MHA National Certified Peer Specialist Certification-- Get Certified! | Mental Health America

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MHA National Certified Peer Specialist Certification-- Get Certified!

Peer support specialists are in demand across systems and sectors. To meet this demand, Mental Health America has created the first national advanced peer specialist certification. This lets peers show they have the highest levels of knowledge and expertise that qualifies them to support people wherever they are.

The MHA National Certified Peer Specialist (MHA NCPS) certification recognizes peers with the lived experience, training, and job experience to create a career in peer support. The certification is designed to exceed the standards used in public behavioral health around the country. A major purpose of the certification is to meet the needs of private health insurers and private practitioners. Expansion of peer support into the private sector will open up new career paths and opportunities, which have been previously unexplored, for thousands of peer supporters.

This certification has been peer-initiated and conceived. We have worked with a stellar group of subject matter experts most of whom are accomplished leaders in the peer community. Read a timeline of the certification development here. Within the community, there has been much concern that professionalizing peer support will take away from its true nature. True to the spirit of peer support, the credential does not mean a peer is a clinician. It emphasizes and expects that all duties reflect the principles, guidelines, and core values of peer support.

It is not designed to replace current certifications and trainings but to build upon and enhance current programs. This means adding additional competencies to ensure peers are able to meet the demands of a changing workforce and increasing opportunities.

The private health sector offers a wide array of work opportunities for qualified peer support workers including:

  • Working in private practice alongside psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed mental health therapists
  • Working in primary care, emergency departments, and inpatient settings
  • Working as members of Whole Health Care Teams
  • Working in supervisory roles.



Interested in employing MHA NCPSs?

Have questions about the MHA NCPS credential? 

Contact Kelly Davis at

The MHA National Certified Peer Specialist credential was developed in partnership with the Florida Certification Board.

500 Montgomery Street, Suite 820
 Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone (703) 684.7722

Toll Free (800) 969.6642

Fax (703) 684.5968

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