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PRSS Certification

The Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (PRSS) fulfills a unique role in the support of and recovery from mental health issues and substance use disorders. A PRSS is a person in recovery from a mental health diagnosis and/or substance use disorder, who has been trained to work with others on their individual road to recovery. This training incorporates the PRSS’s recovery experience as a means of inspiring hope in those they serve, as well as providing a positive role model to others.  A PRSS works in collaboration with the people we serve as well as clinical staff in the best interests of the individual's recovery process. There are many positive roles that a PRSS can fulfill in an organization based on their individual skills, experience, education, and goals. Peer Recovery Support Specialist’s offer the advantage of lived experience from serious mental health issues and/or substance use disorders. They know the journey to recovery is real and attainable because they have traveled the path themselves.

Thank you for your interest in the Peer Recovery Support Specialist Certification (PRSS) Training program!

The Peer Recovery Support Specialist Certification Training Program will give the participants a full introduction to the following competencies:

1.    An understanding of the skills to provide recovery support to their peers.

a.    Understand possible PRSS job activities (which vary based on where you are employed).
b.    A clear understanding of the PRSS Code of Ethics. 
c.     Understand the meaning of peer support and the role of a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialists including an understanding of dual relationships. Understand the difference in treatment goals and recovery goals and promote recovery goals and personal life goals.
d.    Be able to facilitate a variety of activities that support and strengthen recovery including starting and maintaining self-help/mutual support groups.
e.    Be able to help problem-solve and help a person learn to self-advocate, the meaning of self-determination, teach others to advocate for the services that they want and to use naturally occurring community supports.
f.      Be able to help a person served articulate, set and accomplish his/her personal life goals.
g.    Be able to assist in the facilitation of recovery plans and plans of action, i.e., WRAP, Psychiatric Advanced Directives, etc. 

2.    An understanding of the recovery process and how to use their own recovery story to help others.

a.    Understand the recovery process and what is helpful and not helpful. 
b.    Understand the role of peer support in the recovery process. 
c.     Understand the power of beliefs/values and how they support or work against recovery. 
d.    Understand the basic definition and dynamics of empowerment and self-directed recovery. 
e.    Be able to articulate what has been helpful and what is not helpful in their own recovery in services and interventions.
f.      Be able to use their recovery story as it relates to the peer relationship as well as the needs of the mental health system in the provision of services.

3.    An understanding of and the ability to establish healing relationships.

a.    Understand the meaning and importance of cultural awareness and spirituality in the recovery environment.
b.    Be able to interact thoughtfully and successfully with people of other cultures and belief systems.
c.     Be able to personally cope with conflict and difficult interpersonal relations in the workplace.
d.    Be able to identify ways to help make the environment more recovery-oriented and comforting to the people served. 

4.    An understanding of the importance of and the ability to take care of oneself. 

a.    Understand the dynamics of stress and compassion fatigue.
b.    Be able and willing to discuss their own tools for taking care of themselves.


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Steps to Certification

Review the Peer Recovery Support Specialist Administration Rules:
Please review the Chapter 53. Standards and Criteria for Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialists which can be found on the Administrative Rules page.  These will provide you with the qualifications, prerequisites needed and timelines for application and certification. Please review them closely as there have been critical changes.  

A complete application must be submitted at least fourteen (14) days prior to attending Peer Recovery Support Specialist training.  No one will be allowed to attend the training unless the Department has approved a person's eligibility prior to attending the training.

Application Process:

  • Have demonstrated recovery from a mental health diagnosis, substance use disorder or both.
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be willing to self-disclose about their personal recovery journey
  • Documentation of current status as being employed by the state of Oklahoma, by a behavioral service provider, advocacy agency contracting with the state to provide behavioral health services, or by a behavioral health services provider certified by ODMHSAS, a tribe or tribal facility that provides behavioral health services, or employed by an Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs or a United States Department of Veterans Affairs facility
  • Agree to respect and observe the PRSS Code of Ethics which must be signed and emailed with their Application Inventory Form to ODMHSAS before being assigned to a training.
  • Pass an examination and successfully share your recovery story based on standards promulgated by ODMHSAS after completing the training.

National Provider Identification Number:

It is important that you submit the application for and receive your personal  National Provider Identification (NPI Number) before you begin the online Peer Recovery Support Specialist Application process. All applicants must have a personal NPI number in order to provide behavioral health services.

PLEASE MAKE NOTEYOU WILL NEED TO REFER TO THE FOLLOWING DURING YOUR APPLICATION

  1. Add Taxonomy Code, click ‘Next’
  2. Select from the drop-down menu “175T00000X - Peer Specialist” &  ‘click’ Save
  3. Check (the dot) left of Peer Specialist, click on ‘Next’ and complete the rest of the application

 

If you already have an NPI number, please use that number.

DO NOT CREATE ANOTHER ACCESS CONTROL ACCOUNT IF YOU ALREADY HAVE ONE: THIS WILL ONLY DELAY PROCESSING OF YOUR APPLICATION
For assistance with Access Control, contact the ODMHSAS Help Desk at 405-248-9000

Access to the online system

  • Create a user ID and password.
  • Be sure to save your username and password (you will need it throughout this process and each year to complete your renewal
  • Once you have completed your online application, you only have six (6) months to complete the application process before your application expires.
  • Please make sure your information is complete and correct, but just in case you need to make corrections, revisions or updates, use this same link and make the changes yourself.

Please email the following documents:

Application Inventory Form

  1. Found at the end of the online Access Control Application
  2. Click submit, then check the box that appears in the upper left-hand corner and wait
  3. The Application Inventory Form will auto-populate
  4. Print, sign, and email to PRSSTeam@odmhsas.org

 

Code of Ethics

  1. This can be found at the end of your Access Control Application
  2. If you have any trouble accessing the link please email PRSSTeam@gmail.org

 

PRSS Verification of Employment Form -

  1. This can also be found at the end of the Access Control Application.
  2. Both the Applicant and the Applicant’s supervisor must complete this form.  
  3. Email completed form to PRSSTeam@odmhsas.org
  4. You cannot become a certified PRSS unless you are employed by or volunteering with a state contracted agency.

 

Application Fee

  1. No refunds or credits will be given for any fees
  2.  The $25 fee must be paid via the ‘Pay Bills’ button at the upper right-hand corner of the Access Control screen. Email receipt to PRSSTeam@odmhsas.org
  3. **ODMHSAS Employees & Employees of Tribal entities are exempt from the initial fee of $25.00.

 

Official High School/GED or College Transcript.  

  1. An official College, High School or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) must be submitted– High School and GED Transcripts must show graduation date.

 

Email all five (5) documents mentioned above to PRSSTeam@odmhsas.org with the subject of PRSS Application

Application Approval:

Applications will be reviewed in detail. Applicants who send in incomplete applications or applications that require corrections will be notified via e-mail of the missing documentation or needed corrections.

After the PRSS Application has been approved, the applicant will receive an e-mail with a letter attached stating that they have been accepted to attend the training. Your letter will provide the dates of the training and any additional information including Zoom meeting links.

After completion of the 5-day training, including sharing your personal recovery story, all participants will be expected to take and pass the exam with a minimum of 75%.

Participants must attend all the modules in order to test. The test is pass or retake. If it is determined that you must retake the exam, you will be offered tutoring and a review. 

The test is a combination of multiple choice and some true & false questions. It is reasonable to expect that there will be some application questions on the exam.

Upon Successful Exam Completion of the 5-day training, including sharing your personal recovery story & passing the exam you will receive an official certificate showing that you are a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist.


Renewing Your Certification

You PRSS Certification must be renewed every year. To maintain your Certification each year all Certified PRSS's are expected to have twelve (12) hours of continuing education units (CEU), three (3) of these hours must be in Ethics.  

To maintain your status as a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist you must complete the online Renewal process.  

You may be randomly selected to provide documentation of attendance.  It is the responsibility of each individual to track all of your Continuing Education Units (CEU).

You will enter your CEU's into Access Control beginning August 1st of the calendar year of Certification expiration.

The cut-off date for turning in your continuing education credits each year is December 31st at 5:00 p.m.

For questions related to training dates, enrollment, or status of the applications, please email  PRSSTeam@odmhsas.org,  timothie.smith@odmhsas.org  or amber.valdez@odmhsas.org

 

Replacement Certificates

Applicants may send a request by email to Ramona Gregory or PRSSTeam@odmhsas.org requesting a replacement Certificate.  Ramona or the PRSS Team will email an electronic copy of your certificate that you can print out.

Certification Renewal Process

Renewals are to be submitted no later than December 30th of your renewal year.

Renewals that are NOT submitted and approved before December 30th of your renewal year will be considered late and there will be an additional $25 late fee when submitting renewals any time after December of your renewal year to June 30th of the next year. If a late renewal is not submitted before July 1st, your certification will be TERMINATED on July 1st after your renewal year.

You must start the process all over from the beginning and cannot re-apply until after the 60-day waiting period.  You must notify Ramona Gregory to reset your account before re-applying at 405-248-9334 or ramona.gregory@odmhsas.org

 

Steps to Recertification

All applicants must sign into Access Control. Several icons will appear. 

If you already have a User ID & Password, DO NOT create a new one.  Use the same one you created originally.  If you don't remember your User ID and/or Password, call the help desk as (405) 248-9200 or Ramona Gregory at (405) 248-9334 and they can assist you in accessing your original account.

  • Click on the Registration Icon   
  • Select Peer Recovery Support Specialist
  • Click on the grey button that says "Advance to Registration"
  • If the information is correct, do nothing but review the information and continue through each tab.
  • If the information is incorrect, make the required correction before continuing through each tab.
  • If the information is incomplete, please complete all the information even if you have already done an application.

PRSS Certification requires all information blanks to be filled completely in during this process. 

Make sure all your information in your account is up to date. If you do not see the CEU tab, please contact the help desk at 405 248-9200 or Ramona Gregory at 405-248-9334 to have them reset your status to recertification-eligible and create an online renewal invoice for your $15 fee to renew your certification.

  • The last tab at the top right of your screen will say CEU INFORMATION 
  • Date of session
  • Name of Session (whatever the course was called)
  • CEU hours obtained (you cannot enter more than 8 hours per day)
  • Classification (Ethics, Strength-Based or General)
  • You will have to click on add to open another entry to add the next CEU each time until you have all 12 CEU's entered (Remember you must have 3 ethics and 9 general CEU's every year)
  • You can enter more than 12 CEU's but only up to 8 per day
  • Once you have access to the CEU INFORMATION tab, you will click on the tab and enter your CEU's
  • Sign the Form

 

ALL APPLICANTS MUST CAREFULLY READ THEIR RENEWAL SUMMARY FORM. 

IF THERE IS A NOTE THAT SAYS, "You have been randomly selected to send in documentation of all listed CEU’s, you must send copies of each CEU Training indicated in with this Renewal Application" THEN DUE TO A COMPUTER-GENERATED RANDOM SELECTION PROCESS, APPLICANT MUST SEND A COPY OF ALL CEU WORKSHOP CERTIFICATES and/or Official Transcript (if applicable).

  • In the upper right-hand corner of your screen, you will see a green bubble that says "PayBills"
  • Select submit and print off the Renewal Summary Form
  • Click on this bubble and pay your $15 renewal fee.  If you are paying after the December 31st deadline, you are required to pay an additional $25 late fee.
  • Print the receipt.
  • No refunds or credits will be given for any fees

 

Please email the Renewal Summary form, receipt of online payment and PRSS Verification of Employment Form as an attachment to ramona.gregory@odmhsas.org. We will review your CEU's that you entered and once you have met renewal requirements, we will email your new certificate for another year.  There will be a random few that will have to fax copies of their CEU's with their renewal form.  The renewal form will tell you if you are randomly selected to do so.

We will review your CEU's that you entered and once you have met renewal requirements, we will email your new certificate for another year.  There will be a random few that will have to fax copies of their CEU's with their renewal form.  The renewal form will tell you if you are randomly selected to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions

The minimum qualifications to be credentialed as a PRSS are:

  • Have demonstrated recovery from a mental illness, substance abuse disorder or both.
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be willing to self-disclose about their own recovery
  • Be employed by or volunteer with the state, a behavioral service provider or an advocacy agency contracting with the state to provide behavioral health services.
  • Possess good moral character.
  • Not be engaged in any practice or conduct which would be grounds for denying, revoking or suspending a certification.
  • Agree to respect and observe the PRSS Code of Ethics which must be signed and mailed with their Application Inventory Form to ODMHSAS before being assigned to a training.
  • Pass an examination and successfully share your recovery story based on standards promulgated by ODMHSAS after completing the training.

William Anthony, Director of the Boston Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, has developed the cornerstone definition of mental health recovery.  According to Anthony (1993) recovery is " a deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and/or roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life even with limitations caused by the illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness."

A PRSS works in collaboration with the people we serve as well as clinical staff to the best interests of the individual’s recovery process.  There are many positive roles that a PRSS can fulfill in the organization based on their individual skills.  Recovery Support Specialists offer the advantage of lived experience from mental illness and/or substance abuse. They know the journey to recovery is real and attainable.

As a result of meeting the minimum requirements that are listed above, one must complete the application process and once you receive an Acceptance Letter, you must then be willing to attend the 5 days, 40-hour PRSS Training Program and respect the PRSS Code of Ethics. If you have not received an Acceptance Letter, you will not be allowed to attend the training.  Upon successful completion of the training program, the PRSS applicant must pass a competency exam to demonstrate an understanding of the program in order to earn the "Peer Recovery Support Specialist” Certification.  Training, testing, and the certification are under the auspices of the Mental Health Recovery Division of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS).

The PRSS training is free. You will be expected to provide your own lunch each day and any lodging that you may require.

You will receive a letter stated that you have been accepted to attend the training. If you provide an email address your letter will come via email otherwise the letter will be sent to your home address. Your letter will provide the dates of the training and a map of the training facility.

If you receive a letter stating that you have not been accepted to attend the training and you feel you have received this letter in error, you may resubmit your application along with the missing information or a clarification of the information that we have indicated is missing or that may have been misunderstood.

The Peer Recovery Support Specialist Certification Training Program will give the participants a full introduction to the following competencies:

1.    An understanding of the skills to provide recovery support to their peers.

a.    Understand possible PRSS job activities (which vary based on where you are employed).
b.    A clear understanding of the PRSS Code of Ethics. 
c.     Understand the meaning of peer support and the role of a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialists including an understanding of dual relationships. Understand the difference in treatment goals and recovery goals and promote recovery goals and personal life goals.
d.    Be able to facilitate a variety of activities that support and strengthen recovery including starting and maintaining self-help/mutual support groups.
e.    Be able to help problem-solve and help a person learn to self-advocate, the meaning of self-determination, teach others to advocate for the services that they want and to use naturally occurring community supports.
f.      Be able to help a person served articulate, set and accomplish his/her personal life goals.
g.    Be able to assist in the facilitation of recovery plans and plans of action, i.e., WRAP, Psychiatric Advanced Directives, etc. 

2.    An understanding of the recovery process and how to use their own recovery story to help others.

a.    Understand the recovery process and what is helpful and not helpful. 
b.    Understand the role of peer support in the recovery process. 
c.     Understand the power of beliefs/values and how they support or work against recovery. 
d.    Understand the basic definition and dynamics of empowerment and self-directed recovery. 
e.    Be able to articulate what has been helpful and what is not helpful in their own recovery in services and interventions.
f.      Be able to use their recovery story as it relates to the peer relationship as well as the needs of the mental health system in the provision of services.

3.    An understanding of and the ability to establish healing relationships.

a.    Understand the meaning and importance of cultural awareness and spirituality in the recovery environment.
b.    Be able to interact thoughtfully and successfully with people of other cultures and belief systems.
c.     Be able to personally cope with conflict and difficult interpersonal relations in the workplace.
d.    Be able to identify ways to help make the environment more recovery-oriented and comforting to the people served. 

4.    An understanding of the importance of and the ability to take care of oneself. 

a.    Understand the dynamics of stress and compassion fatigue.
b.    Be able and willing to discuss their own tools for taking care of themselves.

After completion of the 5-day training, all participants will be expected to take and pass the test. The test and storytelling will take place on the last day of training. Participants must attend all the modules in order to test. The test is pass or retake. If it is determined that you must retake the exam, you will be offered tutoring and a review. The test is a combination of true/false, multiple-choice and essay questions. It is reasonable to expect that there will be some application questions on the exam.

Each year all PRSS's are required to have twelve (12) hours of continuing education units (CEU), three (3) of these hours must be in Ethics.  To maintain your status as a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist you should complete the on-line Renewal Process.  You may be randomly selected to provide documentation of attendance.  It is the responsibility of each individual to maintain their own CEU documentation and to turn it in by the due date each calendar year. The cut-off date for turning in your continuing education credits each year is December 31 at 5:00 p.m.

During training, you will learn more about where to obtain CEUs, including the ODMHSAS Training Institute and the Oklahoma Peer Portal (an online hub for PRSS to communicate and find resources).

PRSS Specialty Tracks are supplemental, one-day, training designed to enhance Peers’ knowledge in specific topics, relevant to PRSS job roles.  Specialty Tracks provide information and insight into working with specific populations, such as Youth and Young Adult. These trainings are an opportunity to expand the PRSS skill set. PRSS Specialty Tracks count for Continuing Education Units.

Please use your username and password to access your account and you can update the information yourself. 

Applicants may send a request by email to Ramona Gregory requesting a replacement Certificate. Ramona will email an electronic copy of your certificate that you can print out.

Training

Registration is Required. Enrollment is limited. On site registration is not accepted. All enrollment prerequisites must be met prior to enrollment.

View the 2022 PRSS Certification Calendar

Contact Information

 

PRSS Team Member Title Email Phone
Timothie Smith Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist Timothie.Smith@odmhsas.org 405-443-6902
Amber Valdez Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist
Amber.Valdez@odmhsas.org 405-365-0350
Crystal Myers Administrative Officer Crystal.Myers@odmhsas.org 405-839-4815
Jae Jackson McConnell Program Manager JAJackson@odmhsas.org 405-227-1164
Tony Stelter Dir. of Recovery Supports TGStelter@odmhsas.org 405-761-7180