This page will contain items of information that we believe will be of interest to our site visitors. The information we will be posting here will include announcements from the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), news about national trends in CPS work, and any other pertinent information to CPSs. Newer posts will be at the top of the page.

If you have a news story that you feel would be appropriate for this page please send it to

Certification through the Pennsylvania Certification Board (Posted 3/21/17)

On March 9 we posted an announcement on this page that the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has started the task of creating a formal credentialing process for CPSs through the Pennsylvania Certification Board. We posted that there will be an OMHSAS webinar held on April 4 to update people on this process.

The PaPSC, as the voice of CPSs in Pennsylvania, is in communication with OMHSAS staff and will be conducting multiple projects to gather feedback from CPSs and other stakeholders across Pennsylvania so that we can effectively advocate for CPS interests in this process. Some of the projects we will be conducting are:

  • a broad survey sent out electronically
  • ethics trainings to gather input from the training participants on aspects of ethics they would like included in a formal CPS Code of Ethics
  • focus groups to gather feedback from CPSs on a wide range of topics associated with this process including support for moving forward, fees, grandfathering, certification renewal times, expectations of benefits if implemented, etc.

Please watch this site and your email for updates and notifications as there will be a lot of information to communicate going forward.

Overview of Revised Peer Support Services Standards AND Youth and Young Adult PSS Implementation (Posted 3/21/17)

This webinar, originally scheduled for March 14 but delayed due to weather issues, has been rescheduled for March 21. See attached flyer for more information and instructions on how to register,

Webinar Flyer: Save the Date March 31 Webinar

“You Are Not Alone” Conference (Posted 3/20/17)

Save the date for Pennsylvania’s Mental Health Awareness Month Event!  Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 10:30 AM – 2:00 PM, in Strawberry Square (320 Market Street, Harrisburg).

This year’s theme is: “You are not alone.”

 Speakers & Entertainment* (12 PM – 1 PM) include:

Representative Michael H. Schlossberg

Stompers ProjectYouth M.O.V.E. PA

Daniel Vangelli

NAMI Southwestern Pennsylvania

Stephanie Grace

Other free activities,* to be held in the upper level Community Room of Strawberry Square, include:

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention (Perri Rosen/ Pat Cambri, OMHSAS) 11 AM – 12 PM

Tai Chi class (Michael Rothermel, Harrisburg Kung Fu Center12 PM – 1 PM

Guided Meditation workshop (Cheri Roth, Spiritual Entry1 PM – 2 PM

*Schedule, speakers, and activities subject to change.  An updated schedule and a list of all attending exhibitors/ participating organizations will be sent closer to the event.

CPS Certification through the Pennsylvania Certification Board (Posted 3/9/17)

At the Mental Health Planning Council meeting on March 2 OMHSAS announced that it is beginning the process of developing a formal credentialing process to certify CPSs through the Pennsylvania Certification Board. As part of this process OMHSAS is seeking broad stakeholder input. It has reached out to the PaPSC to participate in the discussions on how to move this process forward including developing procedures, a unified test, and a code of ethics. Other stakeholder organizations will be involved as well.

As a first step OMHSAS is hosting a webinar on April 4 to begin discussions on this topic. Please click here for registration and more information on the webinar.

Service Area Planning Meetings Announcement Update (Posted 3/9/17)

The Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has updated their announcement regarding the 2017 schedule for Service Area Planning meetings for each of the state hospitals. Links to a letter from Deputy Secretary Dennis Marion as well the updated meeting schedule are below. As more information is made available we will update this post.

Click here for the letter from Deputy Secretary Dennis Marion. Click here for the 2017 meeting schedule.

Recovery Works Summit 2017 Date Released (Posted 2/22/17)

The Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers Association has released the date for their second annual Recovery Works Summit. This summit is an exciting and historic opportunity to once again bring together the mental health and drug and alcohol recovery communities.

It will be held on September 13, 2017 at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel. Registration information will be posted when it is available.

OMHSAS Recruiting MH Planning Council Members (Posted 2/21/17)

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services’ (OMHSAS) Mental Health Planning Council is currently accepting applications for new members! The Planning Council provides a forum for youth, adults, and family members with lived experience to work side-by-side with advocates, providers, administrators, and OMHSAS leadership to provide recommendations regarding important, statewide policy and programmatic issues.

For more information about the OMHSAS Mental Health Planning Council, visit or contact  Individuals interested in applying for membership are encouraged to attend the March 2, 2017meeting of the Mental Health Planning Council in Mechanicsburg, PA.

Application: Planning Council Application 2017

The PaPSC has Just Released Dates for a Series of Trainings (Posted 2/9/17)

The Pennsylvania Peer Support Coalition has just released dates for a series of free trainings. There are three CPSs in Crisis Services and five Orientation to Medicaid Funded Peer Support Documentation trainings scheduled from March through June. To see the locations and dates and to register for these trainings please visit our ‘Upcoming Continuing Education Trainings’ page by clicking here.

PAPRS Annual Conference (Posted 2/2/17)

The Pennsylvania Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services has announced that registration for their 2017 Conference title Psychiatric Rehabilitation: Pathways to Recovery is now open. The conference will be held at the Penn Stater in State College on May 2- 4.

For more information, contact Tricia Fisher, Education Manager, PAPRS at or 717-655-7662.

To register click here.

WRAP Around the World Conference (Posted 1/26/17)

WRAP Around the World June, 2017The Copeland Center has released information regarding their WRAP Around the World Conference taking place in Sacramento, CA in June. 2017. Join them, WRAP Facilitators, and others from systems of care around the world to share emerging practices around the Wellness Recovery Action Plan. Network, build skills, learn about current research and innovative programs, and be part of the community! Click on the image to the left to view the flyer.

DHS Press Release (Posted 1/18/17)

The Department of Human Services issued a press release on January 11 regarding the closures of the Hamburg State Center for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as the closure of the civil section of Norristown State Hospital. Please click here to read the full story.

OMHSAS Announcement on CPSs in the Deaf Community (Posted 1/18/17)

The Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services along with a statewide workgroup has been working on developing a CPS training for individuals who are deaf. They are now looking for peer support provider agencies who are willing to hire the CPSs who complete this new training as part of an internship to permanent-hire program.

Please click here for the letter from OMHSAS for more complete details and contact information if your agency is interested.