Peer Recovery Specialist

Careers in Mental Health

Malcolm Aquinas, MAT
Peer Recovery Specialist

Generic Information

  • Provide group support services on treatment malls, hospital units, and within the community
  • Assist in developing problem-solving skills so the individual may autonomously respond to challenges in their recovery
  • Educate others on self-advocacy, patient rights and responsibilities, community resources, social supports, and related recovery skills
  • Model the processes of recovery
  • Promote social learning through shared experiences as appropriate
  • Encourage clients’ development of actions based on hope, choice, and personal responsibility
  • Support others and the patient-centered interdisciplinary team in balancing the individual’s self-determination and choices in conjunction with health, safety and personal responsibility needs
  • Link and coordinate the clients’ receipt of such services in conjunction with their interdisciplinary treatment team and other support systems
  • High School Diploma
  • Successful completion of a Traditional Healthcare Worker certification course.
  • Continuing attention to understanding and managing one’s own journey with mental health or related issues.
  • Oregon requires no specific certification for this position; this may vary according
    to state and job setting
  • Certification as a Traditional Healthcare Worker is recommended for Peer
    Recovery Specialists at Oregon State Hospital
  • Empathetic active listening skills
  • Clinical Knowledge, skills and abilities in working with persons with mental illness
  • Ability to function independently and as a part of a patient-centered interdisciplinary
    treatment team
  • Highly attentive to detail, confidentiality, and accuracy
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Substance abuse centers
  • Schools (k-12 – university)
  • Correctional Facilities


Peer Recovery Specialist is an emerging and evolving career field for the care and treatment of individuals with mental illness. Peer Recovery Specialists provide an essential support system for individuals at Oregon State Hospital. Because of their shared past experience of mental illness, institutionalization, or substance abuse among many other things, Peer Recovery Specialists are uniquely positioned to provide mental health treatment to others also on their journey to recovery. There are a lot of possibilities no one of which is inherently better than others, but there must be a commonality to provide a different level of support and understanding for individuals than typical mental health professionals provide. Peer Recovery Specialists approach persons with mental illness with compassion and understanding while providing a dignified way for others to communicate their story, their hopes, fears, and how they desire to move forward in their life.

The peer recovery specialist provides direct support to individuals in the implementation of advocacy, individual and interdisciplinary team education, group and individual work, peer-operated services, and recovery enhancement.

For more information on the educational pathway to this and other healthcare careers follow this Link to the Educational Resource page.

More Video