Idaho Peer Support Connection Conferences
The North Idaho Peer Support Connection Conference is now live!
Empower Idaho organizes three Peer Support Connection Conferences throughout Idaho every year. The Southeast Idaho Peer Support Connection Conference was held March 15th and 16th in Pocatello, Idaho. The Southwest Conference was held June 7th and 8th in Boise, ID.
If you want to receive Peer Support Connection Conference updates, please subscribe to our Peer Support mailing list
Empower Idaho holds three conferences every year in Idaho. Click the following link to view previous PowerPoint presentations and topics. Learn about previous conferences
We are offering a variety of opportunities through which our community partners can express their support. If interested in providing financial encouragement for these conferences, please email email@example.com
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Peer Support Information
Peers: Please Visit the “Certification” tab below to learn about BPA administering the Idaho Peer Support Specialist and Family Support Partner Certification Process!
Peer Support Specialists promote recovery by using their own lived experience with mental health concerns to provide empowerment to the peers they work with. For individuals living with a mental illness, recovery is a personal experience that encompasses all aspects of one’s life. The recovery journey involves the development of hope, self-esteem, purpose, decision making and problem solving skills, connection with others, and a satisfying and meaningful life. Peer Support is recovery based, strengths focused, and peer driven. Because of their own personal recovery experiences, Peer Support Specialists are uniquely qualified to support the recovery of others. They instill hope and empowerment in those recovering from serious mental health or mental health/substance use co-occurring disorders.
Information about Training, Certification, Agency Readiness, Continuing Education, PATH(Project for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness), and current Peer Specialist Job Openings can be found on this page. Please scroll down and click on specified topics to view more information and subscribe to our newsletter to be updated about future training opportunities.
Certified Peer Support Specialists (CPSSs) are critical in the Idaho mental health service system. These individuals have experienced a mental illness and recovery, and are well positioned to support others who are seeking recovery. Peers offer hope and encouragement by sharing their experiences and knowledge. They create opportunities for recovering individuals to live satisfying and meaningful lives.
Certified Peer Support Specialists provide hope for individuals, families, and communities recovering from mental illness by offering:
Connections to a community of peers
Encouragement and understanding
Information on accessing resources
Support through recovery
Effective June 1, 2018, BPA Health is administering the certification process for Peer Support Specialists and Family Support Partners certification. You may contact BPA Health for additional information.
Phone: (208) 947-1300
Toll Free: (888) 239 – 9759
For Certified Peer Support Specialist training, please contact:
Idaho Behavioral Health – Tami Jones (208) 505-4419 firstname.lastname@example.org
Path to Prime – Jess Wojcik (970) 570-1972 email@example.com
Peer Support Specialist Certification takes place through BPA Behavioral Health. Please understand the distinction between Peer Support Specialist Training and Peer Support Specialist Certification.
BPA Health certifies individuals AFTER they have been trained. You must first complete Peer Support Specialist Training, then apply for Certification as a Peer Support Specialist through their process. Please DO NOT submit an application for certification until you have completed Peer Support Specialist Training.
The application for Peer Support Specialist Certification can be found on the BPA website here, along with information about the certification process which takes place AFTER individuals have been trained.
BPA: Idaho Peer Support Specialist and Family Support Partner Certification
BPA Health began accepting certification applications, calls, and emails on June 1, 2018.
- New certification website
- New certification phone number: 208-947-1300 (Toll Free: 1-888-239-9759)
- New certification email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- New electronic application forms
- New method to track your hours of supervision
If you have questions regarding an application you have submitted to BPA, please contact them at email@example.com.
Please direct all questions regarding certification to firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-947-1300.
Agency Readiness Training will assist your agency in effectively implementing recovery-oriented practices and sustaining your Peer Support Specialist Program. The training is designed to help prepare staff to integrate peer support into the existing continuum of care and build a sustainable recovery-based peer support program that addresses the needs of consumers.
The training includes:
- Self-assessment to determine your agency’s readiness to implement or enhance peer support services
- Steps your agency needs to take to effectively start or bolster peer support programming
- Principles and guidelines for supervising and supporting peer specialists
- How to incorporate a peer workforce
- Appropriate scope of work for peer support specialists
- Challenges and recommended actions for your peer support specialist program
- An overview of Idaho’s Peer Support Specialist Training and certification information
- Support and continuing education available to Idaho’s certified peer support specialists
- Idaho’s Peer Support Specialist Code of Ethics
We encourage you to take this self-assessment to learn about your agency’s approach to recovery-based services and incorporation of peer support. It’s important for agencies to have a person-centered approach to treatment in order to effectively integrate peer support services and make them successful.
We do not have 2017 Agency Readiness Trainings scheduled yet. Please email us if you would like to bring a training to your area and sign up for our distribution list to receive emails regarding training availability. Check out these agency readiness resources in the meantime!
Certified Peer Support Specialists(CPSSs) are required to have 10 hours of continuing education annually in order to renew their certification with at least 1 hour in ethics. CPSSs may participate in or attend webinars, classroom-based education or training, or workplace training to obtain continuing education hours. When applying for certification renewal, CPSSs will need to submit copies of their certificates of attendance or completion, and ensure that the certificates document the topic/title of the training, who provided the training, and how many hours they participated. Ensure that continuing education falls under suggested topics, keep track of certificates of completion, and submit certificates when applying for certification renewal.
Approved Continuing Education Topics
– Mental illness and substance use disorders and their effects on the brain
– Stages of recovery and the role peer support plays in it
– The state behavioral health system and the role peers play within it
– Advocacy for recovery programs and for the peers they serve
– Recovery values: authenticity, self-determination, diversity, & inclusion
– How to use your recovery story to help others
– Ethics (boundaries, confidentiality, HIPAA, etc.)
– Identifying risk factors in participants’ behaviors and how to respond to crisis
– The use of interpersonal and professional communication skills
– Effecting change
– Trauma informed care
– Work place dynamics and processes
– Empowering others
– Family and relationship dynamics
– The effects of trauma and use of a trauma informed approach
– Wellness and natural supports
– Maintaining one’s wellness
– Cultural sensitivity and diversity
– Recovery and recovery plans
– Local, state and national recovery and peer support resources
The following nationally recognized organizations offer regular webinars, workshops, and/or educational opportunities that are relevant to peer support. Be sure to request certificates of completion for every webinar you attend!
Copeland Center for Wellness & Recovery
You must become a Copeland Center member for $35 to access webinars
International Association of Peer Specialists (iNAPS)
You must become a member of iNAPS for $25 to receive certificates of completion
Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale (BRSS TACS)
After registering and viewing a webinar please email us and we will send you a short quiz for a certificate of completion.
Peer-to-Peer Conversations About Suicide, presented by Caroline White & Sean Donovan of the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community
Through peer-to-peer support we have the opportunity to hold conversations beyond, or without, diagnosis to explore how we all make sense of the world. This free webinar explores having conversations about suicide from a place of curiosity, respect and transparency rather than risk assessment and fear. Caroline & Sean will share ways to connect to each other in dark times through non-clinical, peer-to-peer relationships.
Hosted by Jannus Inc.
Register and view archived recording.
Motivational Interviewing for Peer Support Specialists – Part 1: Engagement & Focusing, presented by Kyle Davis, PhD
Motivational Interviewing Part I focuses on providing an overview of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and instruction in the first two fundamental processes of MI, Engagement and Focusing. This free presentation is designed to help you understand factors related to behavior change and develop skills to efficiently and effectively engage with peers and help them find areas of behavior change that will be most beneficial for them.
Hosted by Jannus Inc.
Email us for registration link.
Motivational Interviewing for Peer Support Specialists – Part 2: Evoking & Planning, presented by Kyle Davis, PhD
Motivational Interviewing Part II focuses on the final two fundamental processes of MI, Evoking and Planning. This free presentation is designed to help you identify differences in the way your peers discuss potential behavior change and learn skills to evoke “change talk” that will help your peers resolve ambivalence about changing their behaviors. Finally, we will discuss strategies to help you identify when a peer is ready to begin the journey towards behavior change and discuss strategies that will allow you to help your peers develop and follow through with their goals.
Hosted by Jannus Inc.
Email us for registration link.