NEW WALK-IN HOURS AT OUR MAIN OFFICE. Effective April 22, 2024, our office will be open Tuesdays-Thursdays, 9:30am-4:30pm (closed Mondays and Fridays).
NUEVO HORARIO DE ATENCIÓN EN NUESTRA OFICINA PRINCIPAL. A partir del 22 de abril de 2024, nuestra oficina estará abierta de martes a jueves, de 9:30 a 16:30 (lunes y viernes cerrado).

Become a Peer Support Specialist

Learn what is needed to get certified & pursue a career in mental health

Peer Support Specialist Training

With over 30 years experience in community as a Peer Support provider and Peer Education Trainer, Community Action Marin is excited to offer CalMHSA-approved, Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Training. The Peer Support Specialist Training program provides peer-to-peer education and support to individuals who self-identify as having experience with the process of recovery from a mental illness or substance use disorder, either as a consumer of these services or as the parent, caregiver, or family member of a consumer with a mental health condition. The program serves as a pathway to certification and employment/volunteer positions within the public mental health system once participants finish the class and take and pass the Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification exam.

During the class, participants will learn behavioral health skills covering Peer Specialist core competencies as identified by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). Topics covered include the recovery model, communication skills, trauma-informed care, cultural competency, Medi-Cal code of ethics, and more.

The class is a combination of online and in person cohort style classes with the class meeting one evening a week for three hours.  The program spans 12 weeks for a total of 80 hours and will provide 20+ individuals with the training they need to take the certification exam and become a Peer Support Specialist and pursue a career in mental health.

Program Dates

Training to become certified begins June 25 and runs 12 weeks with the last class on September 10. Classes are online and in person Tuesdays from 5:30 – 8:30pm at:

Marin Health and Human Services Wellness Campus
3240 Kerner Boulevard, Room 109
San Rafael, CA 94901

The cost of the training is $1,600. If you wish to apply for a scholarship, applications must be submitted by May 24, 2024. Registration for the Peer Support Specialist Program must be completed by June 21, 2024 in order to participate in the June cohort.

Program participants will:

  • Obtain skills needed for certification for a position in the Mental Health profession
  • Get recognition as a valued Peer Support Specialist
  • Gain experience in the delivery of mental health and substance use disorder treatment
  • Receive Financial, Credit, or Career Coaching

Enrollment criteria

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Possess a highschool diploma or equivalent degree
  • Self-identify as having experience with the process of recovery from mental illness or substance use disorder, either as consumer of these services or as the parent, caregiver, or family member
  • Have a strong dedication to recovery
  • Agree in writing to adhere to a code of ethics
  • Pay the pre-person price of $1600 before the start of class

Interested in the program?

Peer Support Specialist Participant Information Form

Please fill in the following information if you wish to apply for the upcoming Peer Support Specialist Training Cohort beginning in June. Upon receipt of this form, you will be contacted by our admissions representative.
Indicate below which of the following program requirements you meet:(Required)
Please send me more information regarding the Peer Support Specialist Training at Community Action Marin.

Scholarships for the program are available through the 2024 Behavioral Health Scholarship program and are due by May 24, 2024. Visit the website for more details and to apply.

You may also check your eligibility for a scholarship here.

Once your form is submitted, a member of our team will reach out with several additional questions and to share information on the course structure and any technology needs, as well as scholarship and payment options. If you qualify, we’ll then:

  • Provide you with a link to formally enroll you in the program
  • Refer you to the scholarship application and/or make tuition payment arrangements with you, and
  • Send out a baseline assessment form

After the baseline assessment and receipt of tuition, students will be provided with an orientation packet and any further course information they will need to get started, including a link to the Moodle Learning Platform that will be used throughout the course.

Request more information

To learn more about participating in our Peer Support Specialist Training and certification, please email Jeff Amen by clicking the button below.

Program success story

Community Action Marin successfully launched a Peer Support Specialist (PSS) Training Program in in November 2023 with the support of the agency’s Vice President of Behavioral Health and Training. The program not only provided valuable education and training participants in our A Road to Self Sufficiency program but also supported our organization’s commitment to employee development by including several Community Alternative Response & Engagement (CARE) outreach team members. 

The agency secured approval from the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) to offer this curriculum toward certification as Peer Support Specialists. Moreover, offering the training in both English and Spanish underscored our commitment to accessibility and inclusivity, ensuring a wider reach and greater impact. 

The enthusiastic response from our A Road to Self Sufficiency members to participate in the Peer Support Specialist training underscored the relevance of this pathway to certification for our participants. Among them, three individuals demonstrated remarkable commitment by completing 80 hours of training, earning their certificates of completion, and registering for the state exam. Their dedication to advancing their skills in peer support and mental health was truly commendable. 

As a current member of our CARE (Community Alternative Response Engagement) Team , I am on the front lines of the homeless crisis in Marin County. There is a need for greater access to mental health services and now as a Peer Supporter, I can help connect people to the resources they need and reduce the stigma that prevents people from reaching out for help.

Benjamin Weston
Homeless Outreach Support Specialist

I strongly believe that with the right support and guidance, anyone can overcome their struggles and lead a fulfilling life. Once I am a certified Peer Support Specialist, I hope to be able to contribute as a volunteer or in an internship program where I can acquire more experience and skills to better serve the community. Together, we can achieve recovery and bring hope to those who are struggling. 

Workforce Accelerator Program & Peer Support Specialist Program Participant

I feel that in recent months the program has helped me obtain employment opportunities, training information, and support with rent payments in the moments when I needed it. I’m a single mother of three little ones and I want a better job for my children’s future.    

In the Peer Support Specialist training, it was a very nice to share our experiences and skills on how to help a client. I also was able to make friends with the group and interact with quality people who have the same feelings of wanting to help our community.   

With this training I have gained more experience in peer support ethics, recovery techniques, mental health, and substance abuse. It has also helped me a lot to understand more about the people in my community and my family and friends so I can give them support. I believe that our community needs the support of these programs for people with financial and learning resource needs.

Sheila M.
Peer Support Specialist Training Participant