Peer Support

GRMHA's Peer Support Program is a community-based service for individuals who have a mental illness or a substance abuse disorder. Peer Support is provided by a Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPS) who has self-identified as a person in recovery from mental illness or substance abuse issues and is committed to his or her own recovery. CPS’s provide structured, scheduled activities that promote recovery, self-determination, self-advocacy and enhancement of community living skills.


Our Peer Support Service is an individualized, recovery-focused service. Recovery refers to the process in which people can live, work, learn and participate fully in their communities. Each person is free to define recovery in his or her terms. For some individuals, recovery is the ability to live a fulfilling and productive life despite a disability. For others, recovery implies the reduction or complete remission of symptoms.

Peer Support is a supportive relationship between the CPS and the individual that promotes respect, trust and mutuality and empowers individuals to make changes that enhance their recovery. The CPS defines, models and mentors recovery values, attitudes, beliefs and personal actions in order to encourage wellness and resilience. 


Activities of the CPS promote self-directed recovery by emphasizing the person, rather than the mental illness or substance abuse disorder. This is accomplished by the CPS assisting the individual:

  • in exploring his or her possibilities of recovery

  • in tapping into the individual’s strengths

  • in emphasizing hope and wellness

  • in developing an Individual Recovery Plan and achieving the personal recovery goals he or she identified.

GRMHA's Certified Peer Support services include:

  • Assisting the individual in developing a network of contacts for information, and developing collaborative, helping relationships with others (based on experience of the Peer Support Specialist and others who have had similar experiences).

  • Assist the individual in developing natural supports.

  • Encouraging the individual to participate in their planning process by:

    • Identifying goals that are important to him or her;

    • Developing his or her specific plans for achieving goals; and

    • Developing his or her safety plan and learning how to use it.

  • Providing encouragement that pursuing recovery is worth the effort.

  • Assisting the individual in identifying the personal benefits of engaging in recovery.

  • Providing positive feedback to build the individual’s confidence about pursuing recovery goals.

  • Encouraging him or her to identify, talk about and utilize personal strengths.

  • Assisting the individual in the development of self-advocacy skills to improve and increase independence by providing information about accessing mental health, substance abuse, and other community-based services and benefits.

  • Providing an opportunity for individual to discuss the services they are receiving or would like to receive.

  • Teaching strategies for effective self-advocacy.

  • Improving and supporting the individual’s understanding of their mental health or substance related disorder, wellness and recovery.

  • Assisting the individual in navigating systems including social services, housing, health settings, etc.

  • Assisting the individual in taking a proactive role in his or her own behavioral and physical health care by teaching the individual strategies to communicate with service providers on health, medications, and treatment.


GRMHA's Peer Support Services offers the individual the abilities they need to recover and maintain a mental wellness support plan that will enhance their lives and allow them to achieve the life goals they never believed they could achieve. Rates for this service will be discussed during our initial consultation. The Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance currently only serves Berks County. We are expanding our service outreach areas. Keep checking back for more information.

Recovery is possible but you must make the effort.


1234 Penn Avenue
Wyomissing, PA 19610

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Fax: 610-775-4000

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