Six Leading Practices for State Programs to Certify Peer Support Specialists

This is an excerpt from an article by the US Government Accountability Office on 11/13/2018. See the full story HERE.

Federal and academic studies have reported that millions of American adults with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, go untreated each year. This is driven, in part, by a national shortage of behavioral health care professionals.

In recent years, states have increased use of peer support specialists—people who use their own experience recovering from mental illnesses to support others.

We looked at how 6 states certify that the specialists have basic competencies and the ability to support others. We found 6 leading practices, including training specialists in person and requiring continuing education.