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Peer Support Specialist Training

Since the creation of the National Association of Peer Specialists in 2004, many states have developed Peer Support Specialist (PSS) training programs and curriculums intended to build practical skills to support those people with mental health and substance use disorders initiate or sustain productive and valued lives in recovery.  North Carolina has been a leader in promoting the importance of people with lived experience who have expertise that professional training cannot replicate. PSS support their peers in formulating goals for recovery, learning and practicing new skills, monitoring and encouraging progress, modeling effective coping strategies based on their own recovery experience, and advocating for recoverees to access effective services.  PSS are trained individuals who engage with peers in community- based programs and activities and work with individuals as they develop and implement a personal recovery plan which includes addressing the overall health and wellbeing of the individual and not just their mental health and/or substance use.


Peer Support Specialists are required to meet state training and certification requirements.  This 40-hour training program will effectively prepare you to work as a PSS in the fields of mental health and addiction recovery.  Specifically, this curriculum provides key instruction on recovery coaching core competencies, ethics of a PSS, theories regarding stages of change and stages of recovery, motivational interviewing techniques, understanding of addiction, trauma, and co-occurring disorders, strategies to build recovery capital and develop holistic recovery plans, and important professional skills to be effective as a PSS.