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Certified Intentional Peer Support Specialist – CIPSS

CIPSS PDF Download

Description of a CIPSS

Guided by the Intentional Peer Support model, a relational trauma-informed approach, CIPSSs engage in mutually supportive relationships while creating opportunities and knowledge for sustaining and creating community and natural supports. CIPSSs do not assist people with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs).

To become a CIPSS, an individual must identify as having lived experience with mental health challenges and be willing to self-identify as such when in that role.

CIPSS Work Settings and Populations Served

  • Works with Individuals living with impact of trauma, mental illness and/or substance use.
  • Works in a variety of settings: Maine’s Intentional Peer Support Warmline, Emergency Departments (patients ages 16+), Behavioral Health Homes, State Psychiatric Hospitals, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams, Crisis Programs and Peer Centers. Various agencies throughout Maine are also open to have their Peer Support Specialists trained in Intentional Peer Support.

Hiring Requirements

Required before applying for training:

  • Peer Support 101: a 3-hour class offered to anyone interested in learning more about peer support.


Healthy Connections: Four day-long sessions that use the four tasks of Intentional Peer Support to address topics such as listening differently, challenging conversations, conflict, and crisis situations.


  • Be at least 16 years old 
  • Can read and write English 
  • Have completed 9th grade (although a high school diploma or equivalent competency is preferred) 
  • Successfully complete the 130‐hour CNA Training Program.  
  • Complete an orientation program conducted by your employer 
  • For nursing facility settings, receive at least 12 hours of in-service training, annually