Certified Peer Specialists: Sharing the Journey of Recovery

Research suggests that peer support for persons with serious mental illnesses can improve psychological outcomes, such as empowerment, and can also improve clinical outcomes, such as reduced hospitalization. As of last year, Minnesota is now 1 of 26 states that cover peer support services. With a focus on recovery, the Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) is a compensated and trained member of a mental health services team. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services website, the role of a certified peer specialist is to:

  • Inspire hope that recovery from mental illness is not only possible, but probable
  • Provide opportunities for people using mental health services to practice self-efficacy through activities that emphasize the acquisition, development and enhancement of skills needed to move forward in mental health recovery.
  • Promote empowerment and self-determination
  • Build relationships based on mutuality and shared-perspective
  • Deepen the treatment teams’ understanding of the experience of being a mental health consumer.

CPS Training is provided through the the Minnesota Department of Human Services for individuals that work within an Assertive Community Treatment, Intensive Residential Treatment, Crisis Response and/or Adult Mental Health Rehabilitative program.