Peer Support

Washington State's Peer Support Program has trained and qualified mental health consumers as Certified Peer Counselors since 2005.  A "consumer" is someone who has applied for, is eligible for, or who has received mental health services.  This also includes parents and legal guardians when they have a child under the age of 13, or a child 13 or older and they are involved in their treatment plan (WAC 388-865-0150).

Certified Peer Counselors work with their peers (adults and youth) and the parents of children receiving mental health services. They draw upon their experiences to help peers find hope and make progress toward recovery.  Because of their own life experience, they are uniquely equipped to provide support, encouragement and resources to those with mental health challenges.

The peer support program is managed by the Office of Consumer Partnerships - OCP.  The OCP is guided by adult, youth and family representatives with behavioral health concerns.  Read about the goals and priorities of the Certified Peer Counselor program.

For more information contact: Jennifer McDonald, Peer Support Program Assistant, (360) 725-1718.

Peer Support

Announcements
  • Beginning July 1, 2016, you must complete the new online course before being accepted into training.  Please note that:
    • You will need to send the online completion certificate along with your training application
    • You will need to complete the online course before you will be considered for training.
    • If you have an invitation to a training, you must complete the online training two weeks before any training class. 
    • The online course is required for both the Standard and Youth and Family trainings.
    • The online course is full of information you will need as a working CPC.
    • Anyone can take the course, which is posted on the Washington State University webpage. See the tab with instructions for help with completing the online course.
  • In 2018, there will be two statewide trainings. Participants from rural areas or who travel long distances will be provided lodging and meals during the week.
  • There will be a new standard CPC curriculum test beginning July 2016.  The trainings beginning in July (including the Youth/Family trainings) will include an online course. You will send in your training certificates with your application for approval. We are working hard to make the transition as easy as possible, but please be patient as we bring these pieces together.
  • The CPC course was revised in 2016 with the assistance of Boston University, and the help of many peers and providers. It is more activity and skill-based, as much of the informational part of the training will be online.  Another part of the new training is the inclusion of skills checks, designed to make sure you have the skills you need to prepare you to become a CPC.
Standard Certified Peer Counselor Trainings

2018 Trainings

  • Jan. 22-26: Spokane BHO 
  • Jan. 29-Feb 2: King County BHO - (for King County residents only)
  • Feb. 12-16: SUD Specific Peer Support Training DBHR (location to be determined)
  • March 12-16: North Sound DBHR
  • March 19-23: Optum Pierce BHO - (for Pierce County residents only)
  • April 9-13: Statewide DBHR - Eastside
  • April 30-May 4: King County BHO - (for King County residents only)
  • May 14-18:  Thurston Mason DBHR
  • June 11-15: King DBHR
  • July 16-20: Pierce DBHR
  • Sept. 10-14: Statewide DBHR – Westside
  • Oct. 8-12: Location to be determined DBHR
  • Nov. 5-9: King County BHO - (for King County residents only)

 

Application Process

  • Please read all the information on this web page to understand the application and certification process. 
  • To be accepted, applications must be sent with the online course completion certificate.
  • Submit applications to:
    • Mary Chambers
    • PO 45330, Olympia, WA 98504-5330; or
    • Fax:  360-725-2280; or
    • Email chambmj@dshs.wa.gov
  • If you need other information, please call Mary Chambers at (360) 725-1325.
  • Applications must be revised and resubmitted one year after the original submission date.
  • We cannot predict when you will be invited to a training.  We fill trainings as possible during the year (no calls, please).
Youth and Family Certified Peer Counselor Trainings

These trainings are focused on preparing youth and parents to be certified as peer counselors.  The trainings cover the same material as the standard training, and the state test is required for both.  

The online course is required as a pre-requisite for training and there will be a new test.

Washington State University provides youth and family training.  If you are a parent or youth working on a WISe team, you may only apply for a youth/family training.  Other adults, parents and youth may apply on a space-available basis.  

2018 Trainings

  • Jan. 22-26:  North Sound (Regional)

  • Feb. 26 - March 2:  King County

  • June 18-22:  Spokane (Regional)

 Where to send applications:

  • Mary Chambers
  • POB 45330, Olympia, WA 98504-5330
  • email: chambmj@dshs.wa.gov
  • Fax:  360-725-2280

Local applicants will be prioritized for regional trainings, but all completed applications will be reviewed for consideration.

For questions about the Youth/Family trainings, please call Mary Chambers at 360-725-1325 or WSU at 360-350-0893.

Peer Counselor Training Application

After completing this application, send it to the address, email or fax listed on the form.  If you are emailing the form, you may "sign" by typing your name on the signature line. 

 

Please send completed applications along with the pre-requisite online completion certificate received at the end of module nine to:

Mary Chambers: chambmj@dshs.wa.gov

or

Fax: 360-725-2280

 

 

Certified Peer Counselor Training Application

 

Online Certified Peer Counseling Course

How to Complete the Online Certified Peer Counseling Course

We hope you will find the online pre-requisite training course to be a positive and helpful experience. Completing the course will be important in gaining the knowledge and skills you will need as a Certified Peer Counselor - CPC.  There is much information in the online course, including material that is not covered in the 40-hour training. The CPC test will cover information from both the in-person and the online course.  Please complete the online course thoroughly, take notes, and review the information as you are able.

When you have completed the online course, please email a copy of your certificate with your application to chambmj@dshs.wa.gov.  

Instructions

The link to the course is:  https://www.wabhwc.com/peer-initiatives

  1. Click on "ADD TO CART" to get started
  2. Click “CHECK OUT" (no credit card is required)
  3. Enter Customer Information and then click "Continue to payment method" (Your order is free. No payment is required, this course is free). 
  4. Click "Complete order" 
  5. You will receive an email from BHWC Training Center confirming your order, followed by two additional emails shortly after that will guide you through completing your registration and accessing your student Dashboard and the online CPC training modules. 

Scroll down to see each of the course modules.  Each module has audio, and there is a written script to read in Resources.  You may also print the script for further reference.  When you have finished the course, you may print the certificate or send a screenshot of the certificate, pasting it into a word document and sending it to Mary Chambers at DBHR by:

  • Mailing it to DBHR, PO Box 45330, Olympia WA 98504;
  • Faxing a copy to 360-725-2280; OR
  • Emailing it to chambmj@dshs.wa.gov.

We appreciate your questions and comments about your experience with the course. If you have questions about course content please contact Mary Chambers at 360-725-1325.   

Peer Counselor Tests

 

  • Space is limited for each exam. Priority is given to participants in that week's training. 
  • Registration is accepted on a first-come basis.  
  • For information and to register for all tests, please contact at Janiceschutz@gmail.com or (360) 350-0893. 
  • Let Janice know if you need a reasonable accommodation to take the exam. You may be asked to provide written support for your request.

2018 Test Dates

March

16

Arlington

CVAB

28

Tacoma

Optum Pierce BHO

April

13

 Wenatchee

CVAB

27

Centralia

Great Rivers BHO

May

7

Seattle

King County BHO

18

Thurston /Mason

CVAB

June

13

Tacoma

Optum Pierce BHO

15

Seattle

CVAB

22

Spokane

Youth & Family

July

20

Pierce

CVAB

26

Optum

Pierce County BHO

September

14

Chehalis

CVAB

October

12

TBD

CVAB

November

16

Seattle

King County BHO

 

 

Continuing Education for Peer Counselors

General Continuing Education

  • Co-occurring Disorders: March 21st Spokane, October 17th Moses Lake, December 13th Optum Pierce
  • Ethics & Boundaries: June 28th Optum Pierce, September 19th Moses Lake
  • Peers in Crisis & Suicide Prevention: May 23rd Moses Lake, September 5th Salish, November 1st Great Rivers BHO 
  • Trauma Informed Peer Support: May 30th Great Rivers, July 18th Moses Lake
  • Documentation: April 18th TBD, June 27th Clark County
  • De-Escalation: May 16th Spokane, September 20th N. Sound, November 6 S. King County
  • Culture & Diversity: June TBD Eastside, July 25th Great Rivers, October TBD 

Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAP) Training

Intro to WRAP, Level 1

  • May 9-10, Mt. Vernon
  • August 1-2, Moses Lake 

WRAP 2 Facilitator Training

  • April 2-5, Mt. Vernon
  • July 9-13, Great Rivers
  • October 1-5, Moses Lake

WRAP Refresher

  • April 24-26, Moses Lake
  • August 21-23, N. King

Requirements for Level 2 training: Participants must have completed a Level 1 Introduction to WRAP or have taken an eight week class and be using their own personal WRAP.  WRAP facilitator training is limited to peers only.

For more information and to register go to http://holdingthehope.com/events/ or contact Odie@holdingthehope.com, (908) 484-4968

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Certification