Behavioral health providers and peer support specialists serve people who seek help for a variety of mental health and substance use needs, in settings from prevention programs to community-based and inpatient treatment programs. Many types of behavioral health providers and peer support specialists exist to serve a variety of patients.
The links to the right lead to maps showing a comparison of all states and territories for the following five policy areas:
1) addiction counselor credentialing
2) licensed professional counselors’ ability to diagnose
3) authority for nurse practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine-containing products after receiving a waiver from the federal Controlled Substance Act’s special registration requirements
4) authority for physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine-containing products after receiving a waiver from the federal Controlled Substance Act’s special registration requirements
5) peer support specialist certification
Peer support specialists provide behavioral health services, education, recovery support and connection to other services. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines a peer support specialist as a person who uses his or her lived experience of recovery from mental illness and/or addiction, plus skills learned in formal training, to deliver services in behavioral health settings to promote mind-body recovery and resiliency. Certification for peer support specialists varies among the states. Some states offer certification through a nonprofit entity. In other states, a state agency or specific board offers certification.
Peer support specialists may also be known as recovery support specialists, peer recovery support specialists, recovery coaches or peer coaches. Please click on your state to see how peer support specialists are identified in your state.