Peers Empowering Peers (PEP)

The Peers Empowering Peers program (PEP) program trains and deploys Peer Specialists – people who have lived experience with mental illness themselves – to help their peers navigate the health care system reduce re-hospitalization rates, improve behavioral health, and improve quality of life.  Our Peer Specialists work to help patients who are hospitalized with behavioral health diagnoses and then follows them into the community to assist them in their recovery. We are also increasing the workforce of nationally certified Peer Specialists to work in hospitals and other clinical settings in partnership with Mental Health America.

MHAPBC is partnering with the Quantum Foundation, the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, Mental Health America, and Alkermes to implement this new initiative.  We are developing a countywide training program for Nationally Certified Clinical Peer Specialists who will work as part of clinical care teams to help patients with recovery planning, discharge plan implementation, and bridges to aftercare resources. This program is being pilot tested in two HCA hospitals, JFK and JFK North and the Palm Beach County Heath Care District (HCD). 

We intend to demonstrate that patients who enter this intensive program and work with our Certified Peer Specialists will have better health and behavioral health outcomes, lower re-hospitalization rates, and more success in recovery - while freeing up resources in hospitals for others in need of care.


To learn more about the Peers Empowering Peers program (PEP) or to get more information on how to become a National Certified Peer Specialist call 561-832-3755 or email


Jesse and Michael are two of MHA's Peer Mentors working in the PEP program.

Patrick Hendry facilitating the National Peer Specialist Certification training to our peers.

Kristina working with a social worker from JFK North on discharge planning for a client

Kristina and Whitney 

For more information read this press release and this article about PEP.

Also, read this article about our program: Peers Empowering Peers: The Mission Continues