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Supervising NCCPSS- Free Online Course

NC PSS online course
Supervising NC Certified Peer Support Specialists
- is an online course that offers 3 NCSAPPB Contact Hours. This FREE course is designed to assist managers and supervisors wishing to enhance their skills supervising Peer Support Specialists. Visit the Springboard portal and register.

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North Carolina's Peer Support Specialist Program

An initiative of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services

About the Peer Support Certification

This program does:

  • Help prepare peer specialists for work in the North Carolina mental health and substance use disorder (mh/sud) service system.
  • Issue a certificate that shows that the person has satisfactorily completed approved training and met application criteria.

This program does not:

  • Certify anything other than that the person has satisfactorily completed approved training.
  • Guarantee the individual's job qualifications or employment skills.

The employer agency in which the peer specialist works is responsible for hiring, supervision, performance reviews, and ensuring the peer specialist can perform the essential functions of that job, just like other positions.

What is a Peer Support Specialist?

Peer Support Specialists are people living in recovery with mental illness and / or substance use disorder and who provide support to others whom can benefit from their lived experiences. The North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist Program provides acknowledgment that the peer has met a set of requirements necessary to provide support to individuals with mental health or substance use disorder.

Vision for Peer Support in North Carolina

To develop a qualified Peer Support Specialist workforce that has the support, access, credibility, competency, respect and the valued role within the mental health and substance use disorder service delivery system to positively impact the lives of individuals experiencing mental health and addiction challenges.  This is accomplished through the NC Certified Peer Support Specialist Program.

As of 7/25/2014 there are 1312 Certified Peer Support Specialists in North Carolina.

As of 7/25/2014 there are 39 Certified Peer Support Specialists from out of state.

Click to view the map
nc pss map

As of 7/25/2014 there are a total of 1351 Certified Peer Support Specialists.


Demographics Data - Click the Chart

nc pss demographics chart

Guiding Values for Peer Support in North Carolina 

    • Individuals with lived experience have an essential role to play in the public mental health/substance use disorder system and are considered peer supporters.
    • The roles that are created for peers within the service system should fully utilize the lived experience of the peer supporter, viewing it as a credential that the individual brings to the work that they do.  
    • Lived experience is necessary and on-going skill development for peer supporters is essential.
    • The recovery environment of the workplace is fundamental to the success of peer supporters and recovery for the individuals served.
    • Peer supporters are highly valued members of an agency; therefore, are fully integrated members of the mental health/substance use disorder delivery system. 
    • Equality and respect between peer supporters and traditional professionals must be reciprocal.
    • Choice and self-determination are important components in everyone’s recovery, including individuals receiving and providing services. 
    • Recovery is possible for every individual.

Who is eligible to apply for the NC Certified Peer Support Specialist Program?

Individuals may qualify to become Certified Peer Support Specialists in North Carolina by meeting the following application criteria: 

    • Be a current or former consumer of mental health and/or substance use disorder services.
    • Have a minimum of 1 year demonstrated recovery time prior to date of application.
    • Be at least 18 years of age.
    • Have attended (face to face in a classroom setting only) and successfully completed a Division of MH/DD/SAS approved 40 hour Peer Support Specialist training curriculum and have submitted a valid certificate from that training.
    • Have completed an additional 20 hours of training and have valid certificates verifying attendance and participation.  These trainings should complement the type of service/program the individual will be working. (Training such as, but not limited to, Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP), Person Centered Thinking, Personal Assistance in Community Existence (PACE), Crisis Prevention, Veteran supports and interventions).
    • Have submitted two (2) Personal Reference Forms completed by two (2) individuals, according to state requirements.
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Questions concerning the Peer Support Program?
Call 919-843-3018 or email us at: 
pss-support@listserv.unc.edu