Peer support is the process of giving encouragement or assistance to overcome a challenge in life by someone with lived experience. Peer workers can be people who experience the challenges themselves, or family members with loved ones who experienced such challenges. Peers offer emotional support, share knowledge, teach skills, provide practical assistance, and connect people with resources, opportunities, and communities of support.
For more information about parent peer support, visit the Family Partner Support Services page.
House Bill (H.B.) 1486, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, enabled the creation of a new Medicaid “Peer Services” benefit as well as defining the training and certification of substance use and mental health peer workers. The Bill also created a career ladder for peer workers to move into supervisory positions to support other peers. Because of this impetus and the need to provide support for the implementation of this new Medicaid benefit across the behavioral health system, the Peer and Recovery Services Programs, Planning and Policy unit was created inside the HHSC IDD-BH infrastructure.
For information about becoming a peer specialist, visit HHSC’s Certification for Peer Support as a Medicaid Benefit or the Texas peer specialist workforce support hub, PeerForce.
Rules governing peer specialist services are in the Texas Administrative Code. To view the rules, go to Medicaid Peer Specialist Services.
Peer and Recovery Services Unit
The Peer and Recovery Services Programs, Planning, and Policy unit was created to develop, support, and advance the peer workforce in Texas. The unit provides technical support, project management, policy consultation, and contract oversight for peer support service programs. Contact the Peer and Recovery Services unit by email at BHS_PeerServices@hhs.texas.gov.