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Certification: Part One

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

  • Have you been in recovery from a mental illness and/or substance use disorder for at least two years? 
    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).  
  • Do you have at least a high school diploma or 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.

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. 

*** 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 2019 CPRS Training Dates:

December 2019 – Nashville
March 2020 – Knoxville
March 2020 – Nashville
April – Memphis
April – Nashville
May – Johnson City
May – Nashville
June – Chattanooga
June – Nashville
What can you expect from training?

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