What is Peer Counseling?

In Washington, peer counseling is an approved Medicaid service. In order to bill Medicaid, contracted agencies must have peer counselors who have met the state requirements, taken the approved class, and passed the state test.

Peer counseling duties can vary widely, but they are all based on the effectiveness of assistance and support from people with shared life experience who are living in recovery. Peer counselors use their own stories in helping others develop hope and improve their lives.  Adults, youth, parents or legal guardians can provide support to their families.

Peer support can be provided in many other settings as well, such as consumer-run organizations and housing programs. The Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) peer support program, however, is specifically designed to prepare individuals to work in a Medicaid-funded setting.