Apply to become a Certified Peer Specialists

Are you interested in becoming an Alabama Certified Peer Specialist?

Qualifications include:

  • Have personally experienced a mental health condition
  • Be in recovery
  • Be open-minded and willing to share your personal experiences with mental illness publicly
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have good communication skills, both written and oral
  • Complete and pass the Certified Peer Specialist Training sponsored by the Alabama Department of Mental Health, Office of Peer Programs

Certified Peer Specialist help their peers:

  • Develop communication, social, and problem-solving skills
  • Develop skills to combat negative self-talk
  • Develop support systems
  • Refine self-help skills

Training Programs


ADMH Office of Peer Programs, provides the Alabama Certified Peer Specialist Training Program (for individuals in recovery from mental illness).  They also coordinate the Certified Recovery Support Specialist Training Program (for individuals in recovery from substance use disorders.)

 Types of Certifications Available to Peers in Recovery from Mental Illness:

• Certified Mental Health Youth Peer Specialist (CMHYPS)

What is a Youth Peer Specialist?   

A mental health peer who has personal mental health experience from their own youth  or adolescence, who is willing to share their personal experiences. (Must complete certification process)

 • Certified Mental Health Adult Peer Specialist (CMHAPS)

What is an Adult Peer Support Specialist?

A mental health peer over age 18, in recovery who has lived experience with mental illness and willing to share their lived experience.  (Must complete certification process)


• Mental Health Parent Peer Support Specialist (MHPPS)

What is a Parent Peer Support Specialist?

 Mental Health Parent Peer Support Specialist is a provider who is parenting or has parented a child experiencing mental, emotional or behavioral health disorders and can articulate the understanding of their experience with another parent or family member. This individual may be a birth parent, adoptive parent, family member standing in for an absent parent, or other person chosen by the family or youth to have the role of parent. 

Types of Certifications Available to Peers in Recovery from Mental Illness and/or Substance Abuse:

Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) certification 

What is a Certified Recovery Support Specialist?
A person living in recovery with a substance use disorder working within an agency or organization who has been trained and certified by the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) to use their personal recovery story to assist others in developing their personal plan for recovery.

Do You Want To Become Certified?

The Alabama Certified Peer Specialist training and certification program is completed through ADMH. It consists of an online five-day training program (40 hours) that includes instruction, discussion, and role-play with an examination after the training. Preference is given to applicants wanting to become employed as Certified Peer Specialists or who have already become employed as CPS.  You do not have to be certified to be hired as a CPS.  There is a six month window that gives new CPS hires opportunity to complete training and pass exam.  Visit this  link to Alabama Department of Mental Health, Office of Peer Programs for more information.

Note: Successful completion of the training and examination does not guarantee you a job. Peer Specialists are hired by individual providers and are subject to the provider’s application and hiring process.