A Certified Peer Specialist is a person who can share the understanding of mental health challenges through their own personal life experiences. They understand the difficulties and barriers to recovery. They assist and empower peers by identifying a main concern. They help the person explore new options. They are a mentor, companion, educator and advocate and can provide hope, encouragement support and self-determination. They provide a connection to our community. Peers can assist individuals who qualify for the Self-Directed Care program, to more effectively use mental health services. All peers have been trained as wellness coaches, and they assist consumers with the integration of their physical and mental health, to maintain health and recovery.