ATLANTA—On October 15th, the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities, DBHDD, will join the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS), in celebrating Global Peer Support. We will be launching a webpage dedicated to honoring over 3000 CPSs trained and certified in Georgia.

Please join us in recognizing the contribution that peers make to our service delivery system and to the recovery journey for individuals living with behavioral health conditions by visiting our website or following us on Facebook.

The webpage will include information on the history of the peer support movement along with information on the different types of CPS practitioners, training, certification, testimonials, impacts, and additional resources.

In July 1999, Georgia was the first state to request and receive Medicaid reimbursement for Peer Support as a statewide mental health Rehabilitation Option service. The Georgia program has been featured in nearly 100 national and international conference agendas and has been recognized in a myriad of publications, news articles, and peer-reviewed literature.

At the heart of Peer Support is lived experience. Certified Peer Specialists (CPSs) in Georgia provide interventions which promote socialization, recovery, wellness, self-advocacy, development of natural supports, and maintenance of community living skills. CPSs promote self-directed recovery by exploring an individual’s purpose and goals beyond the identified behavioral health condition.

In Georgia, Certified Peer Specialists are not only being employed in the delivery of Peer Support as a service, but are also members of Community Support professional teams, Assertive Community Treatment Teams, Psychosocial Rehabilitation professional teams, High-Fidelity Wraparound teams and hospital and crisis treatment teams.

In 2019, Georgia celebrated 20 years of Peer Support leadership and practice. In that celebratory year, the state celebrated that there were approximately 3000 CPS trained and certified, well over $20M in Peer Support services provided annually, and specialty CPS certifications for Substance Use, Youth, Parent, Whole Health, and Forensic lived experience.

The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) is the state agency that supports people with mental health needs, substance use disorders, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our vision is easy access to high-quality care that leads to a life of recovery and independence for the people.