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. Cost of training is covered by Optum 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. This is a FREE training program, however, you MUST complete the REQUIRED hours of training: Core CPSS training 40 hours. 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. Available throughout Utah at all 28 USU regional campuses using real-time distance education technology in rural areas. Personal computer or internet not needed. We advise that you make every attempt to attend the CPSS training in-person, if possible. For rural students traveling to an in-person training, there is a small monetary stipend available for transportation costs, with the amount determined case-by-case. The USU CPSS Training fees are covered through the 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 Trainings:

Watch here for our next scheduled certification training class. Only confirmed attendees will be admitted.

Utah State U.

CPSS Trainings:

Watch here for our next scheduled certification training class. Only confirmed attendees will be admitted.

Allies with Families

Watch here for our next scheduled training classes. Only confirmed attendees will be admitted.


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