Undergrad Certificate for Peer Support Specialist In Behavioral Health – 12 Credits

The Peer Support Specialist (PSS) Certificate is designed for those with “lived experience” who are interested in providing support, advocacy, wellness, and community engagement services to individuals. Program participants complete four university courses and spend 120 hours in the field where knowledge is put into practice within a behavioral health agency. This certificate provides students an opportunity to experience the professional side of the addiction and mental health treatment field and may be utilized as a stepping-stone for further career advancement.


With a focus on behavioral health, the PSS Certificate explores the wellness model, multiple definitions of recovery, mentoring and coaching skills, and professional ethics.

Required courses for completing the certificate include:

CAS 154: Problems of Substance Abuse and Addiction (3 credits)

Overview of how involvement with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs can affect health, personal and social development.  Relates social, philosophical, cultural, prevention and treatment issues.

CAS 257: Fundamentals of Behavioral Health (3 credits)

An overview of wellness dimensions, peer support specialists’ ethics, patient advocacy, and systems of care navigation for the mental health and substance abuse services provider.

CAS 354: Screening and Client Engagement (3 credits)

Overview of philosophical and procedural components for providing addictions services, professional characteristics, ethical/legal issues, helping process and initial assessment.

CAS 457: Peer Support Specialist Practicum (3 credits)

Field placement in a community-based organization where students practice applying knowledge and skills attained in peer support specialist certificate classes.


To apply for the Peer Support Specialist Certificate, students should submit the UNR Declaration form along with the following information form.  Fax these forms to (775) 327-2059 or bring to the CASAT office, OB #225. Attention Debbie.  Please be advised–email/scans are NOT accepted by Admissions and Records.

For questions or further information about the PSS Certificate Program, please contact Terra Hamblin thamblin@casat.org or the CASAT office at (775) 784-6265.