Peer Support Specialist Training Overview

Training Required to Become a Peer Support Specialist

To begin work in Colorado, Peer Support Specialists or Peer Coaches are required to have training in a set of competencies established by the Colorado Behavioral Health Council and the International Credentialing and Reciprocity Consortium. Our training exceeds the standards set by these organizations. Training topics include:

  • Trauma-informed support
  • Self-care
  • Ethics
  • Communication skills
  • Resilience
  • Recovery
Why Train with the Colorado Mental Wellness Network?

We are the only peer-run organization in Colorado that offers this training. We are focused on recovery and wellness (not just treatment) for individuals with behavioral health challenges. As fellow peers, we have lived experience with recovery and understand the vital role peers play in assisting others.

Our instructors are experienced in program design, facilitation, and training, and we are heavily focused on practical skill-based learning. Our graduates are employed in behavioral health care settings across the state, including at Community Reach Center, ALLHealth Network, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, and Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners.

Our Training Model

We build on the wisdom of lived experience, helping students to deepen their understanding of recovery and develop skills needed on the job. Activities like role plays and practice elements give students time and opportunity to make skills their own.

Students must demonstrate adequate comprehension of the course by:

  • Completing assigned readings and webinars
  • Completing homework assignments
  • Participating in classroom activities
  • Attending all training sessions
  • Taking part in three practice elements to demonstrate mastery of key topics
  • Scoring an 80% or higher on the final exam

Applying to the Program

Minimum Application Requirements
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Internet access
  • Feeling established in one’s own recovery for a minimum of 1 year
  • Commitment to attend and participate in all days of training
  • Desire to assist others in their recovery journey
Application Process
  1. Confirm that you meet the minimum requirements
  2. Complete the written application and expectations agreement
  3. Obtain a letter of reference from a third party who is able to comment on your interpersonal and communication skills (treatment providers, friends, and family are not acceptable references)
  4. Applications are assessed for readiness and aptitude for peer support work with priority given to those already working or volunteering in a peer capacity
  5. Applicants are notified of acceptance
  6. Applicants working with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation must sign Releases of Information for communication between CMWN staff and DVR counselors
  7. Accepted applicants pay deposit, provide letter of authorization from sponsor, and/or apply for scholarship funding

Please be advised that applications are due no later than 3 weeks (21 days) before the start of training. In 2018, the application deadlines are as follows:

April 30 – May 18 training: application due April 9

October 15 – November 2 training: application due September 24

Peer Training Overview

Peer Training Overview 

2017 Training Expectation Agreement 


Interested in Applying?

Complete the following forms and return them to Joann Calabrese*:
Fax: 720.849.3767
Snail mail: ATTN – Joann Calabrese, Colorado Mental Wellness Network, 915 E. 9th Ave, Denver, CO 80218

2017 Letter of Reference form

2017 Peer Application

2017 Training Expectation Agreement

* Applications must be submitted no later than 3 weeks (21 days) before the start of training