DBSA’s 4-week course prepares you for work as a Peer Specialist. Through a blend of individual learning, group discussions, presentations, and role-playing, you will gain the foundational skills you need to help others move toward wellness.

In order to pass the course and receive a certificate, students must attend and actively participate in all 5 days of the Building the Skills workshop of the third week (Week 3) in real-time either online or in person in Chicago, along with live, distance-learning Zoom discussions in Weeks 2 and 4. Therefore, all students must be prepared to meet the following technical requirements:

  • Internet connection to support Zoom video conferencing.
  • Computer, laptop, or smartphone with the functionality to access a Zoom link. You can check this by going to https://zoom.us/ and installing the app. You need to open a free account in order to install Zoom.
  • Computer, laptop, or smartphone that has a webcam.
  • Ability to sit and focus on a videoconferencing call for 7.5 hours a day for 5 days. Morning, afternoon, and lunch breaks always play a significant part in the learning experience.

More about DBSA’s Peer Specialist Course

  • Approximately 35 hours of independent learning on your own
  • Approximately 5 hours of remote group learning via Zoom
  • Approximately 40 hours of  in-person or online workshop

Participants will reflect on their own mental health journey and develop skills that draw upon this experience to assist others in their recovery. Coursework includes outside reading, completion of homework assignments, group distance learning discussions, quizzes, role-playing, evaluations, and a final eval. Students must be available to attend all activities and achieve a passing grade on all quizzes and the final test to receive a certificate of completion. Our complete student evaluation is 100 points. Students must receive 75 points to attain their certificate.

Schedule and Fees

Week 1 | Independent learning: approximately 15 hours
Week 2 | Independent learning: approximately 15 hours
Week 3 | 5-day Building the Skills workshop: Approximately 40 hours
Week 4 | Independent learning: Approximately 10 hours

Comprehensive final evaluation: 3 hours

Tuition: $1,500
Non-refundable registration fee: $75 (due with your application)

If you are approved to participate, your registration fee will be applied to your tuition. 

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