Peer Support Pulse

In looking at other state plans for peer services, Montana’s Peer Network quickly identified the need for standardization of peer services in Montana. That’s when the “Montana Peer Support Task Force was born. In 2012, The Addictive and Mental Disorder Division and Montana’s Peer Network collaborated to form the task force with the aim “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.” The task force was able to achieve its mission and goals and Governor Bullock signed Behavioral Health Peer Supporter Certification on March 31, 2017.

The standardization of peer services ensures the following key qualities:

  • Public Safety concerns are addressed such as professionalism
  • Standardized training, supervision and continuing education for all peer workers
  • Workforce development
  • Establishment of a recovery-oriented curricula for peer supporter and behavioral health providers
  • Peer Services are considered a resiliency factor for healthier communities
  • Paradigm shift to “recovery-oriented” service delivery which positively impacts the human, social and financial consequences of untreated serious mental illness and substance use and or addiction

Additional information about Montana state certification is available from the Board of Behavioral Health.

Click here to access forms related to CBHPSS Certification and Licensing.

To apply for certification, you must:

  • Complete a 40 hour peer support education program. The program must include an exam and verification must be sent to the Board by the training provider. You can get your training from MPN. Find Your Trail to Certification.
  • Submit the Supervisor Agreement and Supervision Plan.
  • Attest that you have a behavioral health disorder.
  • 2 years in recovery with no hospitalizations or incarcerations.
  • Submit a Legal and Health History Content Form
  • Provide a narrative that outlines the recovery program from the behavior health disorder.
  • Complete the fingerprint/background check process (includes a fee of $27.25 to the Montana Department of Justice).
  • Pay a licensure fee of $125.

Certification must be renewed yearly and expire on December 31 each year.

Peer Mentoring

Mentoring programs are used by 70% of Fortune 500 companies and about a quarter of smaller companies. Mentoring benefits the mentor, mentee, and the organization as a whole. Studies show that mentoring programs improve diversity of organizations, increase employee retention and satisfaction, and improve organizational environment. Below are just a few benefits of mentoring.

Benefits of being a Mentor

  • Improved communication skills
  • Development of leadership skills
  • Reinforcement of skills and knowledge
  • Added sense of purpose
  • Expanded professional network

Benefits of being a Mentee

  • Increased skills and knowledge
  • Learning from the experience of others
  • Increased personal and professional confidence
  • Increased communication skills
  • More effective goal setting

Benefits to the organization

  • Increased employee retention
  • Demonstrated investment in employees
  • Reduction in training costs
  • Development of high-potential leaders
  • Creates a collaborative and inclusive environment

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

MPN offers various training opportunities for people looking to become Peer Recovery Coaches or Certified Behavioral Heath Peer Support Specialists. We also offer an array of trainings eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for CBHPSS.

How to be an Effective Advocate

Learn about the basics of how boards function, what the expectations are, and how to be a leader and advocate for the recovery movement

Advance Psychiatric Directives

This online training will help you understand the process for writing an Advanced Psychiatric Directive (APD) and the laws concerning them in Montana.

Cultivating Workforce Integrity

Cultivating and maintaining personal and professional integrity is imperative to the success and sustainability of the peer workforce.


cBHPSS code of ethics, boundaries, and ethical dilemmas facing peer support specialists.

Become Trauma Aware

Learn how to identify trauma, its effects, promote positive self-care strategies and gain an understanding of how peer support can be used in the healing process.

Peer Support Jobs

Montana’s Peer Network does not necessarily endorse any jobs listed. The information is provided to help our members find positions.
If you would like us to post a job announcement, please email Andi.

Peer Support Specialist

PRSC will facilitate or co-facilitate groups, work individually, or in small groups with peers, and use their personal experience to enhance the relationship and mentor clients. Must be in recovery from a severe and disabling mental illness (SDMI) and/or co-occurring disorder and be willing to share experience with members. Certification is preferred, but not required. Winds of Change is willing to provide certification.

Behavioral Peer Support Specialist

Peer support specialists roles include assisting their peers in articulating their goals for recovery, learning and practicing new skills, helping them monitor their progress, supporting them in their treatment, modeling effective coping techniques and self-help strategies based on the specialist’s own recovery experience, supporting them in advocating for themselves to obtain effective services, and developing and implementing recovery plans

The Peer Specialist is an active member of the Emergency Department Crisis Team and provides peer support services to patients in a behavioral health crisis. Under supervision, provides consumer information and peer support for clients in outpatient and inpatient settings. Is or has been a recipient of behavioral health services mental illness and/or substance abuse treatment. Acts as a positive role model through good work ethic, fairness, flexibility and commitment to appropriate and direct communication, demonstrates energy and enthusiasm for Bozeman Health’s mission and vision, and embraces, develops, and implements recovery-based principles with consumers, peers, and the community.

The Peer Support Specialist will through sharing their own experiences guide others through the recovery journey using mentoring, coaching, and partnering with community resources.

determination and decision making. The Peer Specialist is responsible for the delivery of Peer Support services in an outpatient and community-based setting for adults with severe mental illness. The Peer Specialist embraces, develops, and implements recovery-based principles with consumers, staff, EMCMHC, and the community. Acts as a positive role model through good work ethic, fairness, flexibility, and commitment to appropriate and direct communications; demonstrates energy and enthusiasm for EMCMHC’s mission and vision. Salary: $14-$16/hr.

Peer Support Specialists

Peer Support Specialist provides community-based peer support services that are designed to promote the recovery, empowerment, and community integration of individuals who have severe and chronic behavioral health challenges. Will facilitate opportunities for individuals receiving service to direct their own recovery and advocacy process, by teaching and supporting individuals. Promoting the knowledge of available service options and choices of natural resources in the community and help facilitate the development of a sense of wellness and self-worth.

Havre - Great Falls - Great Falls PACT - Kalispell - Helena PACT

Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialist-Certified

This flexible position functions as a core member of the Meadowlark outreach team that involves the Home Visiting Care Coordinator and the local One Health primary care provider, licensed addiction counselor, nurse care manager and, when available, other mental health providers in the primary care clinic. The Peer Support Specialist (PSS) is responsible for providing and coordinating warm handoffs and mentoring to patients or potential patient families who are expecting or have children up to age two (2), who are impacted by SUD (substance use disorder) and in need of behavioral health services. The PSS also provides experience-based input to guide the implementation of the strategic plan for recruiting participating families to the Sacred Families Program according to the community’s unique needs.

Harlem - Miles City

A successful Peer Support Specialist has life experience in persistent mental illness and has participated in mental health services that led to recovery or rehabilitation. This position holds a special role on the team and in the eyes of the clients, providing supportive services to clients with severe to moderate mental illness, or co-occurring disorders. We offer various settings for a Peer Support Specialist to work in to include foster care and group home settings as well as PACT/MACT team settings which is a multi-disciplinary team providing wraparound services.


Peer Support Specialist-Billings

Uses personal experience with behavior health diagnosis disorder to provide support, mentoring, guidance, and advocacy. Offers hope to individuals struggling with substance abuse/behavioral health disorders. Promotes a team culture in which they recognize, understand, and respect individual preferences and points of view and ensures that they are integrated into the treatment, rehabilitation and community self-help activities. Assists individuals in a variety of ways, including problem solving, mediation, brief respite, community stabilization and relapse prevention. The Peer Specialist provides emotional support to participants to assist their maintenance in the least restrictive setting and to enhance self-sufficiency skills. Provides transportation related to outings and resource connection. Communicates emotional and behavioral observations to the treatment team and completes record keeping functions.

Peer Support Pulse Blog

Posted on by Nikki Russell

Be the Change

I can remember many times walking past a person experiencing homelessness. The thoughts that came to mind brought feelings of shame. Something inside me wanted to give to them, but I was taught they were dangerous, morally defective, and fully capable of making money if they wanted to. As time passed, I stopped looking at “them” but could never shake the feeling that something was amiss with my actions or lack thereof. The poverty around me made me wonder what kind of person I am to pass community members experiencing homelessness. Yet, I was going home, deciding which show to watch, Seinfeld or Friends.

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Service Work and Volunteering is Sacred

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Embracing the Power of Service Work: A Journey of Recovery and Giving Back

Service work and volunteering hold a profound place in the hearts of individuals in substance use and mental health recovery. As someone who has embarked on a personal journey of recovery for the past 7.5 years, I have come to appreciate the transformative power of giving back. Though many people in substance use recovery will see service work and volunteering through the lens of 12-step programs, there is purpose and value in volunteering outside of the 12-step communities too, especially for those on a different recovery pathway.

Posted on by Lea Wetzel

Radical Acceptance

When I think of radical acceptance, I think of when my only brother passed away. I was in Montana’s Women’s Prison and didn’t have a chance to go to his services. It hurt, and I was sober for the first time since I was a teenager. I was sober, but I wouldn’t say I was in recovery, because I was still living in a way that had many, many character defects.

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Radical Acceptance – A DBT Distress Tolerance Skill I Still Utilize

I have struggled with mental health challenges and substance use for most of my life. In my early 20’s I was in and out of psychiatric hospitalizations frequently. I felt everything very intensely and my 20’s were filled with misery, agony, and despair. Though I don’t look back on that time of my life fondly, my difficulties opened the door for me to participate in DBT therapy.

Posted on by Jim Hajny

Hiring Peer Support Staff

Candidates often put on their best self, can embellish their credentials, and say what we want to hear. This provides us with false knowledge about a candidate and ultimately a decision which will cost the organization time, energy and dollars. Hiring the wrong person can lead to hours of retraining, coaching, and documenting an employee who will eventually be let go only to restart the process again. Then there is the shrinking workforce nationally. There simply are not as many people to fill healthcare related jobs. Getting it right the first time is important for any organization.

Posted on by Mandy Waite

My Journey to Forgiveness

What is the true meaning of forgiveness? Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

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Beyond Recovery

Early on in my recovery, I was very focused on myself, and that was necessary. I spent countless hours in treatment, in therapy, and in 12 step meetings.