Peer Support Services

Peer support is when someone with lived experience gives encouragement and assistance to help someone with mental illness or a substance use disorder achieve long-term recovery. Peers offer emotional support, share knowledge, teach skills, provide practical assistance, and connect people with resources, opportunities and communities of support.

To define the new Medicaid benefit "Peer Support," HHSC created a Peer Support Stakeholder Workgroup with providers and people with lived experience from the peer support community (defined by House Bill 1486, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, and HHSC Rider 211).

Community conversations on peer support coming to a city near you. Read more about Peer Support as a Medicaid Benefit (PPT). Find the nearest conversation in which to participate (MS Word).

HHSC Announces Certifying Entities for Peer Support as a Medicaid Benefit

For Peer Support as a Medicaid Benefit, the Texas Health and Human Service Commission (HHSC) has designated two entities to certify peers, peer supervisors, and peer/peer supervisor training entities.

New applicants to be peer specialists, peer specialist supervisors, or training entities should reach out to either organization listed below.

The Texas Certification Board (TCB--formerly the Texas Certification Board of Addiction Professionals)
Web address:
Telephone: 512-708-0629
Address: 401 Ranch Road 620 South Suite 310
Austin, Texas 78734

Peer specialists who are currently in good standing with either Via Hope or the TCB may apply for grandfathering from February 1 through April 30, 2019.

Any individual whose certification lapsed between January 1 and January 31, 2019, will be able to apply for grandfathering using the same standards as currently certified peer specialists or recovery coaches.

If you have questions, send them to

Webinar on Preserving the Peer Workforce in Texas

HHSC hosted a webinar on how currently certified peer specialists, recovery coaches, peer supervisors and trainers can retain their certification when the new benefit launches.

Review the slides from the webinar here (PDF)

View the webinar with recorded audio here.

Peer Support Stakeholder Work Group

The purpose of the Peer Support Stakeholder Work Group is to provide input on the development and adoption of rules relating to peer specialists, peer services, and the provision of those services under Medicaid in accordance with H.B. 1486. Members are appointed by the HHS Executive Commissioner through a competitive application process. The group is tasked with:

  • Establishing training requirements, certification and supervision requirements.
  • Defining the scope of services, rules that distinguish peer services from services provided by a licensed professional, and other rules to protect the health and safety of people receiving peer services.
  • Refraining from adopting rules that restrict peers from providing mental health rehabilitation services.


Noah Abdenour, Presiding Officer
Lived Experience

Shannon Carr, Vice Chair

Colleen Horton

Dennis Bach
Certifies MH Peer Specialists

D. Frank Davis
Certifies SUD Peer Specialists

Dr. Stanley Williams
Employs Peer Specialists

Karla Rose
Employs Peer Specialists

Anna Gray
Trainer – MH Peer Specialists

Joseph Sanchez
Trainer – SUD Peer Specialists

Ellen Goodman
Professional Group who Supervises Peer Specialists

Joe Powell
Professional Group who Supervises Peer Specialists

Amelia Murphy
Professional Group who Supervises Peer Specialists

Stephanie Jack
MH Peer – Urban

Jason Johnson
MH Peer – Rural

Patty Doty
SUD Peer – Urban

Meredith Stacy Jones
SUD Peer – Rural

Dr. Sachin Kamble
Lived Experience

Jason Howell
Lived Experience

Stevie Hansen

Gregg Sherrill

Janet Paleo

Reggie Smith
Employs Peer Specialists

Stakeholder Meeting Minutes

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