What is a Peer Support Specialist?

-A Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) provides peer support services; serves as a consumer advocate; provides consumer information and peer support for consumers in emergency, outpatient or inpatient settings.  The CPS performs a wide range of tasks to assist consumers in regaining control over their own lives and over their own recovery process.

A CPS assists consumers in articulating personal goals for recovery aids in determining the objectives the consumer needs to take in order to reach his or her recovery goals.

What are some details that a CPS attends to with a consumer?

-a. Assisting consumers in determining “Problems.”

-b. Assisting consumers in identifying recovery goals.

-c. Assisting consumers in setting objectives.

-d. Determining interventions based on consumers recovery/life goals.

-e. Observing progress consumers make toward meeting objectives.

-f. Understanding and utilizing specific interventions necessary to assist consumers in meeting their recovery goals

 Utilizing their specific training, the CPS will:

a. Lead as well as teach consumers how to facilitate Recovery Dialogues

b. Assist consumers in setting up and sustaining self-help (mutual support) groups.

c. Assist consumers in creating a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP).

d. Utilize and teach problem solving techniques with individuals and groups.

e. Teach consumers how to identify and combat negative self-talk.

f. Teach consumers how to identify and overcome fears.

g. Support the vocational choices consumers make & assist them in overcoming job-related anxiety.

h. Assist consumers in building social skills in the community that will enhance job acquisition and tenure.

i.  Assist non-consumer staff in identifying program environments that are conducive to recovery; lend their unique insight into mental illness and what makes recovery possible.

j.  Attend treatment team meetings to promote consumer’s use of self-directed recovery tools

k. Assist consumers in developing empowerment skill through self-advocacy and the use of Human Experience Language to combat stigma.

(Adapted from http://www.gacps.org/JobDescription.html)


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