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Division of Mental Health Services

Tennessee Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Program

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Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Trainings Offered

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Peer recovery support is an evidence-based practice for supporting people with mental illness and substance use disorders. Peer recovery support is provided by specially trained individuals who self-identify as having personally experienced a mental illness, substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorder and who have successfully accessed the treatment and resources necessary to build their own personal recovery. This model is fostered in Tennessee through the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Program, which is administered by the Office of Consumer Affairs and Peer Recovery Services. Certification expands professional employment opportunities for people who have lived experience of mental illness, substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorder.

Certified Peer Recovery Specialists complete an intensive, 40-hour training to learn how to provide peer-to-peer support to others and how to draw on their own experiences to promote wellness and recovery. The training includes multiple opportunities for role plays with constructive feedback. The training is provided free of charge in several locations across the state. To ensure that peers are ready to take the training, applicants first complete an extensive application that assesses their progress in recovery and their readiness for the training.

During the training, one full day is spent covering ethics and boundaries. Whether providing peer recovery services for employment or on a volunteer basis, Certified Peer Recovery Specialists adhere to a Code of Ethics and Scope of Activities and are required to be supervised by a mental health or substance use disorder professional.

Certified Peer Recovery Specialists:

  • Deliver unique services in the mental health and substance use systems
  • Provide Medicaid-billable services through provider agencies
  • Assist people by promoting self-directed recovery goals
  • Lead support group, teach recovery education classes, and serve as role models, mentors and advocates

Core Values*

  • Peer recovery support is voluntary.
  • Certified Peer Recovery Specialists are hopeful.
  • Certified Peer Recovery Specialists are open-minded.
  • Certified Peer Recovery Specialists are empathetic.
  • Certified Peer Recovery Specialists are respectful.
  • Certified Peer Recovery Specialists facilitate change.
  • Certified Peer Recovery Specialists are honest and direct.
  • Peer recovery support is mutual and reciprocal.
  • Peer recovery support is equally shared power.
  • Peer recovery support is strengths-focused.
  • Peer recovery support is transparent.
  • Peer recovery support is person-driven.

*Adapted from the International Association of Peer Supporters.

Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Certification Guidelines and Forms

Obtaining Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) Face-to-Face

If you are experiencing difficulty finding face-to-face continuing education hours for your recertification, we can help. Please contact us- Email: OCA.TDMHSAS@tn.gov Toll free 800-560-5767 / Local (Nashville): 615-532-6700.

Division of Mental Health Services Links