Peer Certification

In 2020, California passed a law that makes it possible for certified peer support specialists to be eligible for Medi-Cal reimbursement through county mental health and behavioral health plans. CalMHSA is the certifying entity for these peer support specialists, responsible not only for certification but also for examination and enforcement of professional standards. For details on training, certification, examination, applying and more, visit

Program Overview

See this summary for an overview of the Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists program and CalMHSA’s involvement as the certifying entity.


The Department of Health Care Services has allocated limited funding for scholarships for peers seeking certification, available only to counties that have elected to implement the peer support benefit. Participating counties have until Nov. 30, 2022, to identify individuals for scholarships within their respected county who are currently employed or working within their mental health or behavioral health plans, including their contract provider network. Scholarship applications are due by Dec. 31, 2022.

Grandparenting Process

California recognizes that peers have long functioned as a part of the prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery process for individuals living with mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders. The grandparenting process takes a person’s work experience and training into consideration for meeting the Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist certification. Applications are due by Dec. 31, 2022.

Initial Certification

Individuals not eligible for the grandparenting process but interested in becoming certified as a Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist may also apply through the initial certification process.

Areas of Specialization

Specialized training — to support individuals who are unhoused, justice-involved, or in need of crisis services, and for parent/caregiver/family member peers — will also be available. However, those areas of specialization are not required for certification as a Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist.




Medi-Cal Peer Certification Stakeholder Advisory Council

Recognizing the need for input from peers and other stakeholders to implement a Peer Support Specialist certification program, CalMHSA established a Stakeholder Advisory Council that makes recommendations on behalf of a variety of stakeholder groups. The development and selection of the Advisory Council members was conducted in collaboration with the California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations on behalf of DHCS. Advisory Council members were selected through an application process, and the membership reflects the Medi-Cal populations served by the county specialty plans. Wherever possible, Advisory Council members represent underrepresented or difficult-to-engage communities. CalMHSA values continuous quality improvement; the Advisory Council will serve as an avenue for ongoing feedback during the implementation phase and beyond.

Upcoming Meeting DatesTimeWebinar LinksDial-In InformationAgendas/Notes
Friday, October 21, 20221:00-2:15PMZoomDial-in 1-699-900-9128
Webinar ID: 843 6141 4645
Friday, November 18th, 20221:00-2:15PMZoomDial-in 1-699-900-9128
Webinar ID: 843 6141 4645

Council MemberOrganizationCountyRegionRepresented CountiesProvide Feedback
Roberto RomanContra Costa Behavioral HealthContra CostaBay AreaAlameda, City of Berkeley, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, SonomaBay Area Region Feedback
Iris Allen-WillisCommunity Action MarinMarin
Patricia BarrettSan Joaquin CountySan JoaquinCentralAlpine, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Inyo, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter-Yuba, Tulare, Tuolumne, YoloCentral Region Feedback
David BainNAMI SacramentoSacramento
Clarene Marie WhiteCook N Up Excellence Collective LLCFresno
Martha ContrerasSycamoresLos AngelesLos AngelesLos Angeles, Tri-CityLos Angeles Region Feedback
Min SuhOrange CountyOrangeSouthernImperial, Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, VenturaSouthern Region Feedback
Kristen MungcalClubhouse Expansion ProgramSan Bernardino
Karin LettauCAMHPROSan Diego
Maria ArteagaSanta Barbara CountySanta Barbara
Carrie ManningLake County Behavioral HealthLakeSuperiorButte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity Superior Region Feedback
Adelaida MooreSunrays of HopeModoc


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