What is a Certified Mental Health Peer Specialist (MHPS)?

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.