OPTIC: "A new lens for living well"


Course Catalogue



The following state-approved trainings provide instruction in basic peer support skills. Graduates of these trainings will be eligible to apply for state certification through the Oregon Health Authority.

Youth & Young Adult Peer Mentoring 

  • 40 Classroom Hours

  • 20 Service Learning Hours

This certified Peer Support Specialist training focuses on the unique challenges of youth and young adults. The service learning hours required offer the opportunity to practice skills and to learn and grow in an experiential setting. 

Peer Employment Specialist Training

  • 48 Hours - Six Full Days Over Two Weeks

In this training, participants learn the required skills necessary to become successful Peer Support Specialists. In addition, participants learn how to effectively provide employment support to peers.

Peer Wellness Specialist Training

  • 80 Hours - Five Full Days in One Week, Plus One Day per Week Over Five Weeks.

In this training, participants learn the required skills necessary to become successful Peer Wellness Specialists. Participants learn how to effectively support peers with their health and wellness goals.



Each of these trainings offers CEUs that can be applied to re-certification for Peer Support Specialists in the State of Oregon: 

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PeerZone Facilitator Training

  • 4-day training

What Is PeerZone?

PeerZone is a series of peer-led workshops for people who experience mental distress and addiction. The workshops are a combination of peer support and recovery education and provide a fun, interactive, safe structure for participants to share their experiences, learn self-management, and expand their horizons. Workshops explore distress, recovery, and major life domains such as lifestyle, relationships, housing, and employment. These pre-packaged, billable workshops can be offered as 18 three-hour or 36 ninety-minute sessions.

Workshop Facilitator Training

PeerZone offers a 4-day training for peer workers to become certified facilitators, who then deliver the PeerZone workshops as part of their employment to people in their service or community. Post-training support includes monthly group teleconferences, advice on-demand, analysis and feedback of workshop evaluations, improvements to workshops and access to our mobile friendly website. Facilitators also gain access to our online toolkit with 52 new topics full of resources for use 1:1 and in shorter groups.

The Benefits of PeerZone

For service agencies, PeerZone is a:

  • Service innovation for provider organizations that invest in it.

  • Practical tool and support structure for workers with lived experience who facilitate it.

  • Personal development opportunity for service recipients who participate in it.

For individual participants, PeerZone works by:

  • Inviting them to rebuild a more positive story of their lives.

  • Offering tools for whole of life well-being.

  • Creating a community of mutual support.

How can I bring PeerZone to my agency?

  1. We offer free 1:1 consultation for all interested agencies to learn more.

  2. We train your employees to facilitate PeerZone workshops.

  3. Employees facilitate PeerZone workshops as a billable service and part of their employment.

  4. We provide facilitators with a website, resources, on-demand support, and monthly group teleconferences.

For more information contact

Ali Koch, U.S. PeerZone Outreach Coordinator at MHAAO at akoch@mhaoforegon.org.

Self-Care and Wellness

  • 8 Hours - 1 or 2 days

This course increases knowledge and comfort with a variety of wellness tools and self-care strategies. By increasing our attention to self-care, we strengthen our ability to stay well and overcome the impacts of secondary trauma so that we can continue to be fully present to provide quality peer support. 

Ethics and Boundaries for Peer Specialists

  • 8 Hours - 1 or 2 days

How do peers practice authenticity being present, operate from peer recovery values and demonstrate clear ethics and boundaries? This workshop offers a deep exploration of the many layers that guide our actions and interactions as peer providers.

Money Basics Facilitator Training

  • 20 Hours Over 2.5 Days

Participants of this training learn how to effectively facilitate a Money Basics course. Due to the values and format of the Money Basics course, participants will need to identify as having lived experience of mental health challenges and must have an identified learning partner who will co-facilitate the course together upon completion of this class. 

REAL Recovery Person-Centered/Person-Directed Planning

  • 15 Hours

The two-day Recovery Intensive is designed to direct service providers; participants learn to facilitate a discovery process to uncover the strengths, gifts and motivations of each person served so that the Recovery Journey becomes focused on a self-defined destination. 

Other CE Trainings Offered:

  • Checking Your Biases

  • Peers as Professionals

  • Staying True to Peer Values

  • Collaborative Documentation (Documenting Recovery for Medicaid)

  • Peer Specialist Supervision - For Peer Supporters who are Supervisors



These trainings are geared toward mental health and addictions providers to support system change for recovery services and better understanding of how to collaborate with peer support. 

Peer Support 101

  • 1.5-4 Hours

Not sure where to begin? Peer Support 101 training provides a broad overview of the history, research, misconceptions, implementation, and benefits of peer delivered services. This introductory training is customizable, and has been successfully delivered to diverse groups including judges, lawyers, probation officers, and healthcare professionals. "Peer Support 101" includes an invaluable question and answer period with subject matter experts.

Peer Life

  • 1-2 Hours

Peer Life is an interactive experience that offers the participant a glimpse of life as a person receiving mental health services. This game is designed to illustrate much of what we already know: that mental health services can either help or hinder the path to recovery, and that recovery from mental health challenges can be gained through many paths. This is a fun, at times poignant, game that has been played by groups of peers, providers, and other community members. Many previous Peer Life participants reported the experience helped them see mental health services, and the recovery journey itself, through a new lens.

Money Basics

  • 20 Hours - 2.5 Hours Once Per Week Over Eight Weeks

In this eight week course designed specifically for people who experience mental health challenges, participants learn how to develop a better relationship with money through hands-on exercises and discussion. This course explores topics that include banking basics, budgeting, debt, credit and savings, along with the relationship between mental health challenges and financial issues. 

Reframing Recovery 

  • 1.5 Hours

Reframing Recovery challenges perceptions and ideals around mental health recovery, including how we, as a community, define it. Too often, our ability to recovery is questioned, challenged, and defined by others. With interactive visuals, frank discussion, narratives, and thought-provoking statements, participants are challenged to reframe how they see recovery from mental health challenges. 

The Poverty Experience 

  • 1.5 Hours

In this highly interactive presentation, participants will explore key issues related to poverty and income disparity in relation to mental health challenges through engagement in a series of "hands-on experiences". Throughout the session, the facilitator also provides current data and information on this subject, along with resources for those affected by poverty.

Other Trainings in this Category: 

Preparing the Workforce to Welcome Peers

  • Training Peers for Employment in your Agency

  • Peer Support: What it is, what it is not! (For Peers: an introduction to peer support)

  • Hiring Practices (Recruitment, Orientation, Staffing Patterns, Policies, Supervision)

  • Sustaining Peer Employment (Professional Development, Career Ladders & Peer Employment Support Networks)

  • Supervision of Peer Support Specialists

  • Peer Support: What it is, what it is not! (An introduction for Providers)