Certification: Part One

Thank you for your interest in Tennessee's Certified Peer Recovery Specialist program!  All participants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be at least age eighteen (18) years of age or older.
  • Hold a high school diploma or General Equivalency Degree (GED).   For help obtaining GED documents or proof of your high school diploma, you can request records through the TN Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development. For help obtaining GED documents or proof of your high school diploma, you can request records through the TN Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development.
  • Self-identify as a person who is in recovery from mental illness, substance abuse, or co-occurring disorder as part of his or her personal recovery process;
  • Have demonstrated self-directed recovery for a minimum of 24 consecutive months as described in the CPRS Application, Part One. Recovery means different things to all of us.  Although many people may think this has to mean that "Someone has to be in a 12-step program" or that "Someone has to have gone away to some kind of treatment or inpatient program for at least 30 days etc."; however, this is not necessarily the case.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) recognizes here are many different pathways to recovery and each individual determines his or her own way. SAMHSA defines recovery from Mental Health Disorders and/or Substance Use Disorders:  A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life and strive to reach their full potential.  Recovery is whatever steps we take personally that help us heal from a mental health disorder or substance use disorder (or both).  If you have been in recovery for at least two years and have a high school diploma or GED, then you can begin the process!  Please complete and submit either the online or printable form.

    Online Form:
    Application Part 1

    **Note: It is recommended that you copy / paste longer essay answers somewhere such as an email or word document  in order to access them later in case there is a problem saving or submitting the application. 

Printable Form: Application Part 1

Once accepted into the program, participants must attend and successfully complete CPRS training.

·         The 40-hour training includes role playing, feedback, group work, self-examination, and tests. Topics covered include communication, problem-solving, values, motivation, and wellness, opioid use disorder, and ethics. 

·         Set aside time in the evenings to complete homework and reading assignments.

·         Be present for all 40 hours of training.

·         Most people who come to the training ready to give it their all, do very well!

*** Please note:  We work on a first-come, first-serve basis with applicants. There is a waiting list where we look at the approved applications,  then start with the earliest submitted, and work our way down. Trainings normally fill up well in advance. The sooner an individual applies and gets approved, the sooner we can place them on the list. 

We will then, notify you via email: (1) When your application has been approved, and (2) when  we've been able to add you to a training in your area.

Upcoming CPRS Trainings:
Our department is offering the CPRS trainings via Zoom as well as in person. The trainings are scheduled for eight hours a day Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 PM CT. Please feel free to reach out to Michelle Webster either by phone or email any time you need to. 615-347-3262 Michelle.Webster@tn.gov

What is the cost of training?
The Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Training is provided free to all accepted applicants; however, you will be responsible for your own transportation, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks.

For more information about the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist process in Tennessee, refer to the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Handbook.  You can also contact the Peer Recovery Coordinator at 800-560-5767 or email CPRS.TDMHSAS@tn.gov.