Virginia Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS)

How Do I Get Started?

1. Attend a PRS Training

Attend a PRS Training

Attend a 72-hour DBHDS Peer Recovery Specialist (PRS) training in your area. There have been approximately 72 authorized trainers located throughout Virginia. You can find announcements about upcoming PRS trainings through…

2. Earn Your Hours

Earn Your Hours

If you are not already connected with a community service board (CSB), community recovery organization, and/or peer-run center, it is recommended to reach out to one in your area. At the moment, they are the largest source of both volunteer and paid peer support positions.

Other options include…

  • Your local Human Rights Committee
  • Suicide prevention groups
  • Veterans groups

3. Apply for Certification

Apply for Certification

The certification process is optional and depends on the employer. If the employer (like a CSB for example) needs to bill Medicaid for peer services, the certification will likely be mandatory. Not all peer service employers bill Medicaid however.

The Virginia Certification Board (VCB) is a private, non-profit corporation which offers voluntary credentialing to the substance abuse and other behavioral health professional.

4. Continue Your Education

Continue Your Education

Seek out other opportunities for continued education. You can also find information under News and Announcements.

Continuing Education and Training

Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery
Education, training, and research based on Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Peer specialist core training and continuing education

Emotional CPR
Public health education program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis

Courses on a variety of topics related to improving health and healthcare services

Magellan Health E-Learning Center
Educational resources and continuing education

Mental Health America National Certified Peer Specialist Certification
The first national advanced peer specialist certification assures employers that they are hiring individuals with a uniform high standard of knowledge and experience

Mental Health America of Virginia
Recovery education training including Consumer Empowerment and Leadership Training and Facilitator Skills Training

Mental Health First Aid
In-person training that teaches you how to help people developing a mental illness or in a crisis

Mind Tools
Management Training and Leadership Training

National Alliance on Mental Illness Virginia
Peer-to-Peer and In Our Own Voice

NET Institute
Coursework and resources in counseling, addiction, prevention, and recovery support

Person Centered Thinking Training
PCT training serves as a foundation for all who are involved in supporting people with disabilities in Virginia. Participants acquire core skills to assure that people receive person centered supports and get better lives as a result.

SAARA of Virginia
REVIVE! and Peer Recovery Specialist training

Skills You Need
Helping you develop the skills you need for life

Smart Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training)
Distance facilitator training in SMART Recovery 4-point program for addictive behaviors

VOCAL Virginia
WRAP Facilitator Training, Peer Recovery Specialist training, as well as other continuing education programs

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