The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services defines Peers as “individuals who have a unique background and skill level from their experience in utilizing services and supports to achieve their personal goals of community membership, independence and productivity. Peers have a special ability to gain trust and respect of other beneficiaries based on shared experience and perspectives with disabilities, and with planning and negotiating human services systems health.”

In Michigan, there are five categories of peers who work within the community mental  system. They are:

  • Peer Support Specialist: CMH professionals with lived experience with mental illness who provide community mental health services to the same. (For more information contact: Steve Kuhlman at
  • Peer Mentors: CMH professionals with an intellectual or developmental disability trained to provide services to their peers with the same conditions. (For more information contact: Robert Spruce at
  • Parent Support Partners (For more information  contact: Kimberly Hunt at
  • Recovery Coaches: CMH professionals who live a life of recovery from substances and provide prevention, support, and treatment services to others like themselves. (For more information contact: Judy Davis at
  • Youth Peer Support Specialist and Youth Advocates (For more information contact: Brittany Horton at