Certified peer specialists are individuals who have suffered from their own personal alcohol or drug addiction, or a mental disorder, and progressed on their road to recovery to be able to work with and assist fellow individuals with similar problems.
This position is mostly mental, and these specialists must develop effective techniques to help others resolve issues and fulfill their own personal recovery plans. Certified peer specialists must be strong-willed, motivated to help others, and serve as a mentor or role model to these individuals who seek their assistance. When developing recovery plans, they must take into consideration not only the mental health of an individual, but their overall health and well-being. This involves basic care maintenance, housing, and improving relationships with friends, family members, and the community at large.
Certified peer specialists who work in publicly-funded services must be able to meet the government and state certification requirements, and many state, non-profit, and for-profit organizations offer the proper courses to earn the certification, which involve ethics of a recovery coach, motivational interviewing, core competencies of recovery coaching, clinical theories as stages of change, and co-occurring disorders. They may work daily, hourly, or weekly with individuals, which varies greatly, and all discussions with clients are kept entirely confidential.
Certified Peer Specialist Tasks
Document interactions, goals, outcomes, and resources.
Lead introspective and networking activities and events.
Teach and mentor individuals on identified topics.
Meet individually and in groups to encourage and support designated peers.
Model skills and behaviors.