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, Continuing Education, 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 email@example.com
Path to Prime – Jess Wojcik (970) 570-1972 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please direct all questions regarding certification to email@example.com or 208-947-1300.
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
Smartphone Ownership, Use, and Willingness to Use Smartphones to Provide Peer-Delivered Services- Results from a National Online Survey