Peer Support Training

Jan 10, 2022

peer support

We are happy to announce that LifeWorks NW is able to provide Intentional Peer Support (IPS) training to our staff and any interested community members. We have secured grant funding through CareOregon that allows us to send individuals at no cost to them.

The intent of sending folks through the training is to invite a deeper understanding of peer support within the organization. We also want to provide opportunities to individuals who may be interested in entering the peer workforce but have not had an opportunity to do so in the past.

The Intentional Peer Support training allows individuals to obtain their Peer Support Specialist certificate. They can then apply for their Traditional Health Worker number to be certified through the Oregon Health Authority. The latter allows them to work in positions involving Medicaid billing.

IPS also can benefit staff who are established in the field and would like to learn more about the peer philosophy and new ways to navigate this work. Testimonials from training participants can be viewed here.

What is Intentional Peer Support (IPS)?
Intentional Peer Support is a way of thinking about and inviting transformative relationships. Individuals learn to use relationships to see things from new angles, develop greater awareness of personal and relational patterns, and support and challenge each other in trying new things. IPS is unique compared to traditional human services because:

  • IPS relationships are viewed as partnerships that invite and inspire both parties to learn and grow, rather than as one person needing to ‘help’ another.
  • IPS doesn’t start with the assumption of a problem. With IPS, each of us pays attention to how we learn to make sense of our experiences, then uses the relationship to create new ways of seeing, thinking and doing.
  • IPS promotes a trauma-informed way of relating. Instead of asking, “What’s wrong?” we learn to ask “What happened?”
  • IPS examines our lives in the context of mutually accountable relationships and communities — looking beyond the mere notion of individual responsibility for change.
  • IPS encourages us to increasingly live and move towards what we want instead of focusing on what we need to stop or avoid doing. At the end of the day, IPS is really about building stronger, healthier, interconnected communities.

If you’d like more information about IPS, please visit

When will the trainings be held?
April 4-8 (5 day in person, 9 am-5 pm)
May 2-6 (5 days in person, 9 am-5 pm)
May 4 – June 3 (online 5 weeks every Wednesday and Friday, 8:30 am-12:30 pm)
June 13-17 (5 days in person, 9 am-5 pm)
All in-person trainings will be held at 232 SE 80th Ave Portland, OR.

How do I sign up?
If you want to sign up for an IPS Training or know someone who might be interested, please email peer coordinator Nadia Dunkle – – with the following information.

  • First and Last name:
  • Phone number:
  • Email:
  • Address (for mailing training materials):
  • Do you identify as a peer with mental health challenges, addictions, both, or an ally?
  • Any special accommodations needed?

Please note that interest does not guarantee a spot. Depending on the level of interest, participants may be selected randomly for the training. Please let us know if you or someone you know is interested.

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