Education, Certification, and Roles of Peer Providers: Lessons from 4 States

Authors: Susan Chapman, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN | Lisel Blash, MS, MPA | Krista Chan, BA | Kimberly Mayer, MSSW | Victor Kogler | Joanne Spetz, PhD

Topics: Behavioral Health, Education and Training

Research Center: UCSF Health Workforce Research Center on Long-Term Care

July 1, 2015

Peer providers are individuals hired to provide direct support to those undertaking mental health (MH) or substance use disorder (SUD) recovery, often referred to in the literature as “consumers.” The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines a peer provider as “a person who uses his or her lived experience of recovery from mental illness and/or addiction, plus skills learned in formal training, to deliver services in behavioral health settings to promote mind-body recovery and resilience.”

This report examines factors associated with the successful integration of peer providers into behavioral health care systems, drawing from a summary of the literature and in-depth case studies conducted in 4 states with strong peer provider workforces.

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