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Adult Peer Support Services

About Peer Support Services

Based upon the fundamental principles of recovery, Peer Support Services are specialized therapeutic interactions provided to individuals (peers) by persons who are trained and self-disclosing current or former users of behavioral health services - professionally identified as a Certified Peer Specialists (CPS).

Recovery is defined by the individual receiving the services. Paths vary, are sometimes a life-long effort, and sometimes require support and inspiration from others.

Peer support is intended to inspire hope in individuals that recovery is not only possible, it is probable. The service is designed to promote self-empowerment, self-determination, and self-awareness through mentoring and service coordination supports. Peer support services encourage individuals to reach self-defined goals which may assist in coping with stressors, promote resiliency from mental health challenges and inspire all peers to rise to achieve victories of personal prosperity.

Peer support can be provided to youth age 14-17 as well as adults receiving behavioral health services along with those who have a co-occurring disorder.

To receive Peer Support Services an application is completed to confirm eligibility. The referral must be signed by a Practitioner of the Healing Arts. (Please see application form)

What is a Certifed Peer Specialist (CPS)?

A CPS is a professionally trained person who is willing to self-identify and self-disclose as an individual with a mental health (and sometimes with a substance use recovery history) or “lived experience”. A CPS walks alongside and assists fellow peers with navigating mental health/ substance recovery systems/programs and wellness alternatives. CPS also lend lived experience support to peers seeking wellness and recovery oriented, personalized choices of goals and achievement. Becoming a Certified Peer Specialist (or Peer) can often be a self-empowering and exceptional way for a peer to assist in his or her recovery while inspiring others in seeking their own paths to wellness.

A CPS is an individual with lived experience of mental health recovery who has been trained and certified in the state of Pennsylvania on how to assist others in recovery and wellness.

A person becomes a Certified Peer Specialist by engaging in specific training for this role and must be certified through the Pennsylvania Certification Board to provide Medicaid billable peer support services. This certification must be updated every two years.

Certified Peer Specialist Training Includes

A qualified person becomes a CPS by fully engaging and successfully completing a 2 week/10 day (75 hour) specific training for this professional certification. The training includes classroom discussions, participating in class activities such as though not limited to: Role plays and guidelines for personal lived experience disclosure, professional ethics and boundaries, motivational interviewing, basics in documentation procedures, ability to demonstrate appropriate usage of continually evolving cultural/recovery-based terms & language as well demonstrates Recovery Values and Core Competencies.

Delaware County Certified Peer Specialist Training Eligibility:

(a) Delaware County Resident;

(b) Self-identified as an individual who has received or is receiving mental health servicesfor a serious emotional disturbance or serious mental illness;

(c) Eighteen (18) years of age and older;

(d) Have a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma;

(e) Within the last 3 years, have either maintained at least 12 months of successful work or volunteer experience, or earned at least 24 credit hours at a college or post-secondary educational institution.

(f) This training does not guarantee PA certification and/or employment

Who Provides Peer Support Specialist Training in Delaware County

Training opportunities for 20 (qualified and selected) trainees per year are funded by Delaware County’s Office of Behavioral Health.

The Training opportunity is facilitated by The Institute for Recovery and Community Integration (part of Mental Health Partnerships).

Information and important dates for the next training will be posted here.

For more information contact;

Faith Brown - Office of Behavioral Health
20 S. 69th Street
Upper Darby, PA 19082
Email: BrownF@DelcoHSA.org
Fax: 610-713-2378