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Become a Youth Peer Supporter

Certified Youth Peer Supporter

A Certified Youth Peer Supporter (CYPS) is someone who has direct lived experience with behavioral health challenges (mental health/substance use disorder) and who is between the ages of 18-30.

Although the direct lived experience is the same as the Certified Peer Recovery Supporters, CYPS are unique in that they have been impacted by behavioral health challenges while they were a part of the child-serving system. A CYPS is trained to use their lived experience to help youth/young adults advocate for services and systems supports. A CYPS also work with youth/young adults to create and maintain positive peer interactions that promote wellness, resiliency and recovery. They promote youth-guided practices that focus on strengths as part of the solution and ensure that youth/young adults participate in all aspects of their care.

In order to become certified, OhioMHAS currently accepts two pathways to certification: through work experience or by completing eligible training.

Work Experience

OhioMHAS currently allows individuals to apply for certification if they have three years of work or volunteer experience as a peer navigator, peer specialist, peer supporter, or peer recovery coach. This experience will need to be verified through documentation


OhioMHAS accepts one Youth Peer Support training model as approved curriculums for CYPS:

Participants will need to complete the full training and receive their certificate of completion for the training before they can apply to become a Certified Youth Peer Supporter.

Applying for Certification

All individuals who have the training or work experience noted above and meet the eligibility requirements below must apply to become CFPS through the application portal eLicense Ohio. In addition to the training or work experience noted above, the following is required for a complete and compliant application:

  • A high school diploma or GED.
  • Pass the applicable Certified Youth Peer Support exam.
  • Attest to the OhioMHAS Peer Recovery Services Code of Ethics.
  • Completion of 16-hour eBased Academy Courses
  • Pass a Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) background check and Federal bureau of investigation (FBI) criminal records check conducted within one year of submission