Peer Support Services

Certified Peer Support Specialist Professionals

Certified Peer Support Specialist Professional (CPSSP) is one who has successfully completed the CPSSP Training provided through the MS Department of Mental Health (DMH). This training grounds participants in recovery concepts and build skills in creating helpful peer relationships throughout the recovery process and focus on ethical practice for peers. The CPSSP training designations are Adult and Recovery, Parent/Caregiver, Young Adult, and Recovery only (must have been previously trained in the Adult designation prior to May 2021). Adult and Recovery designation trains individuals who have personal lived experience with a behavioral health diagnosis (mental illness and/or substance use disorder) who can demonstrate their own efforts in self-directed recovery. Parent/Caregiver designation trains biological/adoptive parents or relative caregivers with permanent legal custody who are raising or have raised a child with an emotional, social, behavioral and/or substance use disability. Young Adult designation trains individuals between 18 and 26 years old with lived experience with a behavioral health diagnosis (mental illness and/or substance use disorder) who can demonstrate their own efforts in self-directed recovery. Applications are available in the section below labeled “CPSS Documents.” Applicants will be notified of acceptance after applications have been reviewed.

To become a CPSSP, a test must be completed with a passing score of at least 75%, verification of current employment with a DMH Certified Provider, and credentials from the DMH Division of Professional Licensure and Certification (PLACE) must be obtained.

The Certified Peer Support Specialist Professional (CPSS) Supervisor Training is designed for agency administration/management and CPSSP Supervisors. The CPSSP as a provider of services is a relatively new position in the behavioral health system. Effectively incorporating this new workforce into the current provider workplace is greatly dependent upon the quality of the relationship between the peer specialist and his/her supervisor. This training will focus on:

  • Preparing the Organizational culture for peer support
  • Supervision of CPSSP
  • Role of CPSSP
  • Recruitment, Hiring and Retention of CPSSP

Peer Bridger Project

The purpose of the Peer Bridger Project is to improve the transition process from inpatient care to a community-based level of care, improve the quality of life, reduce the need for readmission, and increase the number of individuals who attend follow-up appointments. Intensive peer support services are provided by State Certified Peer Bridger Support Specialists who have had experience living with mental health and substance use challenges. These services are currently provided in behavioral health programs, community mental health centers, and crisis stabilization units.

To become a Peer Bridger Support Specialist, you must have first successfully completed the Certified Peer Support Specialist Professional (CPSSP) Training. If interested, complete a Peer Bridger Registration Form.

The Peer Bridger Supervisor Training is designed for agency administration/management overseeing Peer Bridger programs throughout the state. Its purpose is to highlight efficient ways to ensure collaborative efforts between inpatient and outpatient services designed to ensure this continuum of care are uninterrupted. If you’re overseeing a Peer Bridger program and in need of this training, PB Supervisor Training Form.

For more information about peer support services, please contact Kathy Smith or Dr. LaTarsha Michael with DMH Central Office at 601-359-1288.

Upcoming Trainings

CPSS Trainings and Deadlines

July 18-22, 2022 – Virtual Training (Application Deadline: June 20, 2022)

September 12-16, 2022 – Virtual Training (Application Deadline: August 15, 2022)

November 14-18, 2022 – Virtual Training (Application Deadline: October 17, 2022)

January 9-13, 2022- Virtual Training (Application Deadline: December 5, 2022)

March 20-24, 2023- Virtual Training (Application Deadline: February 17, 2023)

May 15-19, 2023- Virtual Training (Application Deadline: April 14, 2023)

CPSS Supervisor Trainings and Deadlines

August 25, 2022 – Virtual Training (Form Deadline: August 12, 2022)

October 27, 2022 – Virtual Training (Form Deadline: October 14, 2022)

Peer Bridger Trainings and Deadlines

August 16, 2022 – Virtual Training (Registration Deadline: July 26, 2022)

October 18, 2022 – Virtual Training (Registration Deadline: September 27, 2022)

Peer Bridger Supervisor Trainings and Deadlines

August 18, 2022 – Virtual Training (Registration Deadline: July 28, 2022)

October 20, 2022 – Virtual Training (Registration Deadline: September 29, 2022)

What is Peer Support?

Peer support is the term commonly used to refer to all 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 from, and may be just as valuable, as clinical mental health 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 professional certification. These individuals use their lived experiences in combination with skills training to support peers and/or family members with similar experiences. In addition to direct services, many peer-run organizations advocate to improve opportunities for people recovering from mental illnesses.

CPSS Documents

Success Stories

Below are links to four videos from Certified Peer Support Specialists (CPSS) and Certified Peer Support Specialist Supervisors that highlight the value of becoming a CPSS and employing them in the public mental health system. Certified Peer Support Specialists are individuals or the family members of individuals who have self-identified as having received or are currently receiving behavioral health services. A CPSS has successfully completed formal training recognized by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and uses his or her lived experiences in combination with skills training to support peers and/or family members with similar experiences.

Employment Opportunities

Region 2 CMHC, Communicare

The job postings below are not positions with the Department of Mental Health, but are positions with the Region 2 Community Mental Health Center, Communicare. Click the links below for more information.

Peer Support Specialist, Marshall/Tate County

Peer Support, Crisis Stabilization Unit in Panola County

Peer Support Specialist, Panola County Office

Peer Support Specialist, Yalobusha County Office

Peer Support Specialist, Lafayette County Office

Region 3 CMHC, Lifecore Health Group

The job postings below are not positions with the Department of Mental Health, but are positions with the Region 3 Community Mental Health Center, Lifecore Health Group. Click the links below for more information.

CSU Peer Bridger, Tupelo

Peer Support Specialist

Region 7 CMHC, Community Counseling Services

The job postings below are not positions with the Department of Mental Health, but are positions with the Region 7 Community Mental Health Center, Community Counseling Services. Click the links below for more information.

FTA-SOC Peer Support Specialist, West Point/Lowndes

Peer Bridger

Peer Bridger, CSU West Point

Region 8 CMHC, Region 8 Mental Health Services

The job postings below are not positions with the Department of Mental Health, but are positions with the Region 8 Community Mental Health Center, Region 8 Mental Health Services. Click the links below for more information.

ICORT Peer Support Specialist, Copiah County

Peer Support Specialist, Rankin County

Region 9 CMHC, Hinds Behavioral Health Services

The job postings below are not positions with the Department of Mental Health, but are positions with the Region 9 Community Mental Health Center, Hinds Behavioral Health Services. Click the links below for more information.

Peer Support Specialist, Mobile Crisis

Peer Support Specialist, ICORT

Peer Support Specialist, Reduce Recidivism

Peer Support Specialist, A&D Services

Peer Bridger

Peer Support Specialist, Part Time

CMHC Crisis Peer Support Specialist

CMHC Crisis Peer Support Specialist

Peer Support Specialist, PACT

Region 10 CMHC, Weems Community Mental Health Center

The job postings below are not positions with the Department of Mental Health, but are positions with the Region 10 Community Mental Health Center, Weems Community Mental Health Center. Click the links below for more information.

Peer Support Specialist

Region 14 CMHC, Singing River Services

The job postings below are not positions with the Department of Mental Health, but are positions with the Region 14 Community Mental Health Center, Singing River Services. Click the links below for more information.

Certified Peer Support Specialist, Peer Bridger

Parent Peer Support

Certified Recovery Peer Support Specialist for Alcohol and Drug

Crisis Support Peer Support

Certified Intensive Community Outreach Team Peer Support Specialist

Certified Navigator Grant Peer Support Specialist

Parent Peer Support Specialist, Gautier

Care Coordinator Opening at Mississippi Public Health Institute

Click here for the full job posting. Project Role: Works to bridge communication among EMS (Emergency Medical Service) workers, medical providers, law enforcement, outside professionals and in-house behavioral health providers. Read the full job description for more information.

To apply, please submit resume and cover letter tlock@msphi.org.  Please put Interested Candidate in the subject line. You will receive a confirmation that your information was received.  No phone calls or drop-ins please.