The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), published national model standards for substance use, mental health and family peer worker certifications on Tuesday.
SAMHSA worked with an array of federal, state, territorial and local partners, as well as peer specialists. A peer worker is defined as someone who uses their own experiences with substance use and mental health issues to support others. Integrating the peer workforce across the healthcare system is one of President Biden’s key goals. The national model is intended to serve as guidance for varying peer support certifications across the country.
“We can improve health outcomes for people with behavioral health issues by better integrating the peer workforce into our health care system,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said of the new national standards. “Getting help from a person who has been successful in the recovery process can be lifechanging.”