About Us

The focus of Peers-Link to HOPE is to connect peers, who are in recovery from a mental illness, to trainings and recovery focused organizations who will advocate, empower, and connect with others in their recovery.

What is a Certified Peer Specialist? A person who has a mental illness diagnosis and uses his/her recovery experiences to help others along their journey.

The Role of the Certified Peer Specialist

  • Inspire hope that recovery from mental illness is not only possible, but probable.
  • Provide opportunities for people using mental health services to practice self-efficacy, through activities that emphasize the acquisition, development, and enhancement of skills needed to move forward in mental health recovery.
    • Promote empowerment and self-determination.
    • Build relationships based on mutuality and shared
    • Deepen the treatment teams’ understanding of the experience of being a mental health consumer. MN Statue: 0615

How to become a Certified Peer Specialist

To become a Certified Peer Specialist, you must apply to attend a certification training and successfully graduate the course to be recognized by the State as a Certified Peer Specialist. In Minnesota, Northland Counseling Center (Peers: Link to HOPE) coordinates the application process, trainings and maintain a web site for individuals who are interested in learning more about peer services. The application for training is available on this website by clicking on “Training Application” page.

Certification is valid for two years from the date of certification. To retain certification, every two years, Peer Specialists must complete and provide documentation of 30 hours to DHS of continuing education in areas of mental health recovery, mental health rehabilitative services, and peer support.

Certified Peer Specialist Level 1

To be employed as a Certified Peer Specialist Level 1, an individual must:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Have or have had a primary diagnosis of mental illness.
  • Have received or is currently receiving mental health services.
  • Be willing to share their experience of recovery.
  • Successfully complete the Department approved CPS training.
  •  Be certified by the Department

Certified Peer Specialist Level 2

To be employed as a Certified Peer Specialist Level 2, an individual must meet all of the qualifications of a Certified Peer Specialist Level I and meet one or more of the following:

  • Is qualified at the Mental Health Practitioner level as defined by Minnesota Statute 245.462, subdivision 17.
  • Has at least 6,000 hours of supervised experience in the delivery of peer services to persons with mental illness
  • Has at least 4000 hours of supervised experience in the delivery of services to persons with mental illness and an additional 2000 hours of supervised experience in the delivery of peer services to persons with mental illness

How to add Certified Peer Specialist to your organization?

Agencies interested in employing Certified Peer Specialists under the Medicaid rehabilitation services option must submit a Certified Peer Specialist Agency Request for Technical Assistance and an Implementation Plan.

Medicaid Rehabilitation Services include:

  • Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services (ARMHS) certified by DHS
  • Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams approved by DHS
  • Crisis Response -Stabilization providers certified by DHS
  • Intensive Residential Treatment Services (IRTS) providers licensed by DHS

Technical assistance for employers will be provided by DHS Adult Mental Health Division staff. Staff will assist agencies in understanding the requirements to incorporate these services within their existing program. Billing and reporting systems will differ for each service type. For more information, please contact Shelley White at shelley.white@state.mn.us or 651-431-2518.  For detailed information for providers, supervision requirements and administrative requirements pleases refer to Mental Health Provider Manual