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Course Catalog > Career Certifications > Healthcare > - Wellness

Peer Support Specialist  

This online course will introduce you to Peer Recovery Services, which are provided by people who have personal experience in recovery from addiction, mental illness, or co-occurring substance and mental disorders.

What you will learn

  • The central knowledge base and behaviors of effective Peer Support promoted by iNAOPS
  • The attributes, roles, duties and guidelines for a Peer Specialist
  • Recognize aspects of recovery unique to the individual, as well as developing their own recovery definition
  • The creating and exploring of community resources, courtroom etiquette, help peers identify and understand communication barriers, and the reasoning behind documenting practices
  • How transformational language helps a peer specialist in the transformation in services for people with mental health problems
  • Various communication techniques commonly used in a peer support setting
  • The history of mental illness with attention to how and why the recovery model has emerged
  • Tools that will help you develop appropriate and effective ways of approaching peers and/or veterans with a substance disorder and/or co-occurring disorder
  • Cultural differences you are likely to encounter as a peer specialist
  • The critical nature of how ethics and boundaries play an integral role in the daily job of a peer specialist
  • The basics necessary to assist with peer reintegration into the community
  • A comprehensive concept of wellness that goes beyond being free of disease or sickness

How you will benefit

  • Prepare for a career as a Recovery Peer Specialist or Recovery Peer Support
  • Give back to the community by using your personal experience to positively affect the lives of others
  • Receive training that will help you properly educate other adults and improve their odds of beating addiction
  • Open the door to new career opportunities in an in-demand field


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Have you overcome addiction or a mental disorder personally or been very close to someone who has? When you understand first-hand how important it is to have a good support system, it's natural to want to help others facing the same problems. The Peer Support Specialist course will provide you with the education and training you need to appropriately help others and use your experiences for positive outcomes.

Whether you've experienced recovery from addiction, mental illness, or co-occurring substance and mental disorders becoming a Peer Support Specialist may be a great option for you. You will gain an understanding of the roles of Peer Specialists and Peer Supporters relative to advocacy, addressing stigma and discrimination, interpersonal communication, an overview of mental health and substance use disorders, cultural competence, ethical responsibilities and legal issues, including HIPAA. You'll learn to empower and help others through videos portraying stories of peers in recovery from mental illness and/or addiction throughout the coursework, and become a role model for others and show them that it is possible to achieve recovery.

This course includes content and standards that are promoted by INAOPS, the International Association of Peer Supporters and may be accepted by State Certification Boards that provide credentials for Recovery Peer Specialists or Peer Supporters. You should check with your State Certification Boards for more information on Certification.

  1. Peer Specialist Overview
    1. Learn definitions and tasks performed by peer specialists
    2. Learn the value of inspiring hope and contributing to the development of a recovery culture
    3. Be introduced to appropriate roles in the workplace
    4. Understand how their own values are formed and how understanding themselves effects the way in which they understand others
    5. Be introduced to concepts such as conflict resolution, cultural competency and tolerance
    6. Understand the importance of self-care and design a self-care plan
  2. Recovery and Resiliency
    1. Recognize that recovery is unique to the individual
    2. Develop their own personal recovery definition
    3. Understand recovery principles so that they can be applied to those they serve
    4. Define and identify strengths based treatment, attitudes and communication
    5. Be able to identify their own strengths and values and learn how to identify the strengths and values of others
    6. Understand the concept of Resiliency as used in prevention and recovery.
  3. Legal Issues and HIPAA Overview
    1. Learn the ability to identify barriers to recovery, and use a strengths-based approach in all aspects of communication with peers and staff
    2. Learn how to use a peer's person-centered plan as a basis to create a plan of action
    3. Learn to create accurate, peer-contact documentation with appropriate details
    4. Understand the importance of administrative requirements and the timeliness of events
  4. Stigma Issues
    1. Learn the ability to identify labels and stereotypes
    2. Learn the meaning of stigma
    3. Learn how stigma can affect them and others
    4. Understand the importance of "person-first" language
    5. Learn the ways they can fight stigma as a PS
  5. Interpersonal Communication
    1. Learn the role of effective verbal and non-verbal communication
    2. Explore various communication styles and examine their own skills
    3. Learn how to perform reflective listening
    4. Be introduced to motivational interviewing
    5. Learn how values can affect communication
    6. Identify roadblocks to effective communication
  6. Mental Health Disorders
    1. Understand how societal values have affected how mental illness is perceived and treated
    2. Understand how and why the recovery model has developed
    3. Recognize the symptoms of clinical depression
    4. Explore coping and recovery strategies for depression
    5. Understand the basic components of the DSM-V and how and why it is used by mental health professionals
    6. Develop skills to deal with peers exhibiting difficult behavior or presenting a crisis
    7. Learn to ensure the safety of peers while building trust and identifying barriers to recovery
  7. Substance Abuse Disorders
    1. Understand the difference between substance use, abuse, dependence and addiction
    2. Recognize the "disease concept" of addiction and it's key elements
    3. Describe the concept of co-occurring disorders
    4. List five similarities that substance and psychiatric disorders have in common
    5. List six major guiding principles in treating people who have co-occurring disorders
    6. Identify relapse prevention plans suitable for peers and/or veterans with co-occurring disorders
  8. Cultural Competence
    1. Gain understanding of what cultures are
    2. Learn why it is important to recognize cultural differences and preferences
    3. Understand stereotyping, stigma and personal values related to culture
    4. Explore the concept of holistic recovery which may include clinical practices, medicine and personal spirituality as valued components that support people in healthy recovery
  9. Ethics: Peer Specialist
    1. Put into practice appropriate self-disclosure
    2. Understand the personal dynamics of conflict
    3. Develop methods for resolving conflicts
    4. Understand why ethical and boundary issues are important for peer specialists
    5. Realize the importance of confidentiality and how it applies to peer specialists
    6. Explore situations that may cause ethical and boundary issues to arise
  10. Adult Education
    1. Learn the difference between leading a group and facilitating a group
    2. Learn how to facilitate a group
    3. Become familiar with the types and purposes of groups
    4. Review adult learning principles
    5. Gain insight into how adults are motivated to learn
  11. Community Reintegration
    1. Gain a basic understanding of the six steps of WRAP
    2. Learn how they can help a peer deal with life's challenges
    3. Understand the role person-centered planning plays in recovery
    4. Appreciate the importance of psychiatric advance directives
    5. Gain an understanding of the federal laws that promote self-determination
    6. Have the information they need to be able to advocate on the behalf of peers
  12. Wellness
    1. Define wellness
    2. Identify the essentials of good health
    3. Communicate the body's need for water as a simple essential of wellness
    4. Implement simple steps to improve mood
    5. Explain the purpose of sleep and its role in reducing daily stress
    6. Identify personal habits through self-assessment
    7. List stress management tips to reduce tension
    8. Identify the effects of smoking
    9. Explain the importance of getting organized and setting goals
    10. Identify their personality profile and how it can affect financial decision making

Jean LaCour, Ph.D., is a Certified Prevention Professional, author, and a trainer with extensive experience in the addiction recovery field. She is the co-founder of the NET Training Institute Center for Addiction and Recovery Education, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit corporation offering online training in addiction counseling, peer specialist support, and recovery support services.


Peer Support Specialist
Item: 202003CTP22060  
Class Dates: 7/1/2020 - 9/30/2020                                              Fee: $595.00
This is an on-demand Career Training Program Course offered by Ed2Go.  Class begins upon registration and completion of Student Enrollment Agreement in Ed2Go. Click on Course Title for complete course description.