Peer Support Services

To begin your application process for any upcoming CPSS training, please click here to download the application. Please continue to preview this web page for dates of future scheduled trainings.

Upcoming Trainings:

December 11-14, 2018 – Communicare in Oxford, MS. Registration deadline is November 30, 2018.  Click here for details. 

 

What is a Certified Peer Support Specialist?

Certified Peer Specialists Success Stories

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What is Peer Support?

Peer support has existed for decades, both formally and informally, in clubhouses, drop-in centers, and consumer-run organizations. Since the 1990s, increased attention has been paid to the importance and potential of expanding mental health staffing patterns to include “consumers as providers” within mental health service settings. Peer support is the term commonly used to refer to all of the activities that peer specialists perform.

According to NAMI, peer support is getting help from someone who has been there. People with similar experiences may be able to listen, give hope and guidance toward recovery in a way that is different, and may be just as valuable as professional services. Peer services include mutual support groups, peer-run programs, and services in traditional mental health agencies provided by peer support specialists. While peer support groups may be composed entirely of people who have simply learned through their own experience, some types of peer providers undergo training and certification to qualify. In addition to direct services, many peer-run organizations advocate to improve opportunities for people recovering from mental illnesses.

An individual providing peer support is not automatically a Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS). Peer support services are an evidence-based mental health model of care provided by a CPSS. A CPSS is a family member and/or an individual who has self-identified as having received or is presently receiving behavioral health services. Additionally, a CPSS has successfully completed formal training recognized by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and is employed by a DMH Certified Providers.

These individuals use their lived experience in combination with skills training to support peers and/or family members with similar experiences. CPSSs support their peers both individually and in groups. Under general supervision, a CPSS performs a wide range of tasks to assist individuals to regain control of their lives and their own recovery and resiliency process. CPSSs provide varying supports, some of which may be offered by others in the behavioral health system, but CPSSs contribute something unique. They are living proof that recovery is possible. They share lived experiences and are willing to share their stories to benefit others.

For more information about peer support services or about becoming a Certified Peer Support Specialist, contact DMH at 601-359-1288.

 



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