A certified peer supporter is someone who has direct lived experience with behavioral health challenges, or someone who has navigated services on behalf of an individual with behavioral health challenges. Certified peer supporters are trained and certified in using their lived experience to help others impacted by mental illness or substance use disorders. Ohio offers three types of Peer Supporter certification: Adult, Family, and Youth/Young Adult.
In Ohio, certified peer supporters become certified by completing an approved 40-hour training or by having three years of verifiable work experience providing behavioral health peer services. Certified PRS and YPS must complete 16 hours of online eBased Academy course, which includes topics of ethics, human trafficking and trauma information care. Regardless of the pathway to certification, individuals must also pass an approved exam, sign and agree to the OhioMHAS Peer Support Services Code of Ethics, and pass their Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) background checks. As of April 7, 2022 all certifications and renewals for peer support are processed online thru the eLicense portal (https://elicense.ohio.gov).
Certified peers must be supervised by an appropriate individual who has completed sixteen hours of online learning and the four hour supervisor training. In order to maintain certification, certified peer supporters must obtain at least 30 continuing education credits every two years and apply for renewal of certification thru the eLicense platform.