Peer Support 101
Montana’s Peer Network has developed a comprehensive 40 hour training program to provide you with basic education and instruction around the most important elements of peer support work. We were the first provider approved by the Board of Behavioral Health to meet the training requirements for obtaining certification as a Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialist. This empowering and highly interactive training includes topics such as: whole health recovery, one-on-one work, support group facilitation, ethics and standards, confidentiality, change model, recovery concepts and much, much more. This unique training experience provides hands on learning, role play examples, and group discussion that isn’t available in online or computer based trainings and a personal connection to other peer supporters around the state. This training is designed to allow the participant to develop core competencies of peer support, gain better understanding of their own recovery story, build upon strengths, network with other peer supporters and understand the important role peer support can play in the recovery process. Upon successful completion of this training participants will receive a certificate of completion from Montana’s Peer Network. This course meets the National Practice Standards for Peer Supporters and the guideline set up by the Montana Peer Support Task Force and the guidelines for Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialist Certification.
Trainings are rotated regionally across Montana each quarter in February, May, August, and November. There are limited spots available. The application link is available under the Application Process heading below. Also review the policies regarding COVID-19. Please see our Upcoming Events page for the most up-to-date list of trainings.
If there is not an upcoming training in your area and you have at least 12 qualified peer supporters please email us to discuss the possibility of a private training.
What people say about PS101
“…very happy with the training…”
“…thought it was wonderful.”
“Jim was very inactive with the group. It was fun and interesting. Wouldn’t change a thing.”
“Everything was well thought out and presented well.”
“All great, Jim rocks, it was all great!”
“Jim is an excellent trainer.”
“…great training all around!”
“thank you so much!”
“…you kept us engaged and interested”
“I really learned some more tools for my job and do appreciate you introducing us all, was a pleasure and an honor to be in that training.”
Due to recent change in the number of COVID-19 cases in Montana, we have moved our PS 101 training to a virtual format. Please review the expectations under course information.
Nov 30-Dec 4
Introduction, Orientation and Expectations
Foundation, History and Types of Peer Support
Peer Supporter Toolbox
Recovery Concepts, Dimensions and Guiding Principles
Montana Peer Support Task Force
Role and Scope
Boundaries and Ethics
Benefits Planning, FMLA and Accommodations
Trauma Informed Care
Cultural Understanding and CLAS Standards
Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies
Stages of Change
Recovery and Crisis Planning
Advance Psychiatric Directive
Confidentiality, Reporting, HIPAA and Documentation
Montana State System
Resources state and national
10 Homework assignments
Our virtual PS 101 course is not self paced. You must commit to the full week with 40 hours of in class/homework time as well as an orientation session the week before your training starts. There will be several Zoom sessions each day along with assignments to be completed between sessions or as a group. We will be using Zoom for our live sessions and Google Classroom for homework. Staff will be available for tech troubleshooting for those who are not familiar with Zoom and/or Google classroom.
Applications should be completed as soon as possible and will close 7 days prior to the first class day.
Training materials will be sent to each participant via US mail.
- Reliable high speed internet access.
- Quiet, uninterrupted space in which to participate.
- A desktop, laptop, or tablet with a webcam for each participant. You cannot use a phone to take this course.
- Be visible to the trainer and other participants at all times unless the class activity requires you to turn your camera off.
- Attend the orientation session the week before the course.
- We recommend using a headset or earphones during the training.
Participants will be required to sign a waiver and indicate their agreement to follow all health and safety guidelines. These include but are not limited to:
- Not attending the training if you have been within 6 feet of a person with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days or have experienced a fever of 100.5 F or above, cough, trouble breathing, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, diarrhea, persistent headache, and/or loss of smell or taste within 48 hours of the training date.
- Maintaining 6 feet of distance from staff and participants during the training
- Sanitizing hands when entering the training room and throughout the training as needed
- Having a temperature check each day of the training
- Following all health and safety guidelines posted in the training room or the training facility
- Cloth face masks will be provided but are not required by MPN. The training facility may or may not require them.
Failure to follow the guidelines implemented by MPN and the training facility will result in dismissal from the training. Participants are attending the training at their own risk and understand that all public activities carry an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19. Participants hold MPN free from any and all liability in connection with this situation.
Priority will be given to those who are currently working as peer supporters or have a specific, secured job offer that is dependent upon certification. You may be asked to provide documentation of your employment status. Space is extremely limited.
NOTE: Before starting the application, please know the location and dates of the training you would like to attend. Dates are listed above and are released as scheduled. Applications typically open 6-8 weeks prior to training date.
If you are interested in applying for this training please complete the online application.
You will receive notification of acceptance along with instructions regarding the training. Please allow one week for us to process your application.
Homework will be distributed two weeks prior to the training.
To attend this course you must:
- Be in stable recovery for at least two years
- Apply 2 weeks before scheduled training
- Attend all 5 days of training
- Participate fully in class exercises
- Complete all homework assignments
- Take the written exam
Peer Supporters currently working in the field will have priority but you must sign up early to ensure your spot. Seats are extremely limited.
You must have an overall score of 80% to pass the course. This includes homework, class participation, and the final exam.
You will receive a certificate of course completion to submit with your Certified Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialist application
There is currently no fee for Montana Residents to attend Peer Support 101 training thanks the state of Montana Addictive and Mental Disorder Division funding.
Any travel and lodging expenses are the responsibility of the individual.
If you don’t pass the Peer Support 101 training you cannot just retake the exam, you must retake the entire course.
We offer a limited number of trainings each year and we cannot guarantee that you will be able to retake the class on the next training date.