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, September 20 through September 24, 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 September 10, 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.


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

Employment Opportunities

An Adult Peer Support Specialist shall:

  1. Use relevant personal stories to assist other consumers through experience
  2. Serve as a role model to consumers
  3. Encourage consumer voice and choice during development and implementation of plans
  4. Support a consumer by:
    1. Attending team meetings on behalf of or at the request of the consumer or
    2. Accompanying the consumer to meetings upon the consumer's request
  5. Empower a consumer to have the confidence to be a self-advocate
  6. Help providers or other individuals understand the importance of integrating consumer voice and choice in services and support within a system of care
  7. Promote socialization, recovery, self-advocacy preservation, and enhancement of community living skills for consumers
  8. 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?


Peer Services

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.


Peer Connections

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. ( at the PIER or call 859-547-6539.

Empowerment Team

Volunteer Peers oversee the activities of all Certified Peer Support Specialists in the Northern Kentucky area. The Empowerment Team meets monthly. Contact: Martin W. ( at the PIER or call 859-547-6539.