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Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist

The Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (PRSS) fulfills a unique role in the support and recovery from mental illness and substance abuse disorders. A PRSS is a person in recovery from a mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder, who has been trained to work with others on his/her individual road to recovery. This training incorporates the PRSS’s recovery experience as a means of inspiring hope in those they serve, as well as providing a positive role model to others.  A PRSS works in collaboration with the people we serve as well as clinical staff in the best interests of the individual's recovery process. There are many positive roles that a PRSS can fulfill in an organization based on their individual skills, experience, education, and desires. Peer Recovery Support Specialists offer the advantage of lived experience from serious mental illness and/or substance abuse. They know the journey to recovery is real and attainable because they have traveled the path.

Useful Links:

Steps to Certification

Review the Peer Recovery Support Specialist Administration Rules:
Please review the Chapter 53. Standards and Criteria for Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialists.  These will provide you with the qualifications, prerequisites needed and timelines for application and certification. Please review them closely as there have been critical changes.  

A complete application must be submitted at least fourteen (14) days prior to attending Peer Recovery Support Specialist training.  No one will be allowed to attend the training unless the Department has approved a person's eligibility prior to attending the training.

The minimum qualifications to be certified as a PRSS are:

  • Have demonstrated recovery from a mental illness, substance use disorder or both.
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be willing to self-disclose about their personal recovery journey
  • Be employed by or volunteer with the state, a behavioral service provider or an advocacy agency contracting with the state to provide behavioral health services, or a behavioral health services provider certified by ODMHSAS.
  • Possess good moral character.
  • Agree to respect and observe the PRSS Code of Ethics which must be signed and mailed with their Application Inventory Form to ODMHSAS before being assigned to a training.
  • Pass an examination and successfully share your recovery story based on standards promulgated by ODMHSAS after completing the training.

National Provider Identification Number:

  • It is extremely important that before you begin the On-Line Peer Recovery Support Specialist Application process, you will need to get your National Provider Identification (NPI Number) in order to provide behavioral health services.
  •  PLEASE MAKE NOTEYOU WILL NEED TO REFER TO THE FOLLOWING DURING YOUR APPLICATION
    • Add Taxonomy Code, click Next
    • Select from the drop-down menu “175T00000X-  Peer Specialist” click Save
    • Check (the dot) left to Peer Specialist, click on Next and complete the rest of the application

  • If you already have an NPI number, please use that number.

Complete the On-Line Application:

  • DO NOT CREATE ANOTHER ACCOUNT IF YOU ALREADY HAVE ONE
  • THIS WILL ONLY DELAY PROCESSING OF YOUR APPLICATION
  • FOR ASSISTANCE CONTACT THE HELP DESK AT (405) 248-9000 Option 0
  • Access to the online system  (click here for new accounts)
    • Create a user id and password.
    • BE SURE TO SAVE YOUR USER NAME AND PASSWORD
    • You will need it throughout this process and each year to complete your renewal
    • Once you have completed your online application, you only have six (6) months to complete the application process before your application expires.
    • Please make sure your information is complete and correct, but just in case you need to make corrections, revisions or updates, use this same link and make the changes yourself.

For assistance with your user name and password, please contact the help desk at 405-248-9000 Option 0.

Please email the following documents:

  • Application Inventory Form – This has a list of all the needed attachments and should also be signed by the applicant.
  • Print off, sign, and attach the Code of Ethics to your application Inventory page.  You cannot be registered for training until we receive your signed Code of Ethics.
  • Print off the PRSS Verification of Employment Form, have your supervisor complete their portion of this form, you complete your portion of this form.  You cannot become a certified PRSS unless you are employed by or volunteering with a contracted agency.
  • Application Fee of $25.00** PAID through the on-line Pay Bills button, print receipt.
    **ODMHSAS employees are exempt from the initial fee of $25.00.
  • No refunds or credits will be given for any fees
  • Official College transcript.  If you don't have any college credits, an official High School transcript or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) – Only official transcripts will be accepted. High School and GED Transcripts must show graduation date.
  • Email all of the above to PRSSTeam@odmhsas.org with the subject of PRSS Application
  • If applications must be mailed in, please Mail all of the above to ODMHSAS, Attention: PRSS. The mailing address is 2000 N. Classen Blvd., Suite E-600, Oklahoma City, OK 73106-9913

Peer Recovery Support Specialist Application Approval Process:
Applications will be reviewed in detail. Applicants who send in incomplete applications or applications needing corrections will be notified by e-mail of the needed corrections. These applications will be held for five business days to give the applicants time to make the corrections. If the corrections are not made within this window of time, the applications will be mailed to the applicants' attention at their noted place of employment or volunteering.

Application Approvals:
After the PRSS Application has been approved, the applicant will receive an e-mail with a letter attached stating that they have been accepted to attend the training. Your letter will provide the dates of the training and a map of the training facility.

Attend a five-day training.
Take and Pass the PRSS Exam. In addition, the applicant must be able to effectively share their personal recovery story with the class.

After completion of the 5-day training, all participants will be expected to take and pass the exam. The test and storytelling will take place on the last day of training. Participants must attend all the modules in order to test. The test is pass or retake. If it is determined that you must retake the exam, you will be offered tutoring and a review. The test is a combination of true/false, multiple-choice and essay questions. It is reasonable to expect that there will be some application questions on the exam.

Upon Successful Exam Completion of the 5-day training (passing exam and effectively share your story) you will receive an official certificate showing that you are a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist.

Certifications must be renewed annually. 
To maintain your certification each year all Certified PRSS's are expected to have twelve (12) hours of continuing education units (CEU), three (3) of these hours must be in Ethics.  To maintain your status as a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist you must complete the on-line Renewal process.  You may be randomly selected to provide documentation of attendance.  It is the responsibility of each individual to maintain their own tracking sheets and to enter your CEU's into the database beginning August 1 of the calendar year. The cut-off date for turning in your continuing education credits each year is December 31 at 5:00 p.m.

For questions related to training dates, enrollment, or status of the applications, please email PRSSTeam@odmhsas.org, or call Brendan Ryan at 405-248-9203.

Training

Training Schedule Information
  • ODMHSAS Training Institute
    2000 N. Classen Blvd.
    Suite 2-600, East Tower, 6th Floor
    Oklahoma City, OK  73106-9913
    (405) 248-9191
    Park and enter off of Western Ave for the East tower. Google Map
  • North Regional Health & Wellness Center
    5635 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
    Tulsa, OK 74126-6409
    If coming from Tulsa: Take HWY-75 N to the 56th St N exit. Head West on 56th St. N for approx. 3 miles until you reach Martin Luther King Jr Blvd (formerly Cincinnati Ave) and turn North. The destination is on your right. Google Map
    (918) 582-9355
    THD website
  • Tulsa Technology Riverside Campus

Thank you for your interest in the Peer Recovery Support Specialist Certification (PRSS) Training program!

The Peer Recovery Support Specialist Certification Training Program will give the participants a full introduction to the following competencies:

1. An understanding of the skills to provide recovery support to their peers.
a. Understand possible PRSS job activities (which vary based on where you are employed).
b. A clear understanding of the PRSS Code of Ethics. 
c. Understand the meaning of peer support and the role of a Certified Peer  Recovery Support Specialists including an understanding of dual relationships. Understand the difference in treatment goals and recovery goals and promote recovery goals and personal life goals.
d. Be able to facilitate a variety of activities that support and strengthen recovery including starting and maintaining self-help/mutual support groups.
e. Be able to help problem-solve and help a person learn to self-advocate, the meaning of self-determination, teach others to advocate for the services that they want and to use naturally occurring community supports.
f.  Be able to help a person served articulate, set and accomplish his/her personal life goals.
g. Be able to assist in the facilitation of recovery plans and plans of action, i.e. WRAP, Psychiatric Advanced Directives, etc. 

2. An understanding of the recovery process and how to use their own recovery story to help others.
a. Understand the recovery process and what is helpful and not helpful. 
b. Understand the role of peer support in the recovery process. 
c. Understand the power of beliefs/values and how they support or work against recovery. 
d. Understand the basic definition and dynamics of empowerment and self-directed recovery. 
e. Be able to articulate what has been helpful and what is not helpful in his/her own recovery in services and interventions.
f. Be able to use their recovery story as it relates to the peer relationship as well as the needs of the mental health system in the provision of services.

3. An understanding of and the ability to establish healing relationships.
a. Understand the meaning and importance of cultural awareness and spirituality in the recovery environment.
b. Be able to interact thoughtfully and successfully with people of other cultures and belief systems.
c. Be able to personally cope with conflict and difficult interpersonal relations in the workplace.
d. Be able to identify ways to help make the environment more recovery-oriented and comforting to the people served. 

4. An understanding of the importance of and the ability to take care of oneself. 
a. Understand the dynamics of stress and compassion fatigue.
b. Be able and willing to discuss his/her own tools for taking care of him/herself.

Time with People You Enjoy

Exercise

Hobbies

Good Nutrition

Training Schedule

Registration is Required. Enrollment is limited. On site registration is not accepted. All enrollment prerequisites must be met prior to enrollment.
   Date     Type        Location Registration    Deadline

January 25-29 2021
9:00 am to 5 pm

Certified PRSS Training  Online Thru Zoom January 11, 2021


February 22-26, 2021
9:00 am to 5:00 pm 

Certified PRSS Training  Online Thru Zoom February 8, 2021

March 22-26, 2021
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Certified PRSS Training  Online Thru Zoom March 8, 2021

April 19-23, 2021
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Certified PRSS Training  Online Thru Zoom April 5, 2021

May 24-28, 2021
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Certified PRSS Training  Online Thru Zoom May 10, 2021

June 21-25, 2021
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Certified PRSS Training  Online Thru Zoom June 7, 2021

July 19-23, 2021
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Certified PRSS Training  Online Thru Zoom July 5, 2021

August 23-27, 2021
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Certified PRSS Training  Online Thru Zoom August 9, 2021

September 20-24, 2021
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Certified PRSS Training  Online Thru Zoom September 6, 2021

October 18-22, 2021
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Certified PRSS Training  Online Thru Zoom October 4, 2021

November 1-5, 2021
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Certified PRSS Training  Online Thru Zoom October 18, 2021

December 13-17, 2021
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Certified PRSS Training  Online Thru Zoom November 29, 2021

IMPORTANT REMINDERS
You will be responsible for your own meals/snacks/beverages including coffee.
You will get a lunch break each day.

Please review the Steps to Certification
Click on Access to the Online Application to create a user id and password to access the new system
Click on PRSS On-Line Application & Associated Forms to complete an application to become a Certified PRSS.

For questions related to training dates, enrollment or status of the application, you can email PRSSTeam@odmhsas.org or Brendan Ryan at (405)248-9203

Forms

 
  • Access to the new online system (click here) must create a user id and password first before you can access the new on-line application process.
  • New PRSS On-Line Application & Associated Forms – Please make sure your information is correct, but just in case you need to make corrections, revisions or updates, use this
    the same link and make the changes yourself.
  • Once you have completed your online application, you only have six (6) months to complete the application process before your application expires.
  • Applicants should print out the required forms associated with your initial application. Each applicant will have a unique ID number that is associated with your application that will be
    preprinted on these forms. All required documentation, forms, and fees need to be returned to us via U.S. Mail to Attn: PRSS, 2000 N. Classen Blvd., Suite 2-600, Oklahoma City, OK  73106-9913

Update your information in the database yourself

PRSS Certification Renewal Information

PRSS Verification of Employment Form

Replacement Certificates

  • Applicants may send a request by email to Ramona Gregory requesting a replacement Certificate.  Ramona will email an electronic copy of your certificate that you can print out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can be a Peer Recovery Support Specialist (PRSS)?
The minimum qualifications to be credentialed as a PRSS are:
  • Have demonstrated recovery from a mental illness, substance abuse disorder or both.
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be willing to self-disclose about their own recovery
  • Be employed by or volunteer with the state, a behavioral service provider or an advocacy agency contracting with the state to provide behavioral health services.
  • Possess good moral character.
  • Not be engaged in any practice or conduct which would be grounds for denying, revoking or suspending a certification.
  • Agree to respect and observe the PRSS Code of Ethics which must be signed and mailed with their Application Inventory Form to ODMHSAS before being assigned to a training.
  • Pass an examination and successfully share your recovery story based on standards promulgated by ODMHSAS after completing the training.

How do I know if I am in recovery?     
William Anthony, Director of the Boston Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, has developed the cornerstone definition of mental health recovery.  According to Anthony (1993) recovery is " a deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and/or roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life even with limitations caused by the illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness."

What do Peer Recovery Support Specialists do?

A PRSS works in collaboration with the people we serve as well as clinical staff to the best interests of the individual’s recovery process.  There are many positive roles that a PRSS can fulfill in the organization based on their individual skills.  Recovery Support Specialists offer the advantage of lived experience from mental illness and/or substance abuse. They know the journey to recovery is real and attainable.

Being a PRSS is something that I think I want to do, what now?

As a result of meeting the minimum requirements that are listed above, one must complete the application process and once you receive an Acceptance Letter, you must then be willing to attend the 5 days, 40-hour PRSS Training Program and respect the  PRSS Code of Ethics. If you have not received an Acceptance Letter, you will not be allowed to attend the training.  Upon successful completion of the training program, the PRSS applicant must pass a competency exam to demonstrate an understanding of the program in order to earn the "Peer Recovery Support Specialist” Certification.  Training, testing, and the certification are under the auspices of the Mental Health Recovery Division of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS).

What does the training cost?

The PRSS training is free. You will be expected to provide your own lunch each day and any lodging that you may require.

How do I know I have been accepted to attend the training?

You will receive a letter stated that you have been accepted to attend the training. If you provide an email address your letter will come via email otherwise the letter will be sent to your home address. Your letter will provide the dates of the training and a map of the training facility.

What if I do not get accepted to attend the training?

If you receive a letter stating that you have not been accepted to attend the training and you feel you have received this letter in error, you may resubmit your application along with the missing information or a clarification of the information that we have indicated is missing or that may have been misunderstood.

What can I expect to learn from attending the PRSS training?

The Peer Recovery Support Specialist Certification Training Program will give the participants a full introduction to the following competencies:

1. An understanding of the skills to provide recovery support to their peers.
a. Understand possible PRSS job activities (which vary based on where you are employed or volunteering).
b. A clear understanding of the PRSS Code of Ethics. 
c. Understand the meaning of peer support and the role of Peer Recovery Support Specialist Certification including an understanding of dual relationships. Understand the difference in treatment goals and recovery goals and promote recovery goals and personal life goals.
d. Be able to facilitate a variety of activities that support and strengthen recovery including starting and maintaining self-help/mutual support groups.
e. Be able to help problem-solve and help a person learn to self-advocate, the meaning of self-determination, teach others to advocate for the services that they want and to use naturally occurring community supports.
f.  Be able to help a person served articulate, set and accomplish his/her personal life goals.
g. Be able to assist in the facilitation of recovery plans and plans of action, i.e. WRAP, Psychiatric Advanced Directives, etc. 

2. An understanding of the recovery process and how to use their own recovery story to help others.
a. Understand the recovery process and what is helpful and not helpful. 
b. Understand the role of peer support in the recovery process. 
c. Understand the power of beliefs/values and how they support or work against recovery. 
d. Understand the basic definition and dynamics of empowerment and self-directed recovery. 
e. Be able to articulate what has been helpful and what is not helpful in his/her own recovery in services and interventions.
f. Be able to use their recovery story as it relates to the peer relationship as well as the needs of the mental health system in the provision of services.

3. An understanding of and the ability to establish healing relationships.
a. Understand the meaning and importance of cultural competency and spirituality in the recovery environment.
b. Be able to interact thoughtfully and successfully with people of other cultures and belief systems.
c. Be able to personally cope with conflict and difficult interpersonal relations in the workplace.
d. Be able to identify ways to help make the environment more recovery-oriented and comforting to the people served. 

4. An understanding of the importance of and the ability to take care of oneself.
a. Understand the dynamics of stress and compassion fatigue.
b. Be able and willing to discuss his/her own tools for taking care of him/herself.

I heard there was a test. What should I expect? 

After completion of the 5-day training, all participants will be expected to take and pass the test. The test and storytelling will take place on the last day of training. Participants must attend all the modules in order to test. The test is pass or retake. If it is determined that you must retake the exam, you will be offered tutoring and a review. The test is a combination of true/false, multiple-choice and essay questions. It is reasonable to expect that there will be some application questions on the exam.

What do I do to maintain my certification?

Each year all PRSS's are required to have twelve (12) hours of continuing education units (CEU), three (3) of these hours must be in Ethics.  To maintain your status as a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist you should complete the on-line Renewal Process.  You may be randomly selected to provide documentation of attendance.  It is the responsibility of each individual to maintain their own CEU documentation and to turn it in by the due date each calendar year. The cut-off date for turning in your continuing education credits each year is December 31 at 5:00 p.m.

Where can I find classes for Continuing Education Units?         

During training, you will learn more about where to obtain CEUs, including the ODMHSAS Training Institute and the Oklahoma Peer Portal (an online hub for PRSS to communicate and find resources).

What are the PRSS Specialty Tracks?

PRSS Specialty Tracks are supplemental, one-day, training designed to enhance Peers’ knowledge in specific topics, relevant to PRSS job roles.  Specialty Tracks provide information and insight into working with specific populations, such as Youth and Young Adult. These trainings are an opportunity to expand the PRSS skill set. PRSS Specialty Tracks count for Continuing Education Units.

How do I change my information in the PRSS Database?         

Please use your user name and password to access your account and you can update the information yourself. New Recovery Support Specialist On-Line Database

How do I get a replacement Certificate?

  • Applicants may send a request by email to Ramona Gregory requesting a replacement Certificate. Ramona will email an electronic copy of your certificate that you can print out.

Certification Renewal

  • CPRSS New On-Line Renewal Information - (PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS)
    • 2020 Renewal Applications are being accepted beginning August 1, 2020
    • 2020 Renewal Applications will not be accepted after June 30, 2021.  If your certification expired on December 31, 2020, and you didn't renew by June 30, 2021, your certification is TERMINATED on July 1, 2021. You must start the process all over from the beginning and cannot re-apply until after the 60-day waiting period (September 1, 2021).  You must notify Ramona Gregory to reset your account before re-applying 405-248-9334.
  • If you already have a User ID & Password, DO NOT create a new one.  Use the same one you created last year.  If you don't remember your User ID and/or Password, call the help desk as (405) 248-9200 or Ramona Gregory at (405) 248-9334 and they can assist you in accessing your original account.
  • All applicants must sign into Access Control. Several icons will appear. 
  • Click on the Registration Icon   
  • Select Peer Recovery Support Specialist
  • Click on the grey button that says "Advance to Registration"
  • Make sure all your information in your account is up to date.
    • If the information is correct, do nothing but review the information and continue through each tab.
    • If the information is incorrect, make the required correction before continuing through each tab.
    • If the information is incomplete, please complete all the information even if you have already done an application.
    • PRSS Certification requires all information blanks to be completely filled in during this process. 
      Applicants must complete the blanks and supply all necessary required information or an error will occur that will not allow the applicant to continue until they correct or complete the information. Failure to do so will not allow the information/update to go through properly and the applicant will not be able to submit their PRSS renewal application.
  • The last tab at the top right of your screen will say CEU INFORMATION 
    • If you do not see the CEU tab please contact the help desk at 405 248-9200 or Ramona Gregory 405-248-9334 to have them reset your status to recertification-eligible and create an online renewal invoice for your $15 fee to renew your certification.
  • Once you have access to the CEU INFORMATION tab, you will click on the tab and enter your CEU's
    • Date of session
    • Name of Session (whatever the course was called)
    • CEU hours obtained (you cannot enter more than 8 hours per day)
    • Classification (Ethics, Strength-Based or General)
    • You will have to click on add to open another entry to add the next CEU each time until you have all 12 CEU's entered (Remember you must have 3 ethics and 9 general CEU's every year)
    • You can enter more than 12 CEU's but only up to 8 per day
  • Select submit and print off the Renewal Summary Form
    • Sign the Form
    • ALL APPLICANTS MUST CAREFULLY READ THEIR RENEWALSUMMARY FORM.  
    • IF THERE IS A NOTE THAT SAYS "You have been randomly selected to send in documentation of all listed CEU’s, you must send copies of each CEU Training indicated in with this Renewal Application" THEN DUE TO A COMPUTER GENERATED RANDOM SELECTION PROCESS, APPLICANT MUST SEND A COPY OF ALL CEU WORKSHOP CERTIFICATES and/or Official Transcript (if applicable).
  • In the upper right-hand corner of your screen, you will see a green bubble that says "PayBills"
    • Click on this bubble and pay your $15 renewal fee.  If you are paying after the December 31st deadline, you are required to pay an additional $25 late fee.
    • Print the receipt.
    • No refunds or credits will be given for any fees
  • Please email the Renewal Summary form, receipt of online payment and PRSS Verification of Employment Form as an attachment to ramona.gregory@odmhsas.org.We will review your CEU's that you entered and once you have met renewal requirements, we will email your new certificate for another year.  There will be a random few that will have to fax copies of their CEU's with their renewal form.  The renewal form will tell you if you are randomly selected to do so.
  • We will review your CEU's that you entered and once you have met renewal requirements, we will email your new certificate for another year.  There will be a random few that will have to fax copies of their CEU's with their renewal form.  The renewal form will tell you if you are randomly selected to do so
  • Remember if you do not see your CEU tab or the $15 renewal fee or the $25.00 late fee to pay, please contact the help desk 405-248-9200 or Ramona Gregory at 405-248-9334 to reset your account for you.
  • If you have any questions about this process or any issues that may arise, please contact the help desk first at 405-248-9200 or Ramona Gregory 405-248-9334.

Contact Information

PRSS Program Coordinator

Jae McConnell
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
405-248-9238
405-431-0083
405-366-2307 Fax

Timothie Smith
Recovery Support Training Specialist
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
timothie.smith@odmhsas.org

Brendan Ryan
Facilitator of Peer Program Implementation
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
405-248-9203

Tony Stelter, MHR, C-PRSS, LPC
Director of Recovery Supports
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
405-761-7180

Administrative Support
Ramona Gregory
Administrative Assistant
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
(405) 248-9334
(405) 366-2304 Fax

Chapter 53. Standards and Criteria for Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialists

Talk to PRSS: If you have a question, please go to the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Section.  If you still can't find the answer on this web site, please send us an e-mail and we will answer your question directly.

For general questions regarding PRSS certification, training or applications, please contact Ramona Gregory  at 405-248-9334

For more specific questions regarding Certification Rules please contact PRSSTeam@odmhsas.org.

Last Modified on Oct 05, 2020