Tim Saubers is a person with lived experience with both mental health and substance use challenges who got his start as a Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist in 2016, and has worked in direct support and supervisory roles. He previously managed Wisconsin’s Certified Peer Specialist and Certified Parent Peer Specialist state certification programs. While in this position he led the development and writing of Wisconsin’s curriculum used in the training of new certified peer specialists as well as the certification exam. Currently, he serves as the Program Coordinator for Workforce Development at the Peer Recovery Center of Excellence while also providing consultation centered on curriculum and exam development, research, and programmatic design. Additionally, Tim sits on a variety of state and national committees and workgroups including chairing Disability Rights Wisconsin’s Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Advisory Council and serving as Vice President of the board of the National Association of Peer Supporters, among others. Tim centers the principles of equity and justice in his work while moving not just to disrupt and reform systems, but to create new systems in their entirety.
Tim has previously supervised a “crisis services” peer support program and has spent time writing and implementing programmatic policies and employee handbooks with several organizations. Additionally, he continues to work as a Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist trainer and has supported the implementation of peer certification trainings throughout the Wisconsin Department of Corrections’ institutions, including co-facilitating the first ever virtual training for people experiencing incarceration. In 2022 Tim launched the Wisconsin Peer Support Advocacy Network (WIPSAN) a statewide, grassroots network dedicated to coalescing the peer workforce in order to leverage its voice at a policy and legislative level.
Tim has no formal education beyond his high school diploma and Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist Certification. He believes strongly in the value of his lived experiences and learned skills, and advocates for greater recognition and compensation of those without higher education across the field of behavioral health.
Funding for this initiative was made possible by grant no. 1H79TI083022 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.