Peer Support Services

Peer support services are delivered by individuals who have been successful in recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders who help others experiencing similar situations. Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer support services help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Peer support services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking a successful, sustained recovery process.

Mental Health Peer Support Services Public Service Announcement - Missouri Mental Health Foundation

What is Peer Support?
How to find Peer Support
How to become a Peer Specialist

Peer support encompasses a range of activities and interactions between people who share similar experiences of being diagnosed with mental health conditions, substance use disorders, or both. This mutuality—often called “peerness”—between a peer support worker and person in or seeking recovery promotes connection and inspires hope. Peer support offers a level of acceptance, understanding, and validation not found in many other professional relationships (Mead & McNeil, 2006). By sharing their own lived experience and practical guidance, peer support workers help people to develop their own goals, create strategies for self-empowerment, and take concrete steps towards building fulfilling, self-determined lives for themselves.

To become a Certified Peer Specialist qualified to work in the Missouri Department of Mental Health system, here are the steps.

  1. Applicant would go to or and submit a training application. (Please note that only 30 applicants will be chosen for each training. You will be notified 2 weeks prior to the training if you have been selected).
  2. The peer would attend the week-long 35 hour training.
  3. Once the week-long training is complete the peer would take an online exam that is monitored by a proctor.
  4. Once the peer attends the training and passes the exam, they would then visit and download the Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) Application. They would fill out the application and submit all the necessary paperwork to the Missouri Credentialing Board along with a $75.00 application fee.
  5. The Missouri Credentialing Board reviews the application and once approved the peer becomes a Certified Peer Specialist and is issued a certificate and credential number.
  6. The Certified Peer Specialist Certification renews every 2 years and the peer must submit 20 hours of continuing education and within those 20 hours, six of the hours must be “live” ethics. The renewal fee is $70.00

Applicants can contact the Missouri Credentialing Board office with questions—the mainline number is 573-616-2300.

Other Helpful Links

There are three (3) SAMHSA-funded Technology Transfer Centers (TTC) available as a resource in developing and strengthening the specialized behavioral healthcare and primary healthcare workforce that provides prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for substance use disorders and mental illness.  The TTC program is comprised of three networks: 


Youth Peer Support
Family Support Provider

Family Support Provider Services and Billing