CORE Training for Peer Specialists

The CORE training is a 24 hour, facilitated and interactive webinar via Zoom. This training is a prerequisite to the Mental Health Peer Specialist and Recovery Support Peer Specialist trainings.


The CORE training is a prerequisite to the Mental Health Peer Specialist and Recovery Support Peer Specialist training. This training is intended for individuals who have lived experience with mental health challenges or substance use disorders and wish to use their personal experiences to help others on their recovery journeys.

What You’ll Learn

  • Exploring the concept of lived experience, sharing personal stories, and understanding the different pathways to recovery.
  • Acquiring the principles of peer support and applying them through activities and scenarios.
  • Understanding the role of a peer professional, distinguishing it from clinical services, and exploring ethical considerations.
  • Gaining insights into equity, justice, and the impact of oppression, understanding trauma-informed peer support, enhancing communication skills, and learning about validation, asking questions, and reflection in peer-based communication.


Day 1

Module 1: Orientation

Setting the stage, introducing participants, establishing group guidelines, and addressing technology-related notes.

Module 2: Lived Experience

Exploring the concept of lived experience through a presentation, engaging in an activity related to personal experiences, and learning about sharing one’s own story.

Module 3: Recovery

Comparing and contrasting definitions of recovery, understanding the concept of recovery, exploring multiple pathways to recovery, and participating in an activity focused on recovery scenarios.

Module 4: Principles of Peer Support

Engaging in activities to explore and understand the principles of peer support, followed by a presentation on these principles and practical application through activities and scenarios.

Module 5: Role of a Peer Professional

Learning about the role of a peer professional through a presentation, engaging in activities such as a first meeting simulation and discussing a video by Shery Mead, understanding the distinctions between peer support and clinical services, and concluding with a presentation wrapping up the roles.

Module 6: Ethics

Reviewing the code of ethics for peer professionals, understanding common ethical requirements through a presentation, analyzing ethical scenarios through activities, and providing an optional space for participants to ask questions.

Day 2

Module 7: Equity, Justice, and Peer Support

Gaining an understanding of oppression and its basics, exploring the history of peer support, engaging in activities to explore privilege, learning about equity and justice, and understanding the visible and invisible aspects of culture.

Module 8: Trauma-Informed Peer Support

Participating in activities to understand the basics and complex feelings of trauma, recognizing how peer professionals may unintentionally reinforce trauma, learning about trauma responsiveness in peer support through a presentation, and engaging in activities involving trauma and peer support scenarios.

Module 9: Peer-Based Communication: Listening & Holding Space

Understanding the importance of listening in holding space, practicing listening skills, learning about holding space through a presentation, and reflecting on activating conversations.

Module 10: Peer-Based Communication: Validation

Understanding the significance of validation through a presentation, reflecting on the concept of validation, and engaging in activities involving scenarios that require validation.

Module 11: Peer-Based Communication: Asking Questions

Learning about the art of asking questions through a presentation, practicing the use of open-ended and closed questions through activities, understanding the role of questioning in peer-based communication through a presentation, and integrating the knowledge by putting it all together in an activity.

Day 3

Module 12: Peer-Based Communication: Reflection

Understanding the practice of reflection through a presentation, engaging in reflection exercises, and practicing peer-based communication skills.

Module 13: Peer-Based Communication: Informed Consent

Learning about informed consent and mandatory reporting through presentations, participating in a confidentiality discussion, witnessing informed consent in action through a presentation, and engaging in an activity called Ask-Share-Ask.

Module 14: Crisis Situations

(Re)defining crisis through an activity, watching the video “Hearing Our Voices” by Stefanie Kaufman, engaging in statements related to crisis, understanding how to respond in crisis through a presentation, and participating in an activity focused on self-care during crisis.

Module 15: Self-Care & Wellness

Exploring self-care for peer professionals through a presentation, identifying warning signs of compassion fatigue through an activity, witnessing self-care in action through a presentation, and engaging in an activity to practice self-care.

Module 16: Conclusion

Concluding the training with presentations on the organization in state infrastructure for peer services and next steps for certification, followed by activities including reflecting on personal takeaways and closing the circle.


Path to MHPS & RSPS Certification

Virtual (Zoom)


24 Hours ( 3 Days x 8 Hours)

9 am - 5 pm


Completed Orientation

Lived Experience in Mental Health

Device with a webcam

Registration End Date

5 Working Dates Before the Start Date



Count Down to Training

Financial Aid

Enhanced Mental Health Peer Specialist (MHPS)

Provides you access to our Supplemental MHPS training, as well as support before and after training to help you learn about different work environments. We’ll also provide additional learning modules and support as you go through the certification process. 

 Career Enhancement (PACE) Track I

By actively participating and remaining engaged throughout the CORE and MHPS Specialty Training with Peer Academy, and meeting performance standards, you become eligible for Career Enhancement (PACE) Track I.

Why Choose Peer Academy? 

Online Training

Peer Academy’s training sessions are conducted entirely online, making them accessible from anywhere with a computer and reliable internet connection.

Certified Trainers

Our trainers at Peer Academy are certified and experienced peer specialists, dedicated to ensuring your success in the training program.

Exclusive Financial Aids

As a student enrolled in Peer Academy, you’ll have access to exclusive financial aid, stipends, and internship opportunities.


“Peer Academy’s trainings transformed my ability to provide effective peer support. Highly recommended!”

Igor Landry

“Peer Academy trainings gave me the tools to be an effective peer support specialist. I feel more confident and competent in my role as a peer supporter.”

Kason Espinosa

“Highly recommend Peer Academy for peer support training! The instructors are knowledgeable and engaging.”

Angela Charlton


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