Certified Peer Counselor Training

Important!: After signing up for The Online CPC Pre-requisite Training you will receive an email to activate your account. If you cannot log in please email: patrick.maloy@wsu.edu

Certified Peer Couselors Build a Stronger, More Resilient Workforce

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In-Person CPC Training

The Peer Workforce Alliance provides the online Certified Peer Counselor training for youth and family members across Washington State. Certified Peer Counselors are people who have experienced mental health challenges and/or substance use challenges in their own lives and are living in recovery, and so model competency in ongoing coping and recovery skills. They help people identify goals that promote recovery and resiliency and assist them in identifying services and activities to help them reach these goals. 

Certified Peer Counselors work with peers and the parents of children receiving mental health services to promote recovery and resiliency. They draw upon their own experiences to help peers find hope and make progress toward recovery. 

Because of their own life experience, Certified Peer Counselors are uniquely equipped to provide support, encouragement, and resources to those with mental health challenges and/or substance use challenges.

How to Complete the Online Certified Peer Counseling Course

We hope you will find the online pre-requisite training course to be a positive and helpful experience. Completing the course is important to gaining the knowledge and skills you will need as a Certified Peer Counselor (CPC).  

There is much information in the online course, including material that is not covered in the 40-hour in-person training. The CPC test covers information from both the in-person and the online course. Please complete the online course thoroughly, take notes, and review the information as you are able.

When you have completed the online course, please email a copy of your certificate to mary.chambers@hca.wa.gov. The Healthcare Authority (HCA) must have a record of completion of the course before confirming registration to any in-person class. This applies to the youth and family training and the standard, adult training.

Full Requirements to Qualify for the In-Person Certified Peer Counselor Course

Certification has three steps:

1. Apply and be accepted to a training. Click here to access the application.
2. Successfully complete a 40-hour approved training.
3. Pass the state exam.

You will need to complete our online training class and send in a completion certificate with your application. Upon passing the CPC test, applicants will receive a letter confirming they have met certification requirements. It should be noted that many employers also require licensure from the Department of Health as an Agency Affiliated Counselor after being hired. Employers are generally knowledgeable about this process, or employees may contact the Department of Health directly. This licensure is only required for individuals providing Medicaid billable services. 

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Self-identify as a consumer who is receiving or has received mental health services. For a child under the age of thirteen, or for a child age thirteen or older whose parents or legal guardians are involved in the treatment plan, the definition of consumer includes parents or legal guardians. The mental health services they have received can be either privately funded (insurance) or publicly funded (Medicaid).
  • Demonstrate that they have been well grounded in their own mental health recovery for at least one year at the time of application
  • Receive specialized training approved by the state  - the training is free
  • Pass a written and oral exam administered by the State - the exam is free
  • After having successfully passed the exam, one is considered “Qualified to be a Certified Peer Counselor.” To be officially considered a Certified Peer Counselor requires registering with the Washington State Department of Health as an Agency Affiliated Counselor. This requires one to be employed by a  community mental health agency.
  • Complete Peer Counselor Training for Certification

Monday: 55+ Peer Perspectives with Laurel Lemke and Tanyalee Erwin   1:00-2:30 pm

Laurel Lemke and Tanyalee Erwin invite senior peers and family members to share ideas, resources and messages of hope as we navigate pathways to resiliency. We will have an open conversation in this on-line gathering to share ideas of coping in this world of social distancing and shelter-at-home. THIS WEEK 1 June: In our Guest Corner: Anessa McClendon, Executive Sous Chef at The Canby Grove in Oregon, an exercise professional specializing in senior fitness and ballroom dance instruction, and also a Tacoma WA native for 30+ years. Anessa will lead a discussion on the “Covid 15” weight gain and how to get healthy again. Ongoing topics include coping skills, purposeful activities, contributing when you can’t leave the house, Wellness Recovery Action Plan for Covid-19, AARP updates, and working through change.

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Wednesday Creative Expressions 6:00-7:00 pm

Wednesdays with Lorrin Gehring - fun projects, experiments, and a place to talk about whole body and holistic wellness. We’ll be looking at creative ways to express ourselves and stay busy! This will be a space to create, laugh, and share. Have a bunch of toilet paper rolls (lucky!) and junk laying around? Awesome, let’s make junk sculptures! Lorrin and her guest speakers will be weaving in healthy parenting tips for people with mental health challenges, who may have stress responses that could negatively impact their coping skills. Together we can do this!

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Thriving Thursday's with Washington State Community Connectors: 10:30 - 12:00 PM

Please join Janice Schutz, Lisa Moore, LaTonya Rogers and Pattie Marshall for this awesome webinar. This Family/Peer meeting will feature: Updates From HCA on COVID-19, Check-in time with your community, and a dose of joy to leave you ready for the rest of your day. Hosted by WSCC in collaboration with Peer Workforce Alliance.

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Saturday Night: Game Night with United Peers of Washington board members, 6:00-7:30pm

Unwind and join us for a fun game night hosted by UP of WA board members. Each week we will play some fun and interactive games. We will be playing pictionary, trivia, charades, and more! Grab some snacks and prepare to laugh! Check out and become an UP of WA member here: https://upofwa.org/ Meeting ID 533 170 7035

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