What is a Peer Support Specialist?

A Peer Support Specialist is a trained individual who uses their lived experiences of mental health or substance use challenges, along with their recovery journey, to support others facing similar issues. They play a crucial role in the mental health and substance abuse recovery community by providing guidance, support, and encouragement.

Here are some key responsibilities of a Peer Support Specialist:

Active Listening: Providing a compassionate and understanding ear to those in need.
Emotional Literacy: Helping individuals understand and manage their emotions.
Communication Skills: Facilitating open and effective communication.
Ethics & Confidentiality: Upholding ethical standards and ensuring confidentiality.
Boundaries & Self Care: Teaching the importance of personal boundaries and self-care.
Facing Trauma & Addiction: Assisting others in addressing trauma and addiction.
Recovery & Resilience: Encouraging and supporting resilience and recovery efforts.
Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention: Providing immediate support in crisis situations.

General Requirements:
Must be 18 years old or older.
Must have access to a reliable internet connection.
Should have lived experiences of mental health or substance abuse and be living in recovery for at least 6 months.
Must have a desire to serve in the field of Peer Support in Sonoma County.
Coursework Includes:
Active Listening
Emotional Literacy
Communication Skills
Ethics & Confidentiality
Boundaries & Self Care
Facing Trauma & Addiction
Recovery & Resilience
Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention

For those interested in the Peer Support Specialist Training, please follow these steps to apply:

  1. Fill out and download the application here: PSST Application
  2. Email the completed application to: hope.rogers@westcountyservices.org.

Our orientation is scheduled for June 17, 2024, at 5 PM via Zoom. To receive the Zoom link, please RSVP by contacting Hope Rogers or Eve Harstad at:

Email: hope.rogers@westcountyservices.org
Phone: 707-565-7806 ext. 7806 or

Email: eve.harstad@westcountyservices.org
Phone: 707-565-7807

We look forward to having you join us and starting your journey towards making a significant impact in the field of Peer Support in Sonoma County.