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MHA Announces Partnership on Peer Support with RI International

Mental Health America (MHA) has developed a partnership with RI International to promote MHA’s National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) certification and RI International’s Peer Employment Training (PET) program.

RI International is a training partner and approved training for the MHA NCPS certification, the first national, advanced peer specialist certification. RI International has trained over 12,556 peer supporters in the US, Canada, and overseas. The organization employs over 650 peer supporters at all locations and within all services. RI International has a purposeful career ladder and people with lived experience work at all levels of the organization. The individuals they train and those they employ have an intense belief in the reality of recovery and the inspiration to do this work.

“We are very excited to work with MHA NCPS, as it will create many new opportunities for the evidence-based practice of peer support throughout healthcare,” said Lisa St. George, Director of Recovery Practices at RI Consulting (the training and consulting arm of RI International).

RI Consulting’s Certified Peer Specialist Training: Peer Employment Training (PET) was developed in 2000 and is currently in its 6th Edition. The training meets SAMHSA’s Core Competencies for Peer Workers as well as the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) National Practice Guidelines for Peer Supporters. Written and developed by peer supporters, the training continues to integrate real-world skills based on the experiences of RI’s workforce across settings like housing, hospitals, respites, outpatient, and crisis services.

"MHA is proud to have the opportunity to partner with RI International as we work together to expand the availability of peer support services and to acknowledge the high standards of knowledge and experience of many of the individuals working in this field, through comprehensive training and an advanced level certification," said Patrick Hendry, Vice President of Peer Advocacy, Supports, and Services at MHA.

As two leading organizations in increasing and expanding the peer workforce, the partnership between MHA and RI International is an important part of the overall movement to give more people access to peer support and to create more career opportunities and equitable wages for peer supporters.

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