OPTIC: "A new lens for living well"

MHAAO offers a wide variety of training, learning sessions and technical assistance. Our catalog of offerings includes: 



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: 

PeerZone Facilitator Training

  • 24 Hours

What are the PeerZone workshops?
The PeerZone workshops are a series of 20 three-hour peer-led workshops for people who experience mental distress and addiction developed by Mary O’Hagan and Sara McCook Weir. The workshops provide a fun, interactive and safe structure for participants to share their experiences, learn self-management and expand their horizons. They enable mental health and addiction services to enhance the recovery outcomes of clients as well as offer a peer practice tool to peer workers.

PeerZone runs a four-day training and provides ongoing support for peer workers to be PeerZone facilitators, who deliver the workshops to people in their service or community. Post-training support includes monthly group teleconferences, advice on demand, postage of paper promotional materials, analysis and feedback of workshop evaluations, improvements to workshops and access to our new mobile friendly website. Since the beginning of 2013:

PeerZone has trained and supported 250 facilitators in four countries.
They have facilitated workshops to thousands of participants.

How does PeerZone usually work?
Agencies that employ peer workers or people with experience of mental distress or addiction in other support roles decide they want to deliver PeerZone:

The agency pays PeerZone a fee. 
We train their employees to become PeerZone facilitators.
They facilitate PeerZone workshops as part of their employment.
We provide the facilitators with a website, resources, support and monthly group teleconferences.
We're offering the PeerZone facilitator course, support services, and two-year PeerZone provider license for $1,500 per facilitator. Agency rates may also be offered if you would like to arrange a training at your organization! PeerZone additionally offers all our facilitators a comprehensive set of resources for both their one-to-one and group work – at no extra cost.

To register your employee for our next facilitators training, please fill out the form below. If you would like to learn more, please contact Adrienne Scavera at ascavera@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)