Peer support in a recovery-oriented system
Peer Support is a process of giving and receiving support and education from individuals with shared life experiences. It is provided by persons in recovery from mental illness and/or addiction who use their “lived experience” as a tool to assist other persons along their personal paths to recovery. Through the promotion of sharing personal experience and knowledge, individuals engaged in peer support play an active and vital role in laying the foundations for sustained recovery.
Peer supporters encourage, inspire, and empower peers to reach recovery goals through modeling the recovery way of life. They do not provide clinical care or tell peers what to do.
View this document on What Peer Support Is and Is Not.
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Peer Supporter Certification
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is a certifying body for peer supporters in this state. Ohio’s Peer Supporter Certification program includes an integrated curriculum (for both mental health peer specialists and alcohol and other drug peer recovery coaches) and a certification exam. The catalyst for the OhioMHAS program was a grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as part of its Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) to promote the widespread adoption of recovery-oriented supports, services, and systems for people in recovery from substance use and/or mental health conditions. Ohio was awarded a BRSS TACS grant from SAMHSA in 2012 and used this opportunity to develop a standard definition of recovery and begin implementation of an integrated peer supporter certification program.
Consumer Operated Services
Consumer Operated Services (COS) encourage personal contact and social relationships to alleviate isolation and loneliness, a persistent and recurring problem among people in the public mental health system. Additional activities include educational and employment opportunities, as well as peer support and leadership building to promote self-advocacy.
Locate Consumer Operated Services in Ohio.