Peer Specialist Training Opportunity Now Available

The application period is now open for MHA's upcoming Peer Specialist Training! Peer Support is a vital part of a person's recovery, and as a Peer Specialist, you will be equipped with tools to help others on their journeys. Beginning on September 11, 2017 and meeting twice per week for 14 weeks, the course prepares and supports students interested in pursuing the New York State's Peer Specialist Certification. An internship of 100 hours follows completion of the course. For more information or to apply, please contact Bob Litwak at (914) 345-5900, ext. 7105.

Course Overview: The Peer Specialist Training is a 70 hour training designed to impart knowledge regarding the recovery process and to teach peer support, engagement and reflective listening skills. The primary objective of the training is to obtain employment working as a peer specialist or in a related field. The course will cover the psychosocial dimensions of recovery and an overview of the mental health system where many participants receive services. Other topics that will be covered will include; self-care, life and WRAP planning, trauma informed peer support, and working within a human service agency. Participants will engage in a variety of activities as they learn to master the “how-to” aspect of these peer support skills.  Some of these classroom activities will include warm-up exercises, handouts, homework assignments, role playing training exercises, and discussion.

Goals: Through interactive trainings and hands on experiences through an internship placement, participants will learn peer support skills and knowledge. Employment as a Peer Specialist is a goal of the program. The training can also assist seasoned experienced peers in helping them fine tune their skills and add to their knowledge base. Beyond this, the Peer Training will provide support and assistance for students who wish to pursue their Peer Specialist Certification credential, new in New York State this year. Our computer lab provides access to the online courses required for this credential and our staff will assist participants with all aspects of the credentialing process.

Expected Outcomes:  Participants who complete the training, will gain the foundational skills to provide peer support in both professional and peer run mental health service settings. Following completion of training, participants will be assisted to obtain an internship. When the classroom and internship phases of our training are complete, participants obtain a certificate and support to look for, obtain and maintain paid employment as peer specialists. The training does not guarantee paid job placements, although participants who did not pursue paid work, have indicated the training was helpful in their own recovery. In addition to completing the class, participants will be encouraged to pursue peer specialist certification through the online Academy of Peer Services in New York State.

Eligibility:  In order to participate in the training, applicants must be 18 years or older and have a history of being diagnosed with a mental health condition. The training also requires a high school diploma or equivalent.

Beginning on September 11, 2017, classes meet on Monday and Wednesday from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm for 14 weeks. For more information on the training, please contact: Bob Litwak, litwakr@mhawestchester.org  or 914-345-5900 x 7105