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Department of Behavioral Health Accepts Applications for Peer Specialist Certification Training

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Application must be submitted by Friday, April 1, 2016

Media Contact: Phyllis Jones, Public Information Officer
 (202) 673.1937 desk  (202) 631.3077 mobile

Washington, DC—The District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health is accepting applications for peer specialist certification training classes scheduled in June 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.  Fifteen individuals will be selected to participate in the six week peer specialist certification program, and five for the family specialty certification class.  
 
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.  
 
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, Friday, April 1, 2016. 
 
Individuals interested in applying for just the Family Peer Specialist Certification Training should use the family application.  Individuals who already have a peer specialist certification and would like to acquire the family certification should use the family application.
 
Classes for the peer specialist certification training will take place from June 20, 2016 to July 29, 2016 at 64 New York Avenue NE.   Classes for the family peer specialist certification training will take place from August 8, 2016 to August 12, 2016 at 64 New York Avenue NE. After successful completion of class work, an 80 hour field practicum must be completed with a DBH certified community based behavioral health provider by early August 2016.  The field practicum will be arranged with the DBH Office of Consumer and Family Affairs.  Following completion of the field practicum requirements, a certification examination must be passed (the exam is open book/notes). 
 
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 Department also is accepting applications for a waiver of the classroom and practical requirements.  Waiver applicants are required to take a certification examination (the exam is open book/notes).
 
For more information or an application, please email Adrienne Lightfoot, Program Coordinator for the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs, at [email protected] or go to http://dbh.dc.gov/, click on consumers and scroll down to the peer specialist certification program.  
 
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 must be submitted by Friday, April 1, 2016 (noon) to [email protected] or the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs, 64 New York Avenue, NE, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20002 (mailed to the attention of Adrienne Lightfoot or hand-delivered to an OCFA staff member). No faxes will be accepted. No application will be considered after this date. Also, incomplete applications will not be considered. Selections will be announced no later than June 10, 2016.  Each participant will receive a stipend of $300.00 after successfully completing all certification requirements.