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DBSA Core Peer Specialist Training

DBSA is a recognized leader in training for the peer specialist workforce: people who use their lived recovery experience to assist others in regaining hope, making the most of their chosen paths to wellness, and moving forward to achieve their goals. Designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as an evidence-based model of care, peer support services delivered by Peer Specialists have been demonstrated to reduce symptoms, create commitment to treatment plans and goals, improve peers’ quality of life, and lower health care costs. Learn about Peer Specialists.

DBSA Peer Specialist Core Training is a 5-day, 40-hour training curriculum that prepares people who live with mental health conditions to support the recovery of their peers. Facilitated by nationally recognized trainers, this comprehensive and highly interactive course delivers a solid foundation in recovery principles, peer support intervention skills, and ethical practice. DBSA’s Core Training now incorporates small group coaching sessions and can be used to meet many state and VA peer training and certification requirements.

Our Peer Specialist training curriculum was first developed in affiliation with Appalachian Consulting Group, Inc., innovators of the pioneering Georgia Certified Peer Specialist Project, and supported under a cooperative agreement with CMHS/SAMHSA.

Bring a DBSA Core Peer Specialist training course to a group in your area:
DBSA trains groups of 15-30 on a contract basis, and we can customize training to meet local needs. Request additional information.

DBSA Core Peer Specialist Training Dates


Learn how you can seek outside funding support for training participation.


  • To learn about Peer Specialist training and certification requirements in a particular state, contact your statewide consumer organization or view a list of state Peer Specialist training and certification programs compiled by the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health, University of Texas at Austin.
  • DBSA Peer Leadership Center is a community of peer providers dedicated to advancing the field of peer support and the peer provider workforce, and offering networking, education, employment, and other resources.
  • The International Association of Peer Supporters (INAPS) is a non-profit networking organization dedicated to promoting peer support in mental health systems.
  • The Pillars of Peer Support website offers valuable information from annual national summits designed to identify and create consensus around factors that greatly facilitate use of peer support services as a valuable tool to support recovery from mental illnesses among individuals served in state systems and utilizing Medicaid funding.  


There’s a rapidly-growing evidence base on effectiveness of peer support services and Peer Specialists. Here are some relevant research findings:

Peer Specialist Continuing Education and Advanced Training

Are you already certified and looking for additional continuing education opportunities? Learn more.

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Onsite Training
Bring DBSA training or consultation to your location.

Peer Leadership Center
The DBSA Peer Leadership Center is an easily accessible, impartial, and central location where peer specialists and peer supporters can find the information and training they want, connect with others working in the ­field, learn about employment opportunities and organizations that champion peer support services, and engage in dialogue to strengthen the peer workforce. Join the DBSA Peer Leadership Center!