Peer Wellness

Peer Wellness Services are composed of individuals who have lived experiences with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges. Each Peer Wellness Specialist (PWS) goes through an intensive state-approved training program that teaches them to use their lived experience to provide advocacy and support for other individuals with similar challenges. PWS services promote engagement in therapeutic and wellness activities, both of which helps participants reach their goals.

Since PWSs have lived experience, they are living proof that it is possible for people to recover from mental health and/or substance abuse challenges. PWSs help participants navigate the complex health care system, and offer support and mentoring as they access services for whole health (including behavioral, primary care and housing).

To receive support from a PWS, interested Cascadia clients should discuss it with their case manager.

If not a Cascadia client, please contact our Cascadia Access, Information & Referral (CAIR) at 503-674-7777 (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Peer Wellness Training Program

Do you have lived experience with mental health and/or substance issues and want to help others by becoming a peer wellness or peer support specialist?

Ideal candidates self-identify that they have received or are currently receiving psychiatric services, have a personal understanding of mental health recovery, have the desire to help others, and are committed to their own wellness and self-care.

Cascadia has historically offered trainings for both Peer Support Specialist (PSS) and Peer Wellness Specialist (PWS) certifications. Currently, we are working to organize and plan for future trainings. Dates for our next training have not yet been finalized, and we do not anticipate offering any trainings during the remainder of 2022. However, we encourage you to check back in the summer of 2023 for updates. Applications will not be accepted until future training dates have been established.

Please call 503-238-0769¬†or email peerwellness@cascadiahealth.org with questions about Cascadia’s peer services, or email peopleandculture@cascadiahealth.org with questions about Cascadia’s trainings.

If you are interested in attending a training through another approved provider, you can find information on the Oregon Health Authority’s webpage on THW (Traditional Health Worker) Training Programs.