What is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist?

A Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) is someone who has self-identified as being in recovery from mental illness, substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders of both mental illness and substance use disorder.  To become certified, a CPRS has completed specialized training recognized by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services on how to provide peer recovery services based on the principles of recovery and resiliency.

Certified Peer Recovery Specialists can provide support to others with mental illness, substance abuse, or co- occurring disorder and help them achieve their personal recovery goals by promoting self-determination, personal responsibility, and the empowerment inherent in self-directed recovery.

See how Tennessee’s CPRS use their experience to help others:


Direct peer-to-peer services can include a variety of support services, such as:

  • Assisting in the development of strengths-based individual goals
  • Serving as an advocate, mentor, or facilitator for resolution of issues that a peer is unable to resolve on his or her own
  • Assisting in the development of recovery goals
  • Developing community support
  • Providing information on ways to maintain personal wellness and recovery
  • Providing information on behavioral health system navigation

The Certified Peer Recovery Specialists program began in 2013. Since then, more than 1,200 peers have been certified in Tennessee.

Are you ready to become a Peer Recovery Specialist?

Visit the new home for all of Tennessee's Certified Peer programs: cadre.tn.gov