New York Certified Peer Specialist

What does a peer specialist do?

Peer specialist utilize specific methods and practices to develop hopeful relationships with people in their communities. A peer specialist:

  1. Engages peers in collaborative and caring relationship
  2. Provides support: validating experiences and feelings; explores meaningful community roles and conveys hope of recovery
  3. Shares the lived experience of wellness and recovery in a connecting and relatable way
  4. Personalize peer support recognizing multiple paths to wellness, respecting each other’s unique strengths, interests and culture perspectives.
  5. Supports recovery planning proposing strategies, offering support, information and resources for an individual to achieve their own desired tasks and goals
  6. Links to resources, services and supports when desired by an individual
  7. Provides information about skills related to health, wellness and recovery based on an individual’s interest and goals
  8. Supports people define, identify and manage crises
  9. Values respectful, person-centered and mutually supportive communication
  10. Supports collaboration and teamwork
  11. Promotes leadership and advocacy
  12. Promotes one’s own growth and development by seeking continued education, mentoring and supportive supervision

how to become a New York Certified Peer specialist

The Office of Mental Health is currently paying for all initial certification fees for eligible candidates to earn their New York Certified Peer Specialist (NYCPS) certification.  

Peer specialists help others in recovery with a mental health condition or major life disruption.  In order to earn the NYCPS one must complete a free training, agree to the NYPSCB Code of Ethical Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures, complete at least 2000 hours of peer specialist experience under supervision, submit three references and apply for the certification.  Peer Specialists are individuals who are themselves in recovery from a mental health condition or major life disruption and have shown to provide support to others in their recovery process.

Peer specialists help others in recovery by assisting them the tasks of managing daily skills for healthy living, helping them stay motivated through social and emotional support, linking them to clinical care and community resources, and by offering long-term, proactive support.  

Earning the NYCPS can assist individuals with securing meaningful employment and may qualify them to bill Medicaid.

I recommend that if you are interested in earning your NYCPS that you first review the application, You can also review information on the certification on the NY Peer Specialists website or call 518-426-0945.  You can begin your training by clicking here, then click on the login button, and create a new account. The training platform has been very well constructed and of high quality. I would also recommend speaking to other peer specialists about their work in order to assess if it is a fit for you.