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Core Competencies for Peer Workers in Behavioral Health Services

Peer workers and peer recovery support services have become increasingly central to people’s ability to live with or recover from mental and/or substance use disorders. Community-based organizations led by peer workers also play a growing role in helping people find recovery. Both mental health consumers and people in recovery from substance use disorders have recognized the need for core competencies, and both communities actively participated in developing these core competencies for peer support workers.
Core competencies are the capacity to easily perform a role or function. They are often described as clusters of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes a person needs to have to successfully perform a role or job. Training, mentoring, and supervision can help people develop core competencies.


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