On March 26-28th, Queensborough Community College (QCC) will conduct a train-the-trainer for educational institutions across NYS on delivering NYACH’s Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) training model. Over the past few years, there has been growing interest and excitement from educators and behavioral health providers around replicating the success of NYACH’s CRPA program in other parts of the State and the train-the-trainer is a culmination of a partnership between NYACH, the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, and WMC Health- the Westchester Medical Center-led Performing Provider System (PPS).
NYACH’s CRPA training at QCC is the first comprehensive training in NYS to prepare people for the certification exam and to work as CRPAs. CRPAs are non-clinical members of the care team who have lived experience and specialized training with substance use and recovery. CRPAs provide support, guidance, information, and motivation to others with a substance use diagnosis. The program was developed through a multi-stakeholder process which included input from over a dozen employers, the relevant certification board, current peers workers, NYC DOHMH, and NYS OASAS. The curriculum was developed and the course is being taught by a CRPA and expert in the field. It is aligned to the four domains in the IC&RC exam which are advocacy, ethical responsibility, mentoring and education, and recovery and wellness support. The program It also includes professional skills and academic remediation, which was identified by the industry as important in helping participants succeed. Participants also take a 3-credit course, which was contextualized for the CRPA role, “Addictions and Dependencies,” which provides a basic overview of various substances and their effects on the body.
Due to the success of the first two cohorts and the increased demand for CRPAs, the program was replicated at Bronx Community College and adopted by the College of Staten Island in partnership with the Staten Island PPS.