What is a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS)?

A Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) is an individual who is trained and certified to provide ongoing support to individuals and their families receiving mental health and/or substance use recovery supports and services. CPSs work from the perspective of their lived experience to help build environments conducive to recovery. They promote hope, personal responsibility, empowerment, education, and self-determination in the communities where they serve. CPSs are trained to assist others in skill-building, problem-solving, setting up and maintaining self-help mutual support groups, and building self-directed recovery tools. A critical role of the CPS is a willingness to self-identify their lived experience, using it as a tool for helping others in developing recovery goals and specific steps to reach those goals.

Certified Peer Specialist - Youth (CPS-Y)

A young adult between the ages of 18 and 26 certified by DBHDD who has lived experience of either a mental health condition and/or substance use disorder as a youth and is practicing recovery as related to that condition.

Certified Peer Specialist - Parent (CPS-P)

A parent or legal guardian (in a permanent relationship for at least three (3) years) certified by DBHDD who has the lived experience of raising a young person with either a mental health condition and/or substance use disorder and has supported that young person in an experience of recovery.