An examination of the integration of certified peer specialists into community mental health centers

Community Ment Health J. 2012 Aug;48(4):477-81. doi: 10.1007/s10597-012-9519-9. Epub 2012 Jul 18.


The formal role of Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) is a recent addition to the mental health field. CPSs are people in recovery employed within the mental health system, mostly by community mental health centers, to provide support through sharing life experiences with those working toward recovery from mental illness. This brief report examines participant's experiences being a CPS, responsibilities and activities as a CPS, and integration into community mental health centers. Findings suggest that CPSs demonstrate high levels of communal orientation, job satisfaction, workplace integration and organizational support and are well received in mental health centers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Certification
  • Community Mental Health Centers* / organization & administration
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / organization & administration
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Kansas
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Culture
  • Peer Group*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Self-Help Groups / organization & administration*
  • Self-Help Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Specialization
  • Workforce
  • Workplace