Peer Support

Articles & Publications

Peer Support Behind Bars in Pennsylvania

“The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) is providing cutting-edge services to address the increasing needs for mental health services for inmates by instituting one of the first comprehensive Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPS) programs in a prison setting in the United States.  …… Implementation of the CPS program has far exceeded expectations and is in part responsible for changing the culture around how incarcerated individuals are viewed.”

The National Practice Guidelines for Peer Supporters

Issued in 2013 as a consensus and guidance document for those who are providing or supervising peer support services, this  document was the result of a six-month, inclusive process where an iNAPS task force, an expert panel at SAMHSA headquarters, and over 1000 peer supporters nationwide came to a 98% national agreement on twelve core values of peer support and what those values look like, in practice . . .

National Consumer and Consumer Supporter Technical Assistance Centers

The National Consumer and Consumer Supporter Technical Assistance Centers provide technical assistance to promote consumer-directed approaches for adults with serious mental illnesses and are funded by SAMHSA. Such programs maximize consumer self-determination and recovery, promote access to treatment, and assist people with serious mental illness by decreasing their dependence on expensive social services and avoiding psychiatric hospitalization.




Career Development for Certified Peer Specialists

Free Training:  Become a Certified Recovery Specialist!

Free Training:  Become a Certified Peer Specialist!


Certified Peer Specialists in Crisis Services Training: 

Provided by the PENNSYLVANIA PEER SUPPORT COALITION, this training is specifically designed to prepare CPSs to work in crisis services (telephone, mobile, walk-in, and residential) and increase their skill set.  Topics covered include the Mental Health Procedures Act, roles and responsibilities of a CPS in crisis services, de-escalation, and suicide assessment and prevention.

For more information and to register online, visit  

For questions or to request a paper application, please contact:

Click here to download/print/share the flyer.









Pennsylvania Certification Board

A new formal certification will be necessary for CPS’s to provide Medicaid billable peer support services. Q & A

The grandparenting period ends August 31, 2019. The requirements for the grandparenting process must be met but no additional exam will be required. The requirements to become grandparented are:

  • Specialist training from one of the recognized training vendors.
  • Those two vendors are the Institute for Recovery and RI Consulting.
  • ◦Complete the CPS Grandparenting Application and sign and date a Peer-specific code of ethical conduct.
  • Signed and notarized release form.




Consumer Health Coalition – The Human Library

At The Human Library, the Books are People and The Stories Are All True.” (Click “Listen” under the image to listen live on WESA – 90.5, Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station)

Need to be heard? You don’t have to be a CPS/CRS to participate! 

If interested, please contact either: Marie Krechowski at -or- Bonnie Palmieri at




Webinars and Online Learning

Free – iNAPS (International Association of Peer Supporters):

Past Webinars: 22+ useful webinars (on demand) for career development.

Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center

Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse: Mandated and Permissive Reporting in Pennsylvania Online Training.

Common Ground Program – Pat Deegan       “. . . a collection of tools supporting recovery and healing after a diagnosis of mental illness. We provide solutions for people in recovery, peer supporters, MH professionals and organizations.”

Peer Services Toolkit

A Guide to Advancing and Implementing Peer-run Behavioral Health Services

Peer Respite Resources

Learn about Peer Respites: What are they? Why and where do they exist? How do they work?