during their recovery journey. Their inclusion in the behavioral health system promotes recovery for all!

It's important to understand the peer support profession and learn about the training before making the decision to become a certified peer support specialist. Please read the Peer Support Specialist Training Guide and take the self-assessment before submitting your training application.