Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA

Peer Specialist/WRAP Coordinator
1101 Peach Street
Erie, PA 16501

Erie County Certified Peer Specialists
News and Information

The Positive Experience of Peer Support

Kate Bender has many years of experience in the Peer Support program. In this thoughtful essay, Kate describes the value of peer support using an example of life experience.

~ Essay ~

Game Night Scheduled for Mar 21 2014

Certified Peer Specialists, Friends and Family are invited to Game Night on Mar 21st, 2014 from 7:15PM to 9:00PM. The event is being held at MHA 2nd Floor, 1101 Peach St., Erie, PA.
RSVP by Mar 17th to
ssmith@mhanp.org or call Stephanie Smith at 452.4462 x 137.

Flyer ~

Current Certified Peer Specialist Program

There are about 90 Certified Peer Specialist in Erie County. They have all been in trainings for the Certification that promotes the recovery culture. Some work in various settings such as: Center Team (MHA) Housing Team (MHA),Peer Specialist/Wrap Coordinator (MHA), Peer Support to individuals in the Community (Stairways BH), Youth in Transition (Stairways BH), ACT (Stairways BH), Customer Representative (Stairways BH),Personal Care Home (Stairways BH), Fairweather Lodge, (Stairways BH), Peer Support in Crisis and Outpatient (Safe Harbor BH), Director of Advocacy and Recovery (ECCM). CPS work to help people see their inherent rights and responsibilities and advocate for respectful and professional treatment from the rest of a person's treatment team. For more information about becoming a Certified Peer Specialist or to create a personal one-on-one WRAP. contact: Stephanie Smith - 814-452-4462 ext. 137

Upcoming February Peer Specialist Dinner

A support meeting with dinner is scheduled for Thursday, February 20th at the MHA, 1101 Peach St 2nd Floor. The time is 6:00PM - 7:00. Friends and Family of Peer Specialists are welcome. Please bring a dish, come even if you can't bring a dish. Call Stephanie at 814-452-4462. RSVP by Thursday February 13th.

Peer Specialist Alliance of America (PSAA)

People in recovery from psychiatric disabilities, researchers and others from around the country gathered in Philadelphia in July 2006, to create a new national trade association , named the Peer Specialist Alliance of America (PSAA). The purpose of this association is to promote the emerging profession of Certified Peer Specialist.See peerspecialistallianceofamerica.org.

International Association of Peer Supporters

The International Association of Peer Specialists, Inc. (iNAPS), is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to peer support in mental health systems. We are a group of dedicated peer specialists seeking ways to improve the effectiveness of the mental health system through the hiring of other peer specialists. International Association of Peer Specialists

CPS Job Descriptions

Certified Peer Specialists Job Descriptions

"I provide recovery coaching for individuals. I assist them in establishing goals and reaching the goals that they have set for themselves in their recovery plan. I offer hope that there is recovery from mental illness by sharing my story when appropriate. I also provide support and assist with writing safety plans."

" I work with team members to help individuals with serious mental illness gain access to community resources so they can continue to live independently in the community. I compose progress notes daily on each client I visited that day I attend mandatory trainings as required for my position."

"Peer Specialist services are conducted by self-identified current or former consumers of behavioral health services who are trained and certified to offer support and assistance to others in their recovery. Services are based on the principles of respect, shared responsibility and empowerment. They are voluntary and person-centered."

"My job duties include a great deal of self disclosure to peers in order to build the rapport necessary for peers to understand the process of recovery and to have their own recoveries to come to fruition. The tool I use most often is the WRAP to assist peers to learn about themselves and find more effective ways in which to live, cope, and deal with their particular illnesses."

The Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) position provides person-centered services for adults with serious mental illness to help them gain control over their recovery and community integration processes. These services include advocacy, education, development of natural supports, and support of work or other meaningful activity of the person's choosing. Also crisis support, wellness activities, effective utilization of the service delivery systems, service coordination and linkage to other service providers.

The Certified Peer Specialist Program

There are 49 Certified Peer Specialist in Erie County. They have all been in trainings for the Certification that promotes the recovery culture. Some work in various settings such as: Center Team (MHA) Housing Team (MHA),Consumer Employment Outreach Coordinator (MHA), Consumer/Family Satisfaction Team (MHA), Peer Support to individuals in the Community (Stairways BH), Youth in Transition (Stairways BH), ACT (Stairways BH), Customer Representative (Stairways BH),Personal Care Home (Stairways BH), Fairweather Lodge, (Stairways BH), Peer Support in Crisis and Outpatient (Safe Harbor BH), Director of Advocacy and Recovery (ECCM). CPS work to help people see their inherent rights and responsibilities and advocate for respectful and professional treatment from the rest of a person's treatment team. For more information about becoming a Certified Peer Specialist or to join a WRAP group or create a personal one-on-one WRAP. contact: Stephanie Smith - 814-452-4462 ext. 137

Register if you are looking for a CPS position

This site registers you with the MHAPA forum and puts you on a listing of CPSs looking for CPS positions. Click Register for CPS positions for further information.

Non-Civil Service State Jobs

You can now apply for Non-Civil Service State Jobs online at Non-Civil Service State Jobs


For other information about the Certified Peer Specialist program, contact Stephanie Smith at 814.452.4462 ext 137