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Department of Behavioral Health Accepts Applications for Peer Specialist Certification Training

Thursday, November 19, 2015
Application must be submitted by Monday, November 30, 2015

Washington, DC—The District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health is accepting applications for peer specialist certification training classes scheduled in January 2016.   Self-identified current or former consumers of behavioral health services or family members who have the ability to support other individuals diagnosed with a mental illness and/or substance use disorder are eligible to apply.  Application can be submitted for basic peer specialist certification training as well as a course designed for family members only.   

To be eligible for consideration, an applicant must be a District resident and at least 18 years of age with a high school diploma or equivalent. The deadline to apply is noon, Monday, November 30, 2015.

A peer specialist is a model for personal recovery and ongoing coping skills. Participants in the program will learn how to help other individuals receiving behavioral health treatment develop goals, monitor their own progress and advocate for effective services. 

The peer specialist certification program also helps prepare individuals to qualify for available peer specialist jobs within the certified community behavioral health provider network.  Under general supervision, a certified peer specialist performs a wide range of tasks to help individuals regain control over their lives and their own recovery process. The Department encourages certified providers to include peer specialists in their workforce. 

The six-week peer specialist certification training class will take place from January 19 to February 26, 2016.  The one-week class for family members is scheduled from February 29 to March 4, 2016.  After successful completion of class work, an 80-hour field practicum must be completed with a certified community based behavioral health provider by early April 2015.  Following completion of the field practicum requirements, a certification examination must be passed (the exam is open book/notes). Twenty individuals will be selected to participate in the six week peer specialist certification program, and five for the family specialty certification class. 

The Department also is accepting applications for a waiver of the classroom and practical requirements.  Applicants for a waiver must take the certification examination.

To apply, please submit a completed application along with a resume, proof of residency; evidence of education which may be a high school diploma, GED or equivalent, and two letters of reference (at least one of which is work or volunteer related).

An application can be submitted by email to [email protected], or mailed or hand delivered to the Department of Behavioral Health Office of Consumer and Family Affairs attn: Adrienne Lightfoot, 64 New York Avenue, NE, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20002.  The deadline to apply is noon, Monday, November 30, 2015.  No application will be considered after this date.  No fax will be accepted and incomplete applications will not be considered.

Selections will be announced by January 8, 2016.   Each participant will receive a stipend of $400.00 after successfully completing all certification requirements.

For additional information regarding the peer specialist certification program, contact Adrienne Lightfoot, Program Coordinator, at (202) 671-4089 or [email protected], or go to and scroll down to peer specialist certification.