Want to help others and improve your life? This is a good place to start.
The Center’s Peer Counselor Training Program is one of three offered in Los Angeles County, and is open to any adult consumer of mental health services who has resolved his or her treatment issues and has achieved mental health stability for an average time of a year. Also, for consumers who have co-occurring disorders, it is expected that they will be well grounded in their substance use recovery for a minimum of 18 months.
The Peer Counselor Training Program prepares the consumer to use his or her life experience with mental illness, combined with all strengths and skills, in a manner that promotes the mental health recovery of other consumers who are in need of peer-based services.
There are three components, or phases, of the Peer Counselor Training Program.
Phase I: Peer Counseling students attend a twelve week class where they learn about mental health issues, active listening and basic counseling skills, assessment, mental health recovery, advocacy, how to lead groups, how to teach life skills, and how to provide referrals to resources in the community.
The class meets three days a week for four hours a day. There are weekly quizzes, a mid-term, oral class presentation, final exam, and internship evaluation.
In addition to the class, peer counseling students complete 120 hours of internship where they apply their new skills at the Client Run Center or through special arrangements in other programs. Once peer counseling students complete the course and their internship hours, they graduate into.
Phase II: Students have the opportunity to either volunteer and/or to participate in the Peer Counseling Job Bank where they receive a stipend and continue to practice peer counseling skills. As each Peer Counseling Trainee gains experience and the confidence to work well in a mental health setting, he or she begins.
Phase III: Employment areas are identified and support is given to students who would like to obtain a job in peer counseling or a closely related field. The Center’s Valley Employment Services, in partnership with the Department of Rehabilitation, provides employment services to support this goal.
There is no cost to participate.
Interested consumers of mental health services are asked to complete an application and attend an initial interview to demonstrate their desire and readiness.
Classes are offered on average three times per year.
Contact Peer Counseling for more information or to be added to the waiting list: 818-989-7475