“Partnering with the Philadelphia Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health, MHASP created an innovative pilot project aimed at increasing the number of positions for Certified Peer Specialists, individuals in recovery from behavioral health disorders who work to help their peers achieve their own life goals. By the summer of 2008, OVR reported a more than 60 percent success rate in placing CPS graduates in jobs; this is much higher than the usual OVR success rate in finding jobs for people with behavioral health diagnoses.”

“Working with Community College of Philadelphia, MHASP developed a program to create a career path for Certified Peer Specialists. The program offers Certified Peer Specialists the opportunity to earn up to 15 free credits toward a college degree through the CPS training. They can apply these credits to a Community College of Philadelphia certificate in the behavioral health and human services field; they can also transfer their credits from other colleges or universities. In addition, they can take non-credit refresher courses and professional development workshops from Corporate Solutions, the college’s unit that works with organizations to find solutions to business problems. “It was the offer of the credits that helped me decide to return to school,” said CPS Rosemarie C. Overton. ‘The door opened and I stepped through it!’ ”



2000'sSusan Rogers