AMPlify the Power of your Peer Support!

The CAFÉ TA Center is committed to providing quality training to peer support specialists through online learning. Topics include workforce development, supported education, transition, leadership, organizational development, sustainability, and more.

Five Stages of Recovery

Stage 1 – Impact of Illness. The person has re-indentified him or herself as “mentally ill” which has automatically limited his or her future.

Stage 2 – Life is Limited. The person has given up, and may have identified him or herself strongly with the negative impact of stigma concerning mental illness, and does not see any possibilities for future personal achievements or recovery.

Stage 3 – Change is Possible. The person acknowledges and accepts that there are risks that must be taken to recover or achieve personal goals, but he or she may be afraid to take the necessary risks, or is being discouraged from doing so by others.

Stage 4 – Commitment to Change. The person is willing to take steps toward recovery and/or goal achievement. He or she is aware that supports and resources will be necessary to achieve goals, but he or she may worry that it will be a challenge, or difficult, to get the skills, resources, and supports he or she needs.

Stage 5 – Actions for Change. The person is moving beyond the symptoms, stigma and self-image of mental illness and is willing and able to take responsibility for their achievement of personal goals/recovery to a significant degree. The person may have doubts about his or her ability to function on his or her own.

Once the Recovery Stage is identified, the Peer Supporter will devise a plan, with the participant’s assistance, to procure the supports and resources he or she needs to achieve the next level of recovery or to begin achieving their personal goals.

The Peer Supporter will follow up with the participant as necessary and identify any obstacles or challenges ahead for him or her, and continue to identify other means of support.
SOURCE: The Appalachian Consulting Group

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The 10 Principles of Resilience & Recovery

Mental health recovery is “a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her potential.”

The 10 fundamental components of mental health recovery include the following principles:

  1. Self-Direction. Consumers determine their own path of recovery with their autonomy, independence, and control of resources.
  2. Individualized and Person-Centered. There are multiple pathways to recovery based on an individual’s unique strengths as well as his or her needs, preferences, experiences, and cultural background.
  3. Empowerment. Consumers have the authority to participate in all decisions that will affect their lives, and they are educated and supported in this process.
  4. Holistic. Recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit, and community. Recovery embraces all aspects of life, including housing, social networks, employment, education, mental health and health care treatment, and family supports.
  5. Non-Linear. Recovery is not a step-by step process but one based on continual growth, occasional setbacks, and learning from experience.
  6. Strengths-Based. Recovery focuses on valuing and building on the multiple capacities, resiliencies, talents, coping abilities, and inherent worth of individuals. The process of recovery moves forward through interaction with others in supportive, trust-based relationships.
  7. Peer Support. Mutual support plays an invaluable role in recovery. Consumers encourage and engage others in recovery and provide each other with a sense of belonging.
  8. Respect. Eliminating discrimination and stigma are crucial in achieving recovery. Self-acceptance and regaining belief in oneself are particularly vital.
  9. Responsibility. Consumers have a personal responsibility for their own self-care and journeys of recovery. Consumers identify coping strategies and healing processes to promote their own wellness.
  10. Hope. Hope is the catalyst of the recovery process and provides the essential and motivating message of a positive future. Peers, families, friends, providers, and others can help foster hope.

SOURCE: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrtation SAMHSA

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Peer Specialist Training and Certification Programs-National Overview 2016:

Certified Peer Support Specialist Code of Ethics

The following principles will guide Certified Peer Support Specialists in their various roles, relationships and levels of responsibility in which they function professionally.  The primary responsibility of Certified Peer Support Specialists is to help individuals achieve their own needs, wants, and goals.  Certified Peer Support Specialists will be guided by the principle of self-determination for all.

Certified Peer Support Specialists will:

  • Maintain high standards of personal conduct. Certified Peer Support Specialists will also conduct themselves in a manner that fosters their own recovery.
  • Openly share with consumers and colleagues their recovery stories from mental illness and will likewise be able to identify and describe the supports that promote their recovery.
  • Respect the rights and dignity of those they serve at all times.
  • Advocate for those they serve that they may make their own decisions in all matters when dealing with other professionals.
  • Respect the privacy and confidentiality of those they serve.
  • Advocate for the full integration of individuals into the communities of their choice and will promote the inherent value of these individuals to those communities.
  • Be directed by the knowledge that all individuals have the right to live in the least restrictive and least intrusive environment.
  • Keep current with emerging knowledge relevant to recovery, and openly share this knowledge with their colleagues.


Certified Peer Support Specialists will never:

  • Enter into dual relationships or commitments that conflict with the interests of those they serve.
  • Engage in sexual/intimate activities with the consumers they serve.
  • Intimidate, threaten, harass, use undue influence, physical force or verbal abuse.
  • Make unwarranted promises of benefits to the individuals they serve.
  • Practice, condone, facilitate or collaborate in any form of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital status, political belief, mental or physical disability, or any other preference or personal characteristic, condition or state.
  • Accept gifts of significant value from those they serve