Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate

Overview
Entry Course
Advanced Course
Leadership Academy

Program Overview

In 2010, Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. and San Francisco State University jointly developed the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program, funded by the Mental Health Services Act. The Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program initially offered one 12-week classroom education and hands-on training course, now known as the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate (PSMHC) Entry Course. The primary goal of the entry course is to prepare individuals and family members who have experience with behavioral health services with basic skills and knowledge for entry-level peer specialist/counseling roles. The Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Entry Course has successfully completed 17 Cohorts, and has over 250 graduates of the course. RAMS offers its 12-week Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Entry Course two times annually, in the fall and in the spring.

In 2016, the Program expanded to include the 8-week Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Advanced Course which provides additional training, education, and workforce development opportunities to individuals who are currently providing peer services and/or advocacy in the community and would like to obtain additional enrichment and training in the field. RAMS offers the PSMHC Advanced Course two times annually, in the winter and in the summer.

In addition to these courses, RAMS also coordinates the Leadership Academy, a free monthly training series open to all Bay Area residents, designed to support and educate peers providers working or interested in working in the behavioral health field. Leadership Academy is offered on the last Friday of every month and lengths of trainings vary by topic.


For questions and/or to get on the email list to receive the announcements for upcoming trainings and course applications, please email certificate@ramsinc.org.

Entry-Level Course

Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. and the San Francisco State University Department of Counseling jointly developed the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program Entry Course, funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). The primary goal of the Entry Course is to prepare consumers of community behavioral health services or family members with the basic skills and knowledge for entry-level peer specialist/counseling roles in the behavioral health system. The entry course runs twice yearly, in the spring and in the fall.

Applications for the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Entry Course are currently OPEN. Please sign up for our email list by emailing certificate@ramsinc.org in order to receive the most up-to-date notifications of application releases and program open houses. Prospective students as well as providers are strongly encouraged to attend the open houses to learn more about the Program.

Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Entry Course, Fall Cohort
The Program aims for accuracy, but sometimes changes must be made to dates and/or times due to unforeseen circumstances.

Please be sure to sign up for the email list by emailing certificate@ramsinc.org to get notifications with the most updated schedule.

Application & Information Release: week of July 22nd 2019
Open Houses: Tuesday, July 30th 10am-12pm & Friday, August 2nd 3pm-5pm @ SFSU Downtown
Campus, 835 Market Street
Application Help Worshop: Thrusday, August 8th, 10am-2pm @ 1282 Market Street
Application Due Date: Monday, August 19th @ 5pm
Notification of Acceptance: week of August 26th
Dates of Course: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-2pm, 9/17/19-12/12/19 @ SFSU Downtown Campus, 835 Market Street


 

 

Course Components

  • 12 weeks course; Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00am - 2:00pm @ San Francisco State University Downtown Campus (835 Market Street)
  • Interactive lectures by experts in the field
  • Includes 8-hour shadow experience with a professional in the field of community behavioral health
  • Career Planning Assistance and Networking Opportunities
  • Free of cost. Books and materials included

How to apply

Eligibility Requirements:

  • This course is targeted for consumers of behavioral health services and family members
  • Must be a resident of San Francisco
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must have completed at least high school level education or GED
  • Must submit all parts of the application by due date:
    • Copy of High School/College Diploma/Transcripts or GED
    • Copy of proof of San Francisco residency
    • Personal statement

Advanced-Level Course

The 8-week Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Advanced Course provides additional training, education, and workforce development opportunities to individuals who are currently providing peer services and/or advocacy in the community and would like to obtain more knowledge and training in the field. The course utilizes a wellness and recovery oriented approach to instill within students a foundation for how to use these principles to best serve consumer and community needs. The course is also designed to provide workforce development opportunities through interactive trainings with experts in the mental health field, exposure to various behavioral health service providers and community partners, and other networking activities. The Peer Specialist Mental Health Course is offered twice annually, in the winter and summer.

Applications for the Summer 2019 Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Advanced Course are now CLOSED. Please sign up for our email list by emailing certificate@ramsinc.org in order to receive the most up-to-date notifications of application releases and program open houses. Prospective students as well as providers are strongly encouraged to attend the open houses to learn more about the Program.

Application & Information Release: week of May 6th 2019
Open House: Monday, May 13 3:30pm-5pm @ 1282 Market Street
Application Due Date: Monday, June 3rd @ 5pm
Notification of Acceptance: Week of June 10th
Dates of Course: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3pm-6pm, 6/27/19- 8/22/19 @ SFSU Downtown Campus, 835 Market Street


 

 

Advanced Level Course Information

  • 8 week course, classes held Tuesday and Thursdays 3pm-6pm
  • Career Planning Assistance and Networking Opportunities
  • Free of cost. Books and materials included.

How to apply

To be eligible for the Advanced Course, participants must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A resident of San Francisco
  • A high school graduate (or have a GED)
  • A consumer or family member of a consumer of behavioral health services
  • Individuals with current or past education, training, and work experience as peer providers and/or community advocates & volunteers in the behavioral health field are highly encouraged to apply

The application packet includes the following components:

  • Application Form with applicant's basic information
  • Proof of San Francisco Residency
  • Proof that applicant is at least 18 years of age
  • Proof of high school level or higher education
  • Two personal or professional references
  • Personal Statement
  • Resumé (highly preferred, not required)

Leadership Academy

The RAMS Leadership Academy is a monthly training series designed to support and educate peers providers working in the behavioral health field. These events are designed to provide training on a variety of topics, such as: group facilitation, boundaries, trauma-informed care, and motivational interviewing, among others. The workshops will also help build skills for participation in a variety of activities that request peer provider input, including: advisory committees and boards, review panels, and other advocacy efforts. These interactive trainings are held in the community and are open to all peer providers and counselors in the Bay Area.

Leadership Academy trainings are always held on the last Friday of the month. To receive the monthly announcements and RSVP information, please contact certificate@ramsinc.org to be placed on the email list. Announcements will be posted to this page approximately 1-2 weeks before the training. We hope you can join us!

Announcement: RAMS July 2019 Peer-Based Services Training

Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. is pleased to present its July 2019 Leadership Academy Training designed to support and educate peer counselors, advocates, and others providing or interested in providing peer support services in the mental health field in San Francisco. Please see below for further details and RSVP instructions.

July 2019 Leadership Academy Training

When: Friday, July 26th, 9am-12pm
Where: San Francisco State Downtown Campus @ 835 Market Street, room 619
Cost: FREE! Light breakfast provided.

Topic: Helping Clients Change their Relationship to Substances

About The Training:

Jennifer Fernández, PhD, a specialist in harm reduction psychotherapy, will facilitate this training using materials from her book, “Power Over Addiction: A Harm Reduction Workbook for Changing Your Relationship to Drugs.” Participants will practice helping clients move through the change process and make engaged decisions regarding their substance use. Additionally, the training will discuss how peer providers can support clients in developing healthy boundaries with the people in their lives in order to further support harm reduction.

RSVP REQUIRED. Click HERE to fill out the RSVP form.

PLEASE NOTE: RSVP using the online form is required. Please contact Ida Poberezovsky, Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program Coordinator, at (415) 579-3021 x120 with any questions or concerns.

We hope you can join us!

Address: Phone: Fax:
1282 Market Street   San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 579-3021 (415) 941-7313