Frequently Asked Questions: Peer Delivered Services


What is meant by “peer”?

Per OAR 309-019-0100:

(79) “Peer” means any individual supporting an individual or the individual's family member who has similar life experience, either as a current or former recipient of addictions or mental health services, or as a family member of an individual who is a current or former recipient of addictions or mental health services. A peer must have lived experience.


What is a Traditional Health Worker (THW)?

The Office of Equity and Inclusion defines THWs and their types in the following way: Traditional Health Workers help individuals in their communities, providing physical and behavioral health services. There are 5 traditional health worker types:

  • Peer support specialists (PSS): Provide support, encouragement and assistance to addictions and mental health consumers.

  • Peer wellness specialists (PWS): Provide support, encouragement and assistance to address physical and mental health needs.

  • Community health workers (CHW): Assist community members in receiving the healthcare they need.

  • Personal health navigators (NAV): Provide care coordination for members from within the health system.

  • Birth doulas: Provide companionship and personal, nonmedical support to women and families throughout the childbirth and post-partum experience.


Are all THWs peer delivered service (PDS) providers?

No. Two of the five types (Peer Support Specialist and Peer Wellness Specialist) are peer delivered service providers. The other three types may be peers, or have lived experience, but they are not providing a peer delivered service.


How do I train peers within my community?

  • Oregon Health Authority-approved state certification trainings and contact information can be found online:

  • Some training providers will come to your organization(s) and provide training.

  • The Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon (ACCBO) ( processes certification of - and trains - Certified Recovery Mentors and Peer Recovery Counselors.


How do I find someone(s) who is qualified to work in peer delivered services?

  • OHA’s Office of Equity and Inclusion maintains a registry of certified Traditional Health Workers, available at

  • Hiring for PDS positions is competitive.

  • Some choose to contract with peer-run organizations to provide peer services; some choose to directly hire peer workers.


Who supervises peer delivered service providers?

Per OAR 309-019-0100:

(82) “Peer Support and Peer Wellness Specialist Supervision" means supervision by a certified PSS or PWS with at least one year of experience as a PSS or PWS in behavioral health services or supervision by a qualified PSS/PWS supervisor and a qualified clinical supervisor. The supports provided include guidance in the unique discipline of peer delivered services and the roles of peer support specialists and peer wellness specialists.


(83) “Peer Delivered Services Supervisor" means an individual qualified to evaluate and guide PSSs and PWSs in the delivery of peer delivered services and supports. This individual shall be a certified PSS or PWS with at least one year experience as a PSS or PWS.


MetroPlus Association of Addiction Peer Professionals (MAAPP) has developed resources for best practices for substance-use disorder peer supervision. Their website is


How are peer delivered services paid for?

Through the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), all Oregonians receive the benefit of peer delivered services when included on the consumer’s treatment plan. Peer services may also be covered through contracts and grants. Additional handouts available on billing codes.


Where do I go for technical assistance?