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Peer Washington's Peer Workforce Development provides recovery-oriented training & technical support for Washington's Certified Peer Counselors and Behavioral Health Providers. If you'd like to learn more about Certified Peer Counselors and how to become one, follow this link.

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Who We Are

Supporting Resiliency, Hope & Recovery


Peer Washington's Peer Workforce Development

We are an innovative, dynamic organization within Peer Washington, that was created with Certified Peer Counselors, behavioral health service providers, and service recipients in mind. 

We focus on diversity, technical assistance, and strengthening the behavioral health workforce. Through research, evaluation, and programmatic initiatives, the Peer Washington Peer Workforce Development team meets the challenges of the emerging peer workforce through recruitment, retention, and advancement of individuals dedicated to recovery, resiliency, and improving quality of life across the lifespan.

What We Do

Peer Washington's Peer Workforce Development team provides training & technical support for Washington's Behavioral Health Providers, with a focus on Peer Workforce Development.

We do this by providing both in-person and online trainings for peers and professionals working within the Behavioral Health care network. 


Our Mission in the Workforce

The Mission of the Peer Workforce Development team is to advance the peer workforce in the state of Washington and to strengthen relationships among youth, families, adults, and their community’s resources and supports by, Implementing training and technical assistance to behavioral health providers and other entities, ensuring diverse engagment of peers and providers, promoting best practices for peer workforce development, disseminating promising practices and evaluation results


Our Core Values

The Peer Workforce Development team shares the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 10 Guiding Principles of Recovery:

SAMHSA'S 10 Guiding Principles

01. Hope

Recovery emerges from hope – belief in the process and reality of recovery is vital for struggling individuals to face and cope with their disease or disorder

02. Person Driven

Recovery is person driven – each person is ultimately in charge of their own recovery, setting goals and creating a path to achieve them

03. Many Pathways

Recovery occurs via many pathways – people recovering from substance abuse or mental disorders have different backgrounds and face unique challenges. As a result, the paths that people take toward recovery will vary from person to person

04. Holistic

Recovery is holistic – in order for long-term recovery to take root, a person must address every aspect of their life, from mental and physical health to income and housing to seeking support and maintaining medication if needed

05. Peer Support

Recovery is supported by peers and allies – having peers that have experienced similar challenges and come through it provides a model for those in recovery to lean on, refer to and receive support from

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06. Relational

Recovery is supported through relationships and social network – an emotional bond with family members, friends and peers that believe in a person’s ability to recover can offer the strength and determination to get through these difficult times

07. Culture

Recovery is culturally-based and influenced – services for recovery must consider an individual’s unique cultural beliefs, values and traditions

08. Addresses Trauma

Recovery is supported by addressing trauma – sexual assault, domestic violence, emotional abuse and any other trauma has to be treated if recovery is to be long lasting and successful

09. Strength & Responsibility

10. Recovery is based on respect

recovering from addiction and psychiatric issues require bravery on the part of the individual. Communities and social systems that acknowledge this lessen the stigma associated with these disorders and offer people a healthier atmosphere in which they can get better and give back

Recovery involves individual, family and community strengths and responsibility– each person in recovery is responsible for their own care, though families and significant others also bear a responsibility, especially with recovering teens or young people, to support their loved ones. Communities also have a responsibility to make sure that those in recovery can live free of discrimination and have opportunities to have housing, employment and education

What is Recovery

SAMHSA'S Definition of Recovery

SAMHSA released the original working definition of recovery and guiding principles in December 2011, and it was later updated after feedback from the public and those in the field of addiction. This version along with comments can be found on the SAMHSA website. Image courtesy of

An estimated 50 million Americans cope with mental illnesses, like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and bipolar disorders, every year. Studies show that during these episodes, individuals are three times more likely to fall prey to drug and alcohol dependency or addiction if they do not receive treatment.

SAMHSA’s Recovery Support Strategic Initiative

Includes the following four areas that will improve the prospect of successful recovery



Overall wellbeing begins with addressing symptoms of addiction that complicate physical and emotional health. Abstinence from alcohol, non-prescribed medications, and illicit drug use is recommended so that any psychiatric disorders can be addressed and treated. This leads to more informed and healthier choices that will sustain ongoing recovery.



Having a consistent, peaceful, and stable place to return to each day will help remove uncertainty and anxiety that can lead to self-destructive behavior.



Being productive, whether through volunteer work, employment, or going to school, provides meaning for every person, especially those who are rebuilding a life in recovery.



An essential aspect of recovery from mental illness and addiction is understanding that others have experienced similar difficulties and struggles. Having non-judgmental support from friends, family members and others in recovery can be just the thing to help an individual gain momentum in recovery.

Peer Workforce Development Trainings

Peer Washington's Peer Workforce Development provides recovery oriented training & technical support for Washington's Certified Peer Counselors and Behavioral Health Providers. 

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