Peer Support Services
What is a Peer?
Certified Peer Support Specialists are trained to use lived experiences in a professional manner to help other people recover. Peer Support Specialists; give encouragement, hope, guidance, and understanding through the recovery process. We utilize lived experiences to form a mutual relationship of equals to support those in recovery. We assist them with the process of moving from hopelessness to hope!
MHA's Center for Peer Support has the latest information and promotional materials on peer support, certification, peer-run programs, support groups, and current research on the efficacy of peer support.
Become Certified in Peer Support
Working in peer support is an especially rewarding experience. You get to share the tools, skills, and information you have learned to transform your own life with individuals going through similar struggles. Not only do you get to contribute to the lives of others, but you also improve your own recovery and wellbeing in the process.
As more and more learn about the impact of peer support, opportunities and career paths for peer specialists will grow and expand. The growth of peer support has the potential to radically transform the ways we support people in the behavioral health system. If you are interested in working as a Peer Support Specialist, you will likely have to participate in some sort of training. Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio’s Certified Peer Support Specialist Training is a 40-hour course provided over five consecutive days designed for certification in the states of both Kentucky and Ohio.
Upcoming Training Information
The next training will be held virtually the week of Monday, July 19 through Friday, July 23, 2021 from 8:00 AM- 4:30 PM through the HD Meeting platform (extremely similar to Zoom). The deadline for applications, references, and payment is July 9, 2021. You are expected to attend the ENTIRE LENGTH (40 hours) of the training or you will be asked to make up missed time in the next available training session. Participants must have a tablet, laptop or PC to complete the training virtually—cell phones do not have the capabilities necessary to participate in activities. Temporary grant funding allows us to scholarship Kentucky residents ($350 value) after satisfying requirements.
Two letters of recommendation are required to be considered for the training. These references should come from members of your treatment team (i.e. healthcare provider, psychiatrist, therapist, group leader, employer if applicable). If you are recovering from a mental illness, a reference from a psychiatrist or therapist is recommended. If you are recovering from a substance use disorder, a reference from a sponsor is recommended. References from family members will not be accepted. You are responsible for giving the attached personal reference forms to the individuals speaking on your behalf.
Not sure what the process looks like?
KENTUCKY: Peer Support Specialists
Pathway to Certification
OHIO: Peer Recovery Supporters
Pathways to Peer Recovery Supporter Certification Steps to Peer Recovery Supporter Certification
NATIONAL: National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS)
The National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) certification is a voluntary, examination-based certification that allows peers to demonstrate a high level of experience and competencies in peer support. The NCPS does not replace state certifications but is an add-on to required state certifications. Individuals who earn the NCPS go above and beyond state certification to show their leadership and commitment to the growth and advancement of the field.
Career Roadmap Additional Information
An Adult Peer Support Spcialist shall:
- Use relevant personal stories to assist other consumers through experience
- Serve as a role model to consumers
- Encourage consumer voice and choice during development and implementation of plans
- Support a consumer by:
- Attending team meetings on behalf of or at the request of the consumer or
- Accompanying the consumer to meetings upon the consumer's request
- Empower a consumer to have the confidence to be a self-advocate
- Help providers or other individuals understand the importance of integrating consumer voice and choice in services and support within a system of care
- Promote socialization, recovery, self-advocacy preservation, and enhancement of community living skills for consumers
- Complete and maintain documentation of related training or education in each subsequent year after successful completion of the training.
Check out our Employment Opportunities page for openings. For more information please contact Jill Bittner at 859-431-1077 ext 103.
What do our peers have to say?
Northern Kentucky Recovery Network Peer Support
Peer specialists offer at no charge, goal oriented support for people who want help with their recovery from mental or substance use. Individual assistance and group activities help clients achieve their Employment, Mental Health, Physical Health, Social Health, Education, Housing, Legal issues and Substance Abuse goals.
Stay involved with other peers in the region by attending monthly meetings to learn more about resources and share in community wide service projects. Contact: Martin W. (email@example.com) at the PIER or call 859-547-6539.
Volunteer Peers oversee the activities of all Certified Peer Support Specialists in the Northern Kentucky area. The Empowerment Team meets monthly. Contact: Martin W. (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the PIER or call 859-547-6539.