Certified Peer Counselors
What are Certified Peer Counselors?
Our Certified Peer Counselors (CPCs) work with adults who are receiving mental health services or need to find services. They draw upon their own experiences to help peers find hope and make progress toward recovery. Because of their own life experience, they are uniquely equipped to provide support, encouragement, and resources to those with mental health challenges.
They have completed a 40-hour course that deals with housing, employment, recovery, self-care, and more courses about cultural competency, AIDS, unemployment, crisis management, etc. We have 4 CPCs who are all part-time in the Vancouver office. Call ahead to make an appointment with one of them.
What do the CPCs do?
- Assist an individual in identifying services and activities that promote recovery and lead to increased meaning and purpose
- Assist individuals in developing their own goals
- Share their own recovery stories that are relevant and helpful in overcoming the obstacles faced by individuals
- Promote personal responsibility for recovery
- Assist in a wide range of services to regain control and success in their own lives, such as developing supportive relationships, self-advocacy, stable housing, education, and employment
- Serve as an advocate
- Model skills in recovery and self-management
Can I Be a Certified Peer Counselor?
In Washington state, you can become a CPC through the Health Care Authority. Visit their website for more information. There is a prerequisite online course from the Peer Workforce Alliance. After finishing the 40-hour course, you can apply with the HCA and receive your certificate. Once you have a certificate, you can find a mental health clinic like NAMI SW WA, CVAB, or Community Services NW.
If you need any help, one of our own CPCs can guide you through the process.