Peer Advocacy, Supports, and Services
The MHA National Certified Peer Specialist (MHA NCPS) certification recognizes peers with the lived experience, training, and job experience to work alongside healthcare teams. The certification is designed to exceed the standards used in public behavioral health around the country. A major purpose of the certification is to meet the needs of private health insurers and private practitioners. Expansion of peer support into the private sector will open up new career paths and opportunities, which have been previously unexplored, for thousands of peer supporters.
MHA's Center for Peer Support has the latest information and promotional materials on peer support, certification, peer-run programs, support groups, and current research on the efficacy of peer support.
MHA developed a highly innovative intervention called It’s My Life: Social Self-Directed Care that combines the evidence-based practices of Peer Support and Psychiatric Rehabilitation and the emerging best practices of Self-Directed Care and Life Coaching into an integrated skill and support strategy to help people build networks of friends and intimate relationships.
With over 200 affiliates in 41 states, MHA is committed to bringing direct services and advocacy to communities around the country. MHA affiliates bring together mental health consumers, caregivers, advocates and service providers for collaboration and action to inform, support and enable mental wellness, and emphasize recovery from mental illness. They provide public education, information and referral, support groups, rehabilitation services as well as socialization and housing services to those confronting mental health problems and their loved ones.
Mental Health America provides technical assistance to other community organizations, specifically consumer groups. MHA staff members advise these organizations on best practices, including how to form a nonprofit board of directors. Additionally, MHA on an ongoing basis releases white papers to help consumer advocates in their work.