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!
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.
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, January 8th through Friday January 12th, 2024 from 8:00 AM- 4:30 PM EST. The deadline for applications, references, and payment is December 22nd, 2023. 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. The cost of this training, testing, and certification is $350, with hardship scholarships available based on need.
Additional Tentative Training Dates: March 18th-22nd , 2024
Your wellness, your way. A game plan for your everyday life.
WRAP is a prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well, and make their life more the way they want it to be through a series of tools and action plans. This is a process for anyone who wants to make positive changes in the way they feel and the way they react to life. In WRAP, there are no limits to recovery and wellness. Core components of a Wellness Recovery Action plan include:
1. Wellness Toolbox
2. Daily Plan
4. Early Warning Signs
5. When Things Are Breaking Down or Getting Much Worse
6. Crisis Plan
7. Post-Crisis Plan
8. My Wellness My Way Change Assessment
Building recovery capital and skills to share with others.
With evidence of sustained, long-term recovery, individuals who want to use their lived experiences are encouraged to re-evaluate their own recovery while generating strategies for working with others. Core content areas include:
1. Principles of Recovery
2. The Shift from Maintenance to Recovery
3. An Overview of Behavioral Health
4. Peer Support
6. Spirituality in the Recovery Process
7. Wellness Planning
8. Mutual-Aid Groups
9. Using Your Recovery Story as a Recovery Tool
10. Cultural Competency
11. Trauma 101
12. Suicide Prevention
13. Active Listening and the Art of Asking Questions
14. Problem Solving
15. Avenues for Change
16. The Power of Positivity
17. Intentional Decision Making
18. Ethics and Professional Boundaries
19. Power, Conflict, and Integrity in the Workplace
Upskilling individuals with the knowledge to lead effectively.
MHA's Group Facilitation Skills Training was born out of the need for more group services utilizing telehealth during COVID-19. While virtual facilitation is covered, this training encourages individuals to assess their facilitation skills in all forms with strategies to improve engagement and more confidently manage group dynamics. Core content areas include:
1. Adult Learning
2. Role of the Facilitator
3. Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence
4. Session Planning
5. Classroom Management
6. Virtual Facilitation
1. Explain the role of the facilitator
2. Identify critical facilitator competencies and plan for self-development
3. Utilize effective communication skills
4. Stimulate participant involvement
5. More effectively/comfortably manage group dynamics and participant conflicts
6. Identify differences between live and virtual event facilitation
Ongoing development and upskilling of the workforce.
The Leadership Academy fosters initial leadership development and increases basic skills contributing to professsionalism in the workpace. This training is a prerequisite to the family and youth peer support certifiations, where consumers with lived epxerience with a mental health or substance use disorder instill hope and help other consumers find their own path to recovery. Training blocks include:
- Leadership Roles
- Communication Skills
- Decision Making
- Dealing with Conflict
- Effective Advocacy
- Collaboration and Partnership
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.