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Department of Health Services

Behavioral Health Division

Peer Support Certification Scholarships

Published: August 09, 2022

Peer Support Certification Scholarships Available

Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist certification is here! The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is offering scholarship opportunities, through CalMHSA, for peers who want to seek certification as Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists. Sonoma County is now collecting names for local peers who want to apply for scholarships for certification. The scholarships cover the cost of the application, training, and exam. While individuals may apply on their own for certification, DHCS/CalMHSA scholarships are available only through this process.

To meet DHCS’s definition of a peer, the individual must “self-identify as having experience with the process of recovery from mental illness or substance use disorder, either as a consumer of these services or as the parent, caregiver, or family member of a consumer” and must “be willing to share one’s experience as a person with lived experience and recovery to help others.” To meet certification requirements, the peer must also be at least 18 years old; have a high-school diploma, GED, or college degree; agree to adhere to the Medi-Cal Code of Ethics for Peer Support Specialists; and pass the state exam. 

CalMHSA’s Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification website has more background on California’s work on peer certification and details about the scholarships.

If you live, work, or volunteer in Sonoma County and you want to apply for a certification scholarship, please contact Lisa Nosal at lisa.nosal@sonoma-county.org for information. The deadline for applying for a scholarship is September 16, 2022, and peers who are awarded scholarships must register for the exam by November 30, 2022.