Certified Recovery Peer Advocates (CRPAs) are individuals who have been certified to provide coaching, support, information, guidance, and motivation to those seeking or sustaining recovery from a substance use disorder. CRPAs have a unique blend of lived experience and specialized training in the field of recovery and the use of peer services as part of treatment plans has been shown to reduce hospitalizations, hasten recovery time, and improve patient experience. Strong hiring demand for this emerging title is expected to be forthcoming with the enhanced Medicaid reimbursement rate for peer services which went into effect in July 2015 and the inclusion of peer services in the transformation of behavioral health to Medicaid managed care plans. Additionally, this title is expected to grow due to the focus on using peer services to improve behavioral health in New York State’s DSRIP Program and New York City’s mental health action plan, ThriveNYC: A Mental Health Roadmap for All.


Certified Recovery Peer Advocate Training

NYACH has collaborated with NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), and Queensborough Community College (QCC) to develop a new 3-credit education program that prepares individuals with the skills needed to obtain employment at an OASAS licensed provider and to sit for the CRPA certification exam. QCC hired an industry expert to develop the curriculum which will incorporate feedback from the industry and will include test preparation, professional skills, boundaries and ethics, and academic remediation.  The program will also provide participants with case-management and employment services to ensure they receive the supports needed to successfully complete the program and begin working as CRPAs.

The curriculum development and pilot classes will be funded by NYACH and the Department of Small Business Services.

For healthcare organizations interested in learning more about the CRPA training initiative, please contact Sarah Nusbaum at snusbaum@sbs.nyc.gov