Peer Support Specialist Training & Placement Program

About the Program

This Peer Support Specialist Training & Placement Program was established by the California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) to address the ongoing workforce development needs in the Public Mental Health System (PMHS). Through this program, we will recruit, train, and place Peer Support Specialists in sites throughout the Inland Empire to help fill in the gaps in the mental health and recovery systems of care.

Peer Support Specialists (PSS) are individuals with lived experience in mental health and/or recovery. They provide support, advocacy, encouragement, affirmation, acceptance, resources, and hope to consumers. They share their personal experiences of navigating the public mental health and/or recovery systems of care, engaging in treatment and the recovery process. The support they provide helps break down barriers and empower people to find and follow their own recovery paths.

While in training, participants will engage with an online curriculum covering the importance of peer support, ethics, confidentiality, crisis management, suicide prevention, recovery planning, case management, triage, technical job skills, and self-care. Participants have to be at least 18 years of age and can complete this 54.5 hour online training at their own pace.

As the Project Coordinator, Mirian Rodriguez will provide support and guidance for participants during the training component, help them find placements within agencies, provide career counseling, and offer guidance during their placement. Our goal is to empower participants to successfully complete their training, effectively transition to their Peer Support Specialist role, and encourage their continued development and growth.

If you have any further questions, please contact:

Mirian Rodriguez
WET Program Coordinator
(951) 588-2000


A Message from Dr. Gia Hamilton

About Lutheran Social Services

Lutheran Social Services of Southern California began in December 1944 when a group of San Diego area Lutheran congregations came together to discuss how to better assist families in need. They began discussing how to form a Welfare Commission. Their vision expanded when we came together with another group of Lutheran congregations in the Los Angeles area having the very same conversation. Lutheran Social Services of Southern California was officially incorporated in 1946 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit social service agency. The mission has stayed true to its earliest beginnings, to be a servant to those in need.

Today LSSSC serves thousands of individuals and families throughout Southern California with over 70 different programs/services at nearly 20 different locations. We are part of the Lutheran Services in America (LSA) network and strive to serve those in need with dignity and respect.


Join the Program

Effective April 1, 2023, we will no longer be accepting students into our current Peer Support Training Program.  The current program was funded with State funding, and is set to expire on June 30, 2023.  Those already enrolled will continue to use this site to access their training materials.

We are in the process of revamping the current program that will include the new California requirements to become a Certified Peer Support Specialist.  Once the new system is in place, we will provide the new gateway access information and open enrollment for new students.


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