By Peer Support Workers for Peer Support Workers
What is Peer Support
“Peer Support” is a relationship between people with similar experiences. It is a mutually valuable exchange of hope, encouragement, connection, understanding, information and/or assistance. “I’ve been there” is one of the most validating and useful things a person can say or hear.
In the mental health recovery movement, Peer Support relationships are among people who have experienced emotional distress, a mental health diagnosis and/or trauma.
What is a Certified Peer Specialist
A Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) has been trained to share their experiences of mental health recovery, services and supports and to carry the message that Recovery is Real! In sharing our wisdom, strength and hope with others (including people using services, mental health professionals and policy makers) a CPS can significantly impact peoples’ beliefs about their own capacity to recover and the capacity of others to recover.
Certified Peer Specialists
Code of Ethics ~ Massachusetts
Written and approved by the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network for the State of Georgia Certified Peer Specialist Training Program – Revised and Updated by members of the Massachusetts Consumer Operated Programs & Activities leadership in 2006. Further revisions were done in the summer of 2008 and summer of 2013, and 2015 based on survey and other feedback from the field.
The following principles will guide Certified Peer Specialists in the various roles, relationships, and levels of responsibility in which they function. These expectations also apply to training participants with respect to interactions with their colleagues.
In other words, your professional CPS life starts today!
- The primary responsibility of Certified Peer Specialists is to help people achieve what they want most in life, their own goals, needs and wants. Certified Peer Specialists will be guided by the principles of self-determination for all.
- Certified Peer Specialists will maintain high standards of personal conduct. Certified Peer Specialists will also conduct themselves in a manner that fosters their own recovery and integrity.
- Certified Peer Specialists will openly share their recovery stories, and will likewise be able to identify and describe the supports that promote their recovery.
- Certified Peer Specialists will, at all times, respect the rights and dignity of the people with whom they work.
- Certified Peer Specialists will never intimidate, threaten, harass, use undue influence, physical force, or verbal abuse, or make unwarranted promises of benefits to the individuals with whom they work.
- Certified Peer Specialists recognize that everyone is different and we all have something to learn from one another. Therefore, Certified Peer Specialists will not practice, condone, facilitate or collaborate in any form of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital status, political belief, mental or physical disability, or any other preference or personal characteristic, condition or state.
- Certified Peer Specialists will advocate as a partner with those they support that they may make their own decisions in all matters when dealing with other professionals.
- Certified Peer Specialists will respect the privacy and confidentiality of those they support.
- Certified Peer Specialists will advocate for the full integration of individuals into the communities of their choice and will promote the inherent value of these individuals to those communities. Certified Peer Specialists will be directed by the knowledge that all people have
the right to live in the least restrictive and least intrusive environment of their choice.
- Certified Peer Specialists will not enter into dual relationships or commitments that conflict with the interests of those they support.
- Certified Peer Specialists will never engage in sexual/intimate activities with those to whom they are currently providing support, or have worked with in a professional role in the past year.
- Certified Peer Specialists will keep current with emerging knowledge relevant to recovery, and openly share this knowledge with the people with whom they work.
- Certified Peer Specialists will not engage in business, extend or receive loans, or accept gifts of significant value from those they support.
- Certified Peer Specialists will not offer support to another when under the influence of alcohol or when impaired by any substance, whether or not it is prescribed.
Central Massachusetts Peer Network
The Central Mass Peer Network is a Network of Peers in Professional roles. Joining together for support within their roles.