Peer Support Resources

General Peer Support Resources

SAMHSA Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) Peer Workers

Learn about the role of peer workers and access recovery-related resources about peer supports and services. Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) is enriched by the lived experiences of people in recovery, who play key roles in BRSS TACS project leadership, development, and implementation.

Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network: Peer Support Workforce

A compilation of resources and information for and about peer support.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Offered in thousands of communities across the United States through NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates, our education programs ensure hundreds of thousands of families, individuals and educators get the support and information they need. NAMI shapes national public policy for people with mental illness and their families and provides volunteer leaders with the tools, resources and skills necessary to save mental health in all states. 

Mental Health & Addiction Association of Oregon (MHAAO)

Mental Health & Addiction Association of Oregon is an inclusive peer-run organization dedicated to self-direction, honoring the voice of lived experience. MHAAO is committed to promoting self-directed recovery and wellness for all individuals. They support these aims through education, advocacy, recovery, peer services, training, technical assistance, community collaboration, and through developing the peer workforce and leadership.

Youth Peer Workforce Communities of Practice (CoP) of Portland State University

Learn about PSU's training, which is intended for youth peer support specialists who are interested in deepening their knowledge and practice on youth peer support and who are interested in being a part of a community of fellow youth peer support specialists.

For Like Minds

Offers resources and a free peer support community for people affected by mental illness.

International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS)

iNAPS is a non-profit where people can come together to share their ideas and innovations, exchange resources, and add their voice to others when concerns and issues affecting all of us require a global response from a global community.

The Common Ground Program

Professor Pat Deegan created this program to support people's recovery and help peers and providers re-ignite their passion for the work they have been called to do.

Youth MOVE National Peer Center

Youth MOVE National’s Peer Center was established in July 2020, with grant funding support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. As a youth-run peer organization, YMN honors lived experience and recognizes the value of both traditional and non-traditional supports. YMN serves peers across the lifespan, their families, and providers of all ages, to grow the youth peer movement across the United States.


Professional Development

Webinars

Peer Delivered Services: A Broad Exploration

Peer delivered services are increasingly being recognized for their value, and becoming more readily available.  In peer support, we believe recovery is possible for all and work to support others to achieve their self-directed recovery. This webinar provides a broad overview of the history, research, misconceptions, implementation, supervision and benefits of peer delivered services.

The Parallel Process: Trauma-Informed Considerations for Individuals and Organizations

Trauma-informed care is a belief system that can be adopted by ourselves and our community partners which empowers every member involved to thrive. Becoming trauma informed is oftentimes a non-linear process that consists of four distinct phases and uses six guiding principles. In this webinar we will explore those phases and principles, how they relate to the parallel process, and why trauma-informed care is imperative to our peers, our organizations, our community partners, and ourselves.

Resources

What Is Peer Support & What Is NOT Peer Support?

A helpful guide from Pathways Research and Training Center (Pathways RTC) at Portland State University, defining what a Peer Support Specialist is, and what is not expected or desired in the role.

We Are Peer For You! Community Connections Series 

The Washington State University College of Nursing, Peer Workforce Alliance, is holding daily community forums so people with mental health and substance use challenges who are missing their regular meetings and groups can check in with like-minded, recovery-oriented individuals. Learn more and see the schedule of offerings at the Peer Workforce Alliance's COVID-19 response page.

Pathways RTC Learning Tools

Each of these tools is intended to provide an engaging, thought provoking experience that can be easily integrated into trainings, staff meetings, or other professional development activities. The tools can also be used by individuals seeking an engaging learning experience. Each tool is accompanied by a study guide that provides background context, describes specific discussion points, and poses questions for further reflection.

Whole Health Action Management (WHAM)

Whole Health Action Management (WHAM) is an approach for enhancing physical health of people with mental health and substance use challenges. It is especially useful for people with chronic health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other medical conditions. It was developed by people in recovery from behavioral health conditions.


Professional Development: Youth Peers

Achieve My Plan PLUS (AMP+)

Learn about this valuable training for Peer Support Specialists working with youth or young adults, and their supervisors.

Enhancing Skills for Peer Support Providers: Research on the AMP+ Skills Enhancement Training

This report covers a study testing the AMP+ skills-enhancement intervention for peer support providers working with youth and young adults. AMP+ provides web-based training and video coaching that is specific to the peer role. Peers reported high satisfaction, improved their skills, and reported reduced work-related anxiety.

Supporting the Youth Peer Workforce Practice Brief

Peer support is fast emerging as a promising and widely endorsed addition to the array of mental health services available to young people experiencing serious mental health conditions. This practice brief offers strategies for supporting youth peer support specialists and addressing common challenges they face. This brief was prepared in collaboration with the Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University.

Webinars: Youth Peers

Decision Points in Your Agency: What to Consider When Working with Youth Peers

This webinar focuses on important points to consider when hiring or contracting with youth peer support specialists. This includes the pros and cons of partnering with an outside agency, conducting internal hires, considering full or part-time positions, recommended policies and procedures, and more.

Retaining and Growing the Youth Peer Support Workforce

Increasingly, agencies are seeing the benefits of the youth peer support specialist role, and are working hard to integrate this role within their mental health services. One challenge that many agencies face: mitigating the high level of burnout for youth peer support specialists while growing the workforce within their organization and/or community. In this webinar, two experienced youth peer support specialists (and youth peer support specialist supervisors) discuss concrete strategies for retaining and growing the youth peer support workforce.

Recruitment and Hiring for Youth Peer Support Specialists

Youth peer support is an increasingly popular intervention for youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions. However, many agencies face difficulty when it comes to hiring this new role. This webinar addresses appropriate qualifications for youth peer support specialists, drafting a job description, addressing barriers related to confidentiality, and out-of-the-box recruitment methods. 

Supervision and Self-care for Youth Peer Support Specialists

Youth peer support is a growing field in many mental health and child-serving systems, yet many agencies are new to supervising and supporting these roles. This line of work can often be taxing for its young employees, and self-care is just as important to supervision as job performance. This webinar presents specific strategies supervisors can use to promote self-care among their youth peer staff while ensuring accountability to their job duties.

Stepping up: Successful Advocacy by Youth and Young Adult-led Organizations

This webinar describes a study of youth and young adult organizations that actively worked to change policies that affect young adults with mental health challenges. Young adults from several of the organizations were invited to speak about their experiences.

Peer Support Construction Zone Building Structure from a Foundation of Lived Experience

In this webinar, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services’ Youth Support Partner (YSP) Unit outlines the essential building blocks to support young peer mentors. As in construction, peer mentors require fundamental skills to build a firm foundation and the “scaffolding” of coaching and supervision to do the “hands-on” work. This video answers questions such as: What does it take to provide the building blocks to a young professional working with young people with shared life experiences and traumas, giving them the foundation to become a strong, confident, effective peer mentor? How do you give them a safety line to balance the elements of their own personal life experiences and trauma, the work and experiences with youth, professional and colleague interactions, professional and educational growth, home life, family and friends?