Alaska Peer Specialist Training & Support

What is a Peer Support Professional?

Peer Support Professionals are individuals who identify themselves as in recovery: living with a mental illness diagnosis, history of trauma, and/or history of addiction. They may also be a family member of someone who meets that definition.  Peer support specialists bring a different perspective when it comes to recovery and helping others through their own journeys. Being able to empathize and empower others at various stages in recovery with personal experiences is what makes Peer Support such an important part of the recovery journey and its success.

What do Peer Support Professionals do?

  • Partner with those they serve and represent them at the table with a treatment team
  • Assist consumers in understanding the process of services, forms being used, types of questions, and updates
  • Be present for the consumer
  • Provide support & encouragement
  • Assist the consumer in Voice & Choice (teach them self-advocacy)
  • Offer perspective and hope to the consumer on behalf of the treatment team
  • Offer insight and perspective to the treatment team on behalf of the consumer
  • Share personal examples
  • Support wellness and model recovery values
  • Support harm reduction as part of the recovery process
  • Support all stages of recovery and relapse
  • Offer future oriented dialogue
  • Be accepting, understanding, non-judgmental, empowering (voice, choice, affirmation, recognition, and advocacy)

Our Peer Support Coordinator hosts weekly information sessions via Zoom, Monday evenings at 7:00 pm. These sessions are an opportunity to learn more about peer support, understand training options available at Alaska Behavioral Health, and get help with next steps. Register here to attend an info session!

40-Hour Basic Peer Support Training

a group of people meeting under a large tent

This class qualifies attendees to work as paid peer support specialists and to apply to become a Certified Peer Support Specialist. This training is provided at no cost through support from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and the State of Alaska Division of Behavioral Health

We provide weeklong, evening and weekend training options, in-person or via Zoom. Attendees are responsible for transportation and meals for in-person trainings. Classes are scheduled throughout the year and throughout the state of Alaska.

Submit application for basic peer support training

2024 Evening Trainings
  • March 19 – April 18, 2024
  • May 28 – June 27, 2024
  • August 20 – September 19, 2024
  • October 22 – November 21, 2024
2024 Saturday Trainings

Saturday trainings are held over 5 weeks, from 9 am – 6 pm with a 1 hour lunch break.

  • June 29 – July 27, 2024
  • September 28 – October 26, 2024
2024 Weeklong trainings

Weeklong trainings are held Monday- Friday, 9 am – 6 pm, with a 1 hour lunch break.

  • April 29 – May 3, 2024
  • June 3 – June 7, 2024
  • July 8 – July 12, 2024
  • August 5 – August 9, 2024
  • September 2 – September 6, 2024
  • September 30 – October 4, 2024
  • October 28 – November 1, 2024
2024 Trainings for Transition Age Youth

Offered in partnership with Covenant House Alaska and Nine Star. Submit application here.

Two week class is Monday – Friday, 9 am to 3:30 pm, open to ages 16-24 only

  • February 5 – February 16, 2024
  • May 6 – May 17, 2026
  • August 5 – August 16, 2024
  • November 4 – November 15, 2024
woman being comforted by another woman

Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Apply for pre-apprenticeship program here

The Pre-Apprentice Peer Support Training is offered in partnership with the State of Alaska Department of Labor. This is an unpaid four (4) week course and will help you understand recovery and wellness as the job of a peer support professional. This is a free training, that requires participation in all four weeks to get credit for program completion.

Classes Included in Pre-apprentice Program

  • State Approved 40-hour Intro to Peer Support Training
  • Confidentiality in Peer Support
  • Ethics in Peer Support
  • Armor Up – Self-Care in the Work
  • Crisis Support & Management
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Harm Reduction vs Abstinence
  • I am Enough
  • Peers in Programs – Understanding the Different Roles
  • Understanding the job – How Can I Help?
  • Motivational Interviewing as a Tool for Peer Support
  • H.O.P.E. & Advocacy
  • HIV/AIDS and Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Cultural Humility in Alaska Native/American Indian
  • ADA Rights in Behavioral Health
  • SUD Advocacy in Peer Support
  • Disassemble Recidivism
  • Build the Army: Mentoring Peers
  • Communicating to Help
  • Hire, Supervise, and Retain Your Peers
  • First Aid, CPR, and AED
  • Non-Physical De-Escalation
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Peer Support Resumes & Interviews
  • ACBHC Application & Submission

Pre-apprentice Course Training Dates

  • April 29 – May 24, 2024
  • June 3 – June 28, 2024
  • July 8 – August 2, 2024
  • August 5 – August 30, 2024
  • September 2 – September 27, 2024
  • September 30 – October 25, 2024
  • October 28 – November 22, 2024

Continuing Education Classes for Peers (earn CEU’s)

Apply for Peer Support CEU classes here

Peer Support Ethics

A three-hour course designed to help Peer Support Professionals understand the unique scope of services they provide and how ethical standards are in place to protect their consumers, themselves, and their communities. This class is designed to assist in a better understanding of role specific challenges, ethical arenas, the code of ethics, and how to resolve ethical concerns when they arise through lens of the Peer Support Professional utilizing case studies and application.


A three-hour course designed to help Peer Support Professionals understand the confidentiality standards that are in place to protect their consumers, their private health information, their experience in recovery services, and overall privacy when it comes to working toward their recovery. This class is designed to assist in a better understanding of role specific challenges, confidentiality arenas, the proper way to maintain confidentiality under legal constraints like 42 CFR part 2, HIPAA, as well as local, state, and federal mandates as they arise through lens of the Peer Support Professional utilizing case studies and application.

Grant Writing

A three hour class to work through the uncertainties in grant writing. Learn some basic skills to support your agency and be a frontline contributor to the needs of those you serve.

Hire, Supervise & Retain Your Peers

Peer Support isn’t a new thing. But, here in Alaska’s Helping field, it is new to a lot of us. The truth is that most people in this field have lived experiences. We just don’t use them to do our jobs. Learn the do’s and don’ts of Peer Support Supervision, how to offer support without counseling, how to develop strong peers by playing on their strengths and using their skills to support the team, clients, and communities as a whole. Are you ready to confidently supervise your team’s PSPs?

Advanced Peer Support Trainings

Train the Trainer

Training to prepare active peer support professionals to train their oncoming peer team members and active/outgoing consumers by using the state approved Alaska Behavioral Health forty-hour training. Learn how to make the class your own while holding true to the content and desired outcomes. Are you ready to take your peer strengths to the next level?

  • November 8 – 9, 2023
  • December 18-19, 2023
  • March 11 – 12, 2024
  • June 13-14, 2024
  • August 20-21, 2024
  • November 27 – 28, 2024

Apply for Train the Trainer here.

Meet our Peer Support Specialists

For More Information

Contact Jenifer Galvan at Alaska Behavioral Health to see if this opportunity fits into your journey.

Phone: 907.444.3666