Peer support is when someone with lived experience provides hope and encouragement for someone with similar lived experiences, such as mental health and substance use conditions, to realize a life full of possibilities. Peer professionals offer emotional support, share knowledge, teach skills, honor self-determination, connect people with resources, and hold the hope of a full and rich life until the person can realize this for themselves.

Mental health peer specialists, recovery coaches, and family partners, substance use recovery coaches and veteran peer coordinators use their lived experience, including the ways in which they navigated healthcare systems and achieved recovery, to help others who are beginning their recovery journey.

Because peer service providers have similar life experiences, they can better connect with people seeking help and inspire hope for a meaningful life and full recovery.

Texas Council supports recovery-based peer services by:

  • Hosting regular professional development and educational training for peer providers and their supervisors.
  • Promoting integration of peer services into core services offered at Centers and as part of implementation of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) model of care.
  • Bringing the voices of peers to the forefront of statewide conversations regarding mental health services.

In 2017, the 85th Texas Legislature passed HB 1486, the Peer Medicaid Bill, which allowed services provided by mental health peer specialists and substance use recovery coaches to be Medicaid billable services. The services of Family Partners and Veteran Peer Coordinators are not yet included as Texas Medicaid benefits.