Certified peer support specialist

A Certified Peer Support Specialist is an individual who uses their lived experience in recovery from mental illness and/or substance use disorder, in addition to skills learned in a formal training, to deliver services promoting recovery and resiliency.

Optum Health CPSS Training:

An integrated mental health and substance use disorder training. The training prepares individuals grounded in their recovery, to learn tools and practices to assist their peers in finding their own pathway to recovery. The curriculum covers mental health and substance use disorders evenly. Principles of recovery, discovering strengths, using your recovery story, motivational interviewing, ethics and boundaries, role of trauma, culture and worldview, working with groups, crisis prevention and intervention, self-care and maintaining personal wellness as well as preparing for employment. The cost of this training is paid by the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.

Utah State University CPSS Training:

The USU CPSS Training is funded through a federal grant, the purpose of which is to enlarge Utah’s behavioral health workforce, while introducing integrated health care into peer support services. This training is for peers well into recovery who desire to assist others in their recoveries. It is based on Appalachian Consulting Group’s nationally-recognized peer support training, with added substance use disorder instruction. You MUST complete the REQUIRED 40 hours of Core CPSS training. Supervised field experience in a mental health/substance use disorder agency for 100 hours. (can be your employment if already working in peer support) Integrated Health Endorsement Training, which is 4 hours of online modules and 8 hours in-person, with free career/education counseling for 1 year. The USU CPSS Training fees are covered by a federal grant.

Veteran’s Administration CPSS Training:

If you are a Veteran, and want more information, or to apply, contact Mark Hutcheson. He can be reached at mark.hutcheson@va.gov, 801-582-1565 ext. 2748. Cost for this training is covered through the Veteran’s Administration.

Certified Peer Support Specialist Training Dates


CPSS Core Training:

  • May 2021
  • August 2021
  • Only confirmed attendees will be admitted.

Utah State U.

CPSS Core Training:

  • December 7-11 (Southern)
  • February 22-26 (Northern)
  • April 19-23 (Northern)
  • Only confirmed attendees will be admitted.

Allies with Families

Family Peer Support

Click this link to view the Allies with Families Training calendar. https://allieswithfamilies.org/news-events/event-calendar.html


Peer Monthly Calls and Quarterly
Webinars, 2nd Thursday each month from 10 to 11 am. Join the conversation:
‪(470) 241-5408
PIN: ‪867624#

If you would like to apply for any of the training courses listed above, please download the new application and complete. We are no longer accepting the old certification form. Individuals who are currently employed may be given priority, however all are welcome to apply. You can mail, or email your completed application and related attachments to:

Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH)
Email: utahpeersupport@utah.gov
Attn: Utah Certified Peer Support Specialist Program
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116