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The Professional Peer: A Personal Specialist

Examining a unique and often misunderstood role that is vital to recovery


Peer Support Specialist, as a profession, is relatively new to most people in the Behavioral Health field, but the concept is as old as time. Peer Support Specialist serve as role models, proving by their example that recovery is possible. As anyone traverses their life journey, having a role model who understands you and accepts you like a friend, but also teaches and supports you like a professional is a key ingredient to success. This is no different in the case of recovery from mental health or substance use disorders. The tools used by a professional Peer Support Specialist are rooted in research and then brought to life with hope from practical life experience. Research shows that people stay in treatment programs longer, reach further stages of recovery, and sustain positive change better when working with a Peer Support Specialist.

Learning Objectives

  • Explore the history of the Peer Support Specialist and the current role of the Peer Profession

  • Review the primary values that guide a Peer Support Specialist in their work

  • Define the scope of a Peer Support Specialist as a professional role in a care team

  • Identify the special skills and tools of a successful Peer Support Specialist

Board Accreditation

MN Board of Social Work   
     2.0 CEUs (CEP-275)

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