Course: Peer Recovery Specialist Training (NC-PRS)

Peer Recovery Specialists (PRS) are a rapidly expanding workforce who work with individuals, families, and communities seeking to understand and overcome challenges in three areas: Substance Use Disorders & Addiction, Mental Illness, and as Family Support Partners. Empowered through their own "lived experience," PRS's offer an accessible, nonclinical perspective, person-centered approach, and positive, hopeful voice of support in the midst of complex behavioral and mental health challenges. As valued team members, PRS Professionals may work in treatment centers, schools, drug courts and other criminal justice settings, hospital emergency departments, child welfare agencies, homeless shelters, and behavioral health and primary care settings.

The 72-hour Peer Recovery Specialist Training is offered to groups (5-14 participants) as an in-person, online, or hybrid format delivered by a DBHDS Authorized PRS Trainer. The Curriculum provides essential knowledge related to all three areas of challenge - SUD's & Addiction, Mental Illness, and Family Support. Lessons and activities will define the peer support role and introduce essential skills and standards for PRS professionals. This training does not rely upon a lecture-based approach and will include active participant engagement, guest experts, and individual and small group opportunities to explore areas and resources of particular interest. At the conclusion of this training, Graduates will receive a certificate of completion enabling them to move towards active engagement in the field and exam preparation to become Certified Peer Recovery Specialists. In addition they possess an awareness of the current professional landscape, recognition of their own goals and expertise, and membership in a growing  network of individuals, specialists, and Recovery-related resources enabling them to continue on in their professional development.

Note: UR's School of Professional and Continuing Studies offers a wide range of non-credit, education and training opportunities for individuals in the community seeking to enhance professional skills or pursue formal certification in a given area. We are excited to expand our Training Platform to include Behavioral Health/Recovery Resources  and proud to offer the 72-hour DBHDS PRS Training -  the only one accepted by the Virginia Certification Board as part of the PRS Certification Process. To learn more about additional requirements for certification and other training offerings go to

Specific components covered in this training include:

  • Understanding the Peer Support role and what makes it unique
  • Understanding the Recovery Process
  • Mental Health and Addiction Recovery pathways
  • Current research related to Behavioral Health Challenges and Recovery
  • Peer Support Ethics and Boundaries
  • Basic Principles Related to Health and Wellness
  • Delivering Peer Services within Agencies and Organizations
  • Trauma and its impact on Recovery
  • Community Resource Navigation
  • Peer Support Role in Crisis Navigation
  • Cultural Sensitivity and Practice
  • Employment Support for individuals in Recovery

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