Certified Young Adult Peer Support Specialist
Transitioning to adulthood can be hard, but with the addition of a behavioral health condition or a history of trauma, navigating these changes and challenges becomes even more difficult.
When a person turns eighteen, they do not suddenly have all of the answers to the questions of how to manage continuity of care and obtain stable housing, food, transportation, and employment. So often, young adults fall through the cracks of the systems they have aged out of. However, many of these young adults have gone on to embrace a life of recovery, a journey of healing, and a path of wellness.
For those who are ready to utilize their lived experience as young adults who have overcome hardship to serve and support others, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services offers the Certified Young Adult Peer Support Specialist (CYAPSS) program. With specialized training and guidance, CYAPSS draw from their own journey of recovery and healing to inspire hope and help peers achieve their personal goals by promoting self determination, personal responsibility, and the empowerment inherent in self-directed and strengths based recovery and wellness.
In order to apply for the Certified Young Adult Peer Support Specialist training, all applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Be eighteen through thirty years old;
- Hold a high school diploma or equivalent;
- Self-identify as a person who has lived experience with mental illness, substance abuse, co-occurring disorder, and/or experience navigating child and adult-serving systems (e.g. juvenile justice, criminal justice, foster care, homeless services, or child protective services);
- And if in recovery from substance abuse, have maintained abstinence from mind- altering and illicit substances for at least twelve months.
If you meet these requirements and are interested in finding out more, please email CYAPSS.TDMHSAS@tn.gov or text/call 615-878-0043. There is an application process to get into the trainings, which are free of charge and will begin being offered in late 2019.