Peer Support Providers are those who have experienced their own mental health, substance abuse or trauma conditions and trained to help others who are experiencing similar issues. VOCAL understands the unique value of peer support in the many roles and careers that are now being recognized. This evidence-based practice is nothing new but opportunities for specialists are quickly growing.

The Office of Recovery Services DBHDS (Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services) recently opened the Recovery Services Division was recently created to advise both DBHDS and the community on expanding and enriching our recovery support services. They provide a list of approved training programs in Virginia, as well as the Peer Support Provider Code of Ethics.

The National Association of Peer Specialists  A private, nonprofit organization dedicated to peer support in mental health systems. This website offers information on the peer specialist movement and is setup to share ideas, strategies, and information about innovative programs that work. iNAPS hosts a yearly conference, online webinars, email newsletters and other resources.

Peers for Progress The mission of Peers for Progress is to accelerate the availability of best practices in peer support. Peers for Progress is designed to demonstrate the value of peer support, extend the evidence base for such interventions, help establish peer support as an accepted, core component of health care, and promote peer support programs and networks on a global scale. The science of peer support is offered here.

The Virginia Certification Board website for peer specialists includes applications for training and re certification and a list of approved training programs.

Looking for a paid position as a Peer Support Specialist? Visit VOCAL’s job page here.