Next Scheduled CPS Training

We are pleased to announce the upcoming December 2017 certification training in Duluth, GA, for Peer Specialists.  The training will be held on December 4-14, 2017. The Georgia Certified Peer Specialist Project is an initiative of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) in partnership with the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network (GMHCN). Please note the training schedule, cost, and application procedures below.  The required application materials for prospective participants are below.

The December training marks our 61st to date. There are over 1600 Certified Peer Specialists (CPSs) from Georgia, including those who have joined us for training from 12 other states and 4 Canadian Provinces. CPSs work in a variety of settings both within and outside of the behavioral health system and are leaders in some of Georgia's newest initiatives. The Medical College of Georgia has hired CPSs to bring strength-based recovery and the concept of peer support to student physicians, psychologists and psychiatrists. CPSs statewide are supporting peers who are currently transitioning from long-term hospitalization into the community under Olmstead. A CPS in partnership with clinical providers, in a traditional system, created The Peer Support Specialist Program of the Veteran's Administration in Augusta, it has now expanded nationwide. The presence of CPSs in the lives of Georgia's peers is a powerful statement of belief in the reality of recovery and the power of peer support to aid in recovery.

Georgia shines because of its consumer leadership. Carol Coussons de Reyes was the first CPS to serve as Director of the Consumer Relations and Recovery Section of the Department of Human Resources. Currently, Mary Shuman is Assistant Director of the Office of Recovery Transformation at DBHDD.  GMHCN continues under the leadership of Executive Director and CPS, Sherry Jenkins Tucker. The partnership forged by these organizations has underscored Georgia's determination to be a leader in behavioral health system transformation.

The National Institute of Medicine promotes the Georgia CPS Project as a model for other states to emulate. The Annapolis Coalition on Behavioral Health Workforce identified the Project as an "innovative and exceptional practice." The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), released a Resource Kit, BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR RECOVERY:  HOW STATES CAN BILL MEDICAID FOR PEER SUPPORT SERVICES AND TRAIN A WORKFORCE OF PEERS. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) endorsed peer support services, a milestone accomplishment that allows other states to tap into a steady funding mechanism for peer support services.

Training graduates are eligible to sit for the certification exam, given in Decatur approximately one month after their training. CPSs are expected to attend continuing education, held throughout the year. Georgia's CPSs are prepared to meet Medicaid requirements for reimbursement in Peer Supports, ACT, and CPSs also work in PSR, and wherever the power of peer role models can and should be felt.

Complete Application and Pretest

A. Complete December 2017 Application Online. (We recommend that you save a printed copy of your responses for your records). Send your application directly to our email server by clicking the submit button.


B. Download and complete a printable application.

Submit printed application to:

The GA Certified Peer Specialist Project (GA CPS Project) using one of the following options:

      1. Fax: 404-687-0772  OR

      2. Email Application and Pretest to:  OR

     3. Mail to:
         Attn: Samuel Rapier, CPS
        CPS Training Coordinator
        246 Sycamore St, Suite 260
        Decatur, GA, 30030

If you have any difficulties, call Samuel Rapier, CPS at 404-687-9487

Deadline for Applying:
October 31, 2017

If accepted to the training, you will be notified by telephone and a Welcome Packet will be emailed to you.  II. Once you have been notified that you have been accepted to the training.

II. Mail your $85 Registration Fee to:

Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network
Attn. Lynn Thogersen, Financial Manager
246 Sycamore Street, Suite 260
Decatur, GA 30030

Please specify name of applicant on your check or money order.

If you plan to stay at the hotel please reserve a room as soon as you receive notification that you have been accepted.

Additional Information

Presenters:  Presenters from Appalachian Consulting Group, and GMHCN, will conduct the training with guest presenters from the Georgia Advocacy Office and other community partners.

Audience:      This training is for current or former consumers of Behavioral Health services in Georgia, who have an interest in providing peer support services for people who have been given behavioral health diagnoses.

Date, Time & Location: (Both weeks are required)

Training Site

Hyatt Place Atlanta/Duluth
3530 Venture Parkway
Duluth, GA 30096
Phone: (770) 623-9699

Week One:

December 4-8, 2017
Beginning at 1:00 PM on Monday, December 4
and ending on Friday, December 8 at 12:00 PM.

Week Two:

December 11-14, 2017
Beginning at 1:00 PM on Monday, December 11
And ending on Thursday, December 14 at 2:00 PM.

Fee:              $85.00 (This Registration fee is due when you are accepted to the training.)

Hotel:             Hotel accommodation costs are listed only for the dates of the training. (Those participants wishing to stay over the weekend before or after the training can do so at an additional cost.)  You are not required to stay at the hotel to participate in the training. A block of rooms for will be reserved, but participants must make their own arrangements with the Hyatt Place Atlanta/Duluth, 3530 Venture Parkway, Duluth, GA 30096. The phone number is (770) 623-9699.
Lodging Costs: $755.16 per person for 7 nights
($93.00 per night plus 16% Tax $14.88).

Please note: Georgia requires a $5.00 hotel/motel fee for each calendar night of a hotel stay.  This fee is in addition to the existing taxes and is not included in the rate calculation.


Please note that the Project does not assign roommates or assist with transportation. It is expected that participants are able to make their own arrangements.

Deadline:      The deadline for all application materials is October 31, 2017.

(Training class size is limited to 40 - 45 persons.)

Application: Those wishing to participate should complete and return the Application Form and Pre-Test below according to the following guidelines:

        Candidates must have a diagnosis of mental illness and/or a dual diagnosis of mental illness and addictive disease and a strong desire to identify themselves as a person in recovery from a behavioral health diagnosis (current or former consumer of behavioral health services).
        Applicants must hold a GED or High School diploma and be at least 18 years of age.  An applicant may be requested to provide a copy of this document.
       In addition, applicants must demonstrate strong reading comprehension and written communication skills as indicated by their responses on the pre-test.
        Applicants must have demonstrated experience with leadership, advocacy, or governance, and be well grounded in recovery (one year between diagnosis and application to the training).

        If your application is accepted for this training you will be notified by telephone and provided additional information about the training.
        To facilitate contact regarding your participation, please include an email address, daytime phone number and fax number.

For more information on this event, you may contact:
Samuel Rapier, CPS
CPS Training Coordinator, Georgia CPS Project
Phone: 404-687-9487


61. December 2017 in Duluth, GA
60. October 2017 in Savannah, GA
59. September 2017 in Columbus, GA
58. June 2017 in Augusta, GA
57. March 2017 in Warner Robbins, GA
56. December 2016 in Duluth, GA
55. October 2016 in Savannah, GA
54. September 2016 in Columbus, GA
53. June 2016 in Augusta, GA 
52. March 2016 in Warner Robbins, GA
51. December 2015 in Duluth, GA
50. October 2015 in Savannah, GA
49. September 2015 in Albany, GA
48. June 2015 in Augusta, GA
47. March 2015 in Macon, GA
46. December 2014 in Duluth, GA
45. October 2014 in Savannah, GA
44. September 2014 in Albany, GA
43. June 2014 in Augusta, GA
42. March 2014 in Macon, GA
41. December 2013 in Decatur, GA
40. September 2013 in Macon, GA
39. July 2013 in Tifton, GA
38. June 2013 in Decatur, GA
37. February-March 2013 in St. Simons Island, GA
36. November 2012 in Norcross, GA
35. September 2012 in Macon, GA
34. May 2012 in Norcross, GA
33. February-March 2012 in Norcross, GA
32. October 2011 in St Simons Island, GA
31. August 2011 in Norcross, GA
30. March 2011 in Norcross, GA
29. October-November 2010 in St Simons Island, GA
28. August 2010 in Norcross, GA
27. February 2010 in Norcross, GA
26. October 2009 in St Simons Island, GA
25. July 2009 in Norcross, GA
24. February 2009 in Norcross, GA
23. September 2008 in St. Simons Island, GA
22. July 2008 in Norcross, GA
21. March 2008 in St. Simons Island, GA
20. October-November 2007 in in Norcross, GA
19. August 2007 in St. Simons Island, GA
18. March 2007 in Norcross, GA
17. November-December 2006 in St. Simons Island, GA
16. September 2006 in Norcross, GA
15. March 2006 in St. Simons Island, GA
14. December 2005 in Helen, GA
13. June 2005 in St. Simons Island, GA
12. March 2005 in St. Simons Island, GA
11. December 2004 in St. Simons Island, GA
10. July 2004 in Dahlonega, GA
  9. April 2004 in Dahlonega, GA
  8. December 2003 in St. Simons Island, GA
  7. August 2003 in Dahlonega, GA
  6. April 2003 in Milledgeville, GA.
  5. November 2002 - St. Simons Island, GA.
  4. October 2002 - North GA Mountains
  3. April 2002 – Atlanta, GA
  2. February 2002 – Macon, GA
  1. October. 2001 – Pilot training held at Epworth by the Sea, St. Simons Island, GA

G  e  o  r  g  i  a    C  e  r  t  i  f  i  e  d     P  e  e r     S  p  e  c  i  a   l  i  s   t    P  r  o  j  e  c  t