Peer support

Peer support is an Apple Health (Medicaid) service that pairs individuals in recovery with a trained person or parent — a peer counselor — who is also in recovery.

What is peer counseling?

In Washington, peer counseling is an approved Medicaid service. Peer counseling is provided by certified peer counselors who have met state requirements, taken the approved class, and passed the state test.

The duties of a peer counselor vary widely, but they are all based on the effectiveness of assistance and support from people with shared life experience who are living in recovery. Peer counselors use their own stories in helping others develop hope and improve their lives.

Adults, youth, parents, or legal guardians can become certified peer counselors and provide support to their families.

What do certified peer counselors do?

Peer counselors, under the supervision of a mental health professional and as part of a health care team, may:

  • Assist you or your family in identifying services and activities that promote recovery and lead to increased meaning and purpose.
  • Assist you and your family in developing your own goals.
  • Share their own recovery stories.
  • Promote personal responsibility for recovery.
  • Assist in a wide range of services to help you regain control and success in your life
  • Serve as an advocate.

How do I find a peer counselor?

To access peer support services, contact your mental health provider.

How do I become a peer counselor?

If you are in recovery and would like to help others who are traveling the same path, visit our Peer Support Program page to learn about training and certification.