Is there a state-endorsed certification process?
Does the state differentiate between Mental Health Peer Support Specialists and Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?
Yes, If you are in recovery from substance use and do not identify as living with a mental health concern, please visit the website of the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse, who provide training for the CPS-Addictive Disease credential through their Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist training program.
What are the educational requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
High school diploma/GED Strong reading, comprehension, and written communication skills should be shown by answers on the application. A disclaimer on the application reads, in part: ""This is not about right & wrong answers. It is a brief examination to assess your reading & writing skills as well as your understanding of the requirements to become a Certified Peer Specialist in the State of Georgia and your lived experience with recovery.”
What are the personal requirements to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Candidates must be willing to identify as a person living with a mental health condition and be willing to use their lived recovery experience to support others in their recovery. Must be well grounded in recovery exampled by atleast one year working toward wellness and recovery. Specific requirements for a CPS-AD, is 2 years of abstinence from alcohol and drugs.
What are the professional requirements needed to apply for a peer specialist training program?
Applicants have demonstrated experience with leadership, advocacy, or governance.
What are the training requirements to become a Certified Peer Specialist?
It is a 2 week training for a total of 9 days (Monday through Friday of week one and Monday through Thursday of week two), usually from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
What is the average cost for CPS training?
$85 registration fee that covers cost of training materials, due by the first day of training.
Who is responsible for paying for training? (List all)
Other potential funding sources.
Scholarship requests are made on the application for each training. The scholarships are meant to cover the cost of the hotel lodging, do not cover the registration fee or transportation costs, and are limited in numbers. Potential scholarship for hotel stay available through the CPS Project at the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network.
Is there a state-wide certification test?
Yes, following successful complete of training, participants must pass the Georgia Certified Peer Specialist Exam. Exams are taken approximately 2 to 4 weeks following the training with 5 exam periods per year. Exams are administered in person in Tucker,
What are the personal/professional requirements for certification, if they differ from attending the training?
Is a background check required? If so, is a criminal record a disqualification for certification?
What is the cost of the certification test?
Does the certification test need to be taken regularly to maintain certification?
Aside from any fees for the training or state-wide certification test, are there other certification fees/costs?
Is there a statewide certification body?
Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network with funding and oversight from Georgia's Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.
Please provide as much information about the certification board/body as possible.
Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network 1990 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 100 Tucker, Georgia 30084 ​​[email protected] Tel 404-687-9487 Toll Free 800-297-6146 Georgia's Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities 2 Peachtree Street NW. 24th Floor ATLANTA, GA 30303 (404) 657-2252
Where can information be found for upcoming peer support trainings?
On average, how often are trainings held in your state?
5 trainings are offered each year.
Training providers (vendors) and their contact information.
Georgia Certified Peer Specialist Project Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network 1990 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 100 Tucker, Georgia 30084 [email protected] Tel 404-687-9487
What are the continuing education requirements?
After successful completion of the CPS examination, a CPS is required to have a minimum of 12 continuing education units (CEUs) per calendar year. The time frame for beginning acquisition of CEUs is the year following the year in which the CPS passed the certification exam. There are many opportunities to obtain CEU’s through workshops, webinars, and conferences. Continuing Education Information:
Who tracks CEUs?
Individuals are required to scan or fax CEU documentation to the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network.
Is there a certification requirement for CPS Supervisors? If yes, provide details of requirements and relevant information.
No, but there is a guide which can be found here:
Additional specializations available for certified peer specialists:
Mental health CPS, Addictive Diseases CPS, Peer Mentor, Forensic Peer Mentor
What are the different acronyms used to distinguish peer supporters and specific peer support specialties?
CPS-MH: Certified Peer Specialist Mental Health CPS-AD: Certified Peer Specialist Addictive Diseases YPS: Youth Peer Support PM: Peer Mentor FPM: Forensic Peer Mentor
Are Certified Peer Specialists services Medicaid reimbursable?
How are peer support services paid for by the state? What specific Medicaid waivers are used, if any?
Adult peer support specialists are paid for by a Rehabilitative Services State Plan Option. YPS are paid for through 1915(c) Home and Community Based Services Waiver.
Is digital peer support available? Medicaid reimbursable?

Is there a statewide Peer Specialist organization?
While Georgia does not have an organization composed solely of and for Peer Specialists, the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network (GMHCN) is widely recognized as the national leader in developing and implementing peer support programs in the United States.
Name of Statewide Peer Specialists Organization*
Peer Specialists Organization Website*
Peer Specialists Organization Primary Contact*
Other relevant/helpful contacts:*
Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network: Raye Thompson, CPS Training Coordinator [email protected] Will Armstrong, CPS Continuing Education Coordinator [email protected] Denise Hardy, CPS, WRAP Training Coordinator [email protected] Mariam Abdul Aziz, CPS Certification Coordinator [email protected]
Are there conferences held in the state specifically for Peer Supporters?
Yes, GMHCN Annual Summer Conference
Are there recognition or award opportunities for peer support specialists or Substance Use Peer Support Specialists?

Additional Info*

If there are recent changes to the certification process due to COVID-19, are the changes permanent, temporary or other?

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