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Mental Health Peer Support Specialist Training - Oregon Health Authority Approved


Northwest Family Services will be offering Mental Health Peer Support Specialist Training in English in November 2019.


Interest List

If you are interested in receiving a notice when applications are open for our next Mental Health Peer Support Specialist Training, you can sign up on our interest list here — once applications are open, we will send you an email with a link to apply.

Please note that signing up on our interest list does not mean you have applied to our Mental Health Peer Support Specialist Training! In order to apply to the training, you will need to fill out the application that we will send you.

If you have questions about the Mental Health Peer Support Specialist Training, please contact

You can also learn How to Become a Certified Traditional Health Worker here, or download OHA’s Traditional Health Worker FAQ here!

Oregon Health Authority Approved

This course consists of 40 hours of course material, and is designed to prepare participants as Mental Health Peer Support Specialists (PSS) and serve as a building block to a peer oriented career. The training will include group discussions, group activities, role playing, and some independent work assignments. Passing the final written exam, and the group presentation is required to successfully complete the training. In order to be inclusive of all peers of different backgrounds, learning styles and needs, Popular Education methodologies will be utilized.  It is a collective effort between the facilitators and the learners. Facilitators or “teachers” and the learners are not two different groups, rather everyone learns and teachers through this process.

Peer Support Specialist (PSS)

Peer Support Specialist are individuals who currently or have formerly received mental health services, or had addictions or have a family member who have currently or formerly received mental health services or have addictions. They are individuals living in recovery or have a family member in recovery. Their life experiences allow them to provide recovery support in such a way that can be beneficial to others.

Ideal candidates have an experiential, personal understanding of mental-health recovery or addictions and a desire to help others.

The Certified Mental Health PSS Training includes topics such as:

  • Trauma Informed Care
  • Crisis Identification & Problem Solving
  • Ethical & Legal Responsibilities
  • Empowerment Techniques & Advocacy Skills
  • Community Engagement
  • Communication Skills
  • Knowledge of Community Resources
  • Professional Conduct
  • Recovery, Resilience and Wellness
  • Self-care

Individuals interested in participating in the training must complete the application and notification of approval will be sent to the applicant.

This training is an approved training through the Oregon Health Authority, and can be used to apply for certification as a PSS through the Traditional Health Worker Full Certification Application.