This article summarizes the role, responsibilities, and ethical guidelines for Mental Health Peer Specialists in Texas.
In Texas a certified Mental Health Peer Specialist (MHPS) is a person who uses lived experience in recovery from a mental health condition*, in addition to skills learned in formal training, to deliver strengths-based, person-centered services to promote a recipient's recovery and resiliency.
All peer specialist services are recovery-oriented, person-centered, relationship-focused, and trauma-informed.
Peer specialist services may include:
Recovery and wellness support - includes providing information on and support with planning for recovery
Mentoring - includes serving as a role model and providing assistance in finding needed community resources and services
Advocacy - includes providing support in stressful or urgent situations and helping to ensure that the recipient's rights are respected
Services may be provided individually or in a group
Peer support is always voluntary!
*Mental health condition--A condition (excluding a single diagnosis of an intellectual or developmental disability or a substance use disorder) that substantially impairs:
(A) an individual's thought, perception of reality, emotional process, or judgement
(B) an individual's behavior; or
(C) an individual's ability to participate in daily routines.
Cited: Texas Health and Human Services Commission Title 1, Part 15, Chapter 354, Subchapter N, Peer Specialist Services.