Collaborative Corner

What is PWA up to now...

May 3, 2019


Hello Everyone!

Welcome to the new WSU Peer Workforce Alliance. A few things have changed since last year and a few remain the same.  We are still dedicated to holistic recovery and wellness through technical assistance, coaching and training.  We focus on peer support as it relates to behavioral health in general and we have exciting news!  Our signature training operationalizing peer support and substance use disorder peer recovery services is new and more targeted to setting a trauma informed culture and SUD.  We are branching out into the military (Army)and first responders world of peer support. Stay tuned for more information on that.  Our focus is on values for 2019. The values we are focusing on areas follows: recovery, cultural relevance, resiliency, voice and choice.

We are pleased to be working with several stakeholders on recovery and resiliency-oriented projects:

Peer Pathways Conference:   This year the Peer Pathways Conference will be 4!  We will have the conference in Tacoma again location the Murano.  It will be August 27&28th  .Limited scholarships will be available so ask your supervisor first and then come to the Peer Workforce Alliance for resources generously provided by the Healthcare Authority. There will be approximately over 400 employed peers there to network with and learn from. The workshops and national key note speakers will be amazing again this year and are to be announced in May.

Substance Use Disorder Portal/Online Tool Kit:  PWA is co-creating an Substance Use Disorder Tool Kit for recovery and peer support. We are partnering with the Washington State  SUD Work Group of the Health Care Authority together input and resources. If you have useful resources, please send them our way at  The tool Kit will be operational and online by August 15, 2019. We are interested in user studies and beta testing in the months of May and June.

New Journeys​:  PWA is excited about its new partnership with the University of Washington.  We provide peer and supervisory consultation to the University of Washington’s New Journey's Teams in partnership with On Track New York.  New Journey's seeks to identify people who have experienced their first psychotic episode as early as possible and to direct them to services that specifically address their individualized and tailored needs.  Research suggests that early intervention has a positive effect on illnesses such as schizophrenia. New Journeys in WA has hired effective and committed peers to create hope and provide a light at the end of the tunnel for so many who are on their path, even though it may not be the planned path.

Online CPC Training:   Come and take the Certified Peer Counseling Training online for free!  It is a prerequisite to taking the in-person training.  It is a great way to see if becoming a certified peer counselor is for you.  Come learn about ethics, boundaries, telling your story and recovery.  Since 2016, over 3000 people have begun the course and 2300 have finished it and received a certificate.  We also can provide students with transcripts from the online training for an easier study format.

OPS- Operationizing Peer Support Trainings:  This training is specifically designed for supervisors of Certified Peer Counselors and Recovery Coaches. If you ever wondered how to be the most effective supervisor when supervising people identifying as being in a protected class then this training is for you!  This is an individualized and tailored training. Each Agency is given a pre-training questionnaire that identifies areas of need within the agency and those that will be attending the training.  Agencies can choose from the following subjects or ask for their own specialty training.Here is the link:

Technical Assistance Webinars for Supervisors:   We have arranged for twelve technical assistance calls for supervisors, clinical directors and other administrators who are interested in building a culture of recovery that will create a trauma informed workplace.

CHAD’s Legacy:   We are partnering with Todd Crook from Chad’s Legacy to create a scholarship for people to use to get to CPC trainings.  Please check out the Chads legacy page on our website.  As of the date of this blog,the requirements to get into the Certified Peer Counseling Training in Washington were keeping individuals who are not already in the field out of the peer support job/training market.  He,PWA and Pattie Marshal from the Health Care Authority, came up with as cholarship program that will enable peers to, take time off from their current job, to get transportation, afford child care etc.

OUR ALLIANCE OUD CPC Trainings: The Peer Workforce Alliances partnering with CHOICE, Pac Mountain and OURR ALLIANCE Opioid Use Disorder Program out of the Cascade Pacific Alliance in the Thurston Mason BHO catchmentarea. We are holding (2) Certified Peer Counseling Trainings one in May and one in September of 2019.  These trainings will be unique as we are partnering with Chad’s legacy for scholarships and Pacific Mountain who is enrolling each training participant in a comprehensive employment assistance program and internship program for after the training.

MHTTC Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network SAMHSA Region 10:

The Peer Workforce Alliance is participating on a five-year planning project for the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC).  The purpose of the program is to develop and maintain a collaborative network to support resource development and dissemination, training and technical assistance, as well as workforce development to the field. These efforts are expected to ensure that high-quality effective mental health treatment and recovery support services, and evidence-based practices are available for all individuals with mental health challenges but particularly those with serious mental illness.

Internship Program  The PWA has (five) internships available. We are looking for dedicated individuals who have the following experience and are looking to get more experience in the field so they can become a Certified Peer Counselor or Recovery Coach. We maybe able to provide some funding through our employment partners as a stipend but generally WSU internships are not paid and based solely on the experience you will receive from the internship. There is not a guarantee of employment after the internship ends. For more information on our internship programs please contact Cody at

Internship Categories

1. Intern Manager- Cody Mears -Filled

    This position orients all new interns andtracks their hours and skill development

2. Military- Mike Pollack (Army Nurse PeerSupport Program) -Filled

   This position is in charge of militaryrelations and will be creating an Active Duty Army Peer Support Program basedand with the permission of     the Publisher of the Four Agreements

3. Technology- Open

This position will upkeep blogs,newsletters and work with the portfolio manager in keeping up the website.

4. Logistics and organization for CPC- open

   This is a great position for someone whowants to learn how to create, advertise and coordinate awesome trainings in thebehavioral health     field. There is a lot of details to keep track of and thisjob will teach you all of them.

5. Intern general specialist I

    The name says it all! This position is forthe person who is waiting to get onto Social Security Disability or wanting totest the waters and see if     they can get off the benefit and go back to work.This is a safe non-paid way to learn about peer support and develop yourskillset.

6. University Intern St. Michaels

    Basic BSW Social Work Supervised Internship

7. University Intern UW T

    Basic MSW Social Work Supervised Internship

           **All internsmust identify as having lived experience in behavioral health**

These area few of our new upcoming projects that we are excited to tell you about. We value our stakeholders and we are going to get out into the community and find out what technical assistance you need and want.  Stay tuned for more website updates and fresh new blogs from peers and supervisors in the field! If you would like to be a guest Blogger for PWA please contact Please look at our website and join the Peer Workforce Alliance!