SAMHSA’s National Model Standards for Peer Support Certification
On March 1, 2022, President Biden announced his administration’s strategy to address our nation’s mental health crisis as outlined in the 2022 Presidential Unity Agenda. This national mental health strategy seeks to strengthen system capacity, connect more Americans to care, and create a continuum of support –transforming our health and social services infrastructure to address mental health holistically and equitably.
A primary goal outlined within this strategy is accelerating the universal adoption, recognition, and integration of the peer mental health workforce across all elements of the healthcare system. This included the development and implementation of a national certification program for mental health peer specialists.
To meet this goal, SAMHSA collaborated with federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local partners including peer specialists to develop the National Model Standards for Peer Support Certification, inclusive of substance use, mental health, and family peer certifications. These National Model Standards closely align with the needs of the behavioral health (peer) workforce, and subsequently, the over-arching goal of the national mental health strategy.