Montana Peer Support Task Force

The Montana Peer Support Task Force was formed in a collaborative effort between the Addictive and Mental Disorder Division and Montana’s Peer Network in January 2012.

The mission of the Peer Support Task Force is “to support and enhance the professional field of peer support for people in the process of recovery from substance use, other addictions, mental illness, or co-occurring disorders.”


Montana Peer Support Toolkit Final Edition


The Peer Task Force identified key areas of need in Montana in order to achieve its mission:

  • Collaboration
  • Study of other state peer services
  • Standardization of training
  • Funding for sustainable peer services


These four areas are broken down below.


Since its inception the Peer Task Force has successfully brought together the individuals and organizations to ensure a wide view of peer services in Montana that include:


  • Peer Supporters
  • Montana’s Peer Network
  • Mental Health America of Montana
  • Disability Rights Montana
  • NAMI
  • Summit Independent Living Center
  • State of Montana – Children’s Mental Health Bureau, Addictive and Mental Disorder Division (includes both the addiction and mental health staff), Job Service, Dept. of Labor
  • Veterans Administration of Montana
  • Native American community members
  • Western Montana Mental Health Centers
  • Center for Mental Health
  • Winds of Change Mental Health Center
  • Eastern Montana Mental Health Centers
  • Consumer Direct
  • Helena College
  • Parents Let’s Unite for Kids (PLUK)


Study of other state peer services

Twenty five state peer service directors or managers from around the nation were contacted to better understand the complex issues around developing statewide standardized peer services. Many states sent copies of their state toolkit, handbooks and related documents.

These States included: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Many states sent copies of their state toolkit, handbooks and related documents. The PSTF then studied the data to assist in the development of Montana’s plan.

Next the PSTF contacted national experts on peer services and invited them to meetings to share their experience in developing peer services around the country and around the world so we could better understand this complicated process. These experts included, Mark Salzer, Ph.D, Larry Fricks, Director Appalachian Consulting Group, Patrick Hendry Senior Director of Mental Health America National and Robyn Priest consultant of Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center.

The PSTF then collected white papers and resource guides such as:


 Standardization of peer training

In looking at other state plans for peer services we quickly identified the need for standardization. The Standardization of peer services will insure the following key quality criteria for providers, the state and peer supporters:

  • Standardized training
    • Affordable and accessible peer support training available statewide
    • Continuity in skill sets
    • Professional standing
  • Continuity in workforce development
    • Code of Ethics for all peer supporters
    • Scope of Practice for all peer supporters
    • Readiness Assessments (peer supporters and employers)
    • Clinical supervision and support for peer supporters
    • Multiple funding options for employers
  • Establishment of a recovery-oriented curricula for peers and employers
    • 3 levels of peer support training components identified and developed
    • Identified continuing education requirements


  • Paradigm shift on “peer delivered recovery-oriented” organizational and leadership changes to impact the human, social and financial consequences of untreated serious mental illness and substance abuse
    • Toolkit development and implementation
    • Community integration of recovery services
    • Peer services are available in a variety of settings
    • Meets Federal expectations for health care

 Funding for sustainable peer services

State grants, Medicaid waiver, CBPRS, Money Follows the Person, Federal grants, fee for service, contracts

Peer Supporter Code of Ethics

Scope of Practice


One Response to Montana Peer Support Task Force

  1. Josh Crabb says:

    Hello. My name is Josh Crabb and I am a peer specialist in Casper, Wyoming. Due to our state budget cuts, Wyoming will no longer be funding peer specialist throughout the state. My organization, Central Wyoming Counseling Center, has decided to keep me on, but this will require being recertified in another state. I would like to discuss the possibility of doing so through your organization in the coming months. Please let me know if this is possible.


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