1. “Adult” means an individual who is 18 years of age or older.
2. “Beneficiary/Recipient” means an individual who receives peer services
from a Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist.
3. “California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA)” means
CalMHSA is the certifying entity approved by the California Department
of Health Care Services to certify peer support specialist, peer support
specialist training entities, peer support specialist continuing education
4. “Certificant” means an individual who has been certified as a Medi-Cal
Peer Support Specialist by CalMHSA.
5. “Certification” means all requirements of a Medi-Cal Peer Support
Specialist have been met.
6. “Certifying Entity” indicates CalMHSA, the organization selected by
California Counties, with a plan approved by the Department of Health
Care Services, to certify Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists, including
components such as training entities and continued education
7. “Code of Ethics” means a set of guidelines a certified Medi-Cal Peer
Support Specialist in California adheres to around their roles and
responsibilities and levels of responsibility in which they function
8. “Continued Education” refers to the education a Certificant receives to
further develop their professional knowledge around best practices,
updated laws, and/or specialized training.
9. “Core Competencies” refers to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA) definition, “clusters of the
5 knowledge, skills, and attitudes a person needs to have to successfully
perform a role or job”.
10. “County Reciprocity” refers to the recognition of an individual who has
received certification as a Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist in any
participating county, beyond the one in which they originally received
11. “Culturally Appropriate Services” means a certified Medi-Cal Peer
Support Specialist is promoting engagement in a manner that best
aligns with the cultural beliefs and practices of the person they serve.
12. “Dual Relationship” is defined as a Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist’s
non-therapeutic relationship with a recipient of care. It includes any
activity identified as not allowed within the Code of Ethics.
13. “Grandparenting Process” is the process by which an individual who is
employed as a peer on January 1, 2022, or prior to that date, are
eligible to seek certification as a Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist so
long as they meet the eligibility criteria and successfully pass the
14. “Initial Certification” is the process for an applicant to become certified
as a Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist for the first time so long as they
meet the eligibility criteria and successfully pass the state-approved
15. “Lived Experience” refers to an individual’s first-hand experience with
a mental health and/or substance use disorder.
16. “Medi-Cal” is California’s Medicaid health care program that includes a
variety of medical services for children and adults with a qualifying
income or medical condition.
17. “Natural Supports” refers to the personal connections to an individual’s
community that enhances the quality of their life.
18. “Out-of-State Reciprocity” refers to the recognition that an individual
has received certification for peer support from another state and they
meet the qualifications specified under the policies in this document.
19. “Peer” refers to persons who share similar understanding of
experiences with mental health and/or substance use disorders.
20. “Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist” is an individual who is 18 years of
age or older, who has self-identified as having lived experience with the
process of recovery from mental illness, substance use disorder, or
both, either as a consumer of these services or as a parent or family member of the consumer, and who has been granted certification under a county Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist certification program.
21. “Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Services” means culturally
appropriate services that promote engagement, socialization, recovery,
self-sufficiency, self-advocacy, development of natural supports, and
identification of strengths. Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist services
include, but are not limited to, prevention services, support, coaching,
facilitation, or education that is individualized and is conducted by a
certified Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist.
22. “Prevalent Languages” means a non-English language identified by the
California Department of Health Care Services as a threshold language
under the state’s Medi-Cal programs.
23. “Recertification” refers to meeting the requirements set forth in this
policy for renewal of one’s Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist
certification. The recertification occurs in two-year intervals.
24. “Recovery” means a process of change through which individuals
improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to
reach their full potential. This process of change recognizes cultural
diversity and inclusion and honors the different routes to resilience and
recovery based on the individual and their cultural community.
25. “Resiliency” is an individual’s capacity to successfully meet life’s
challenges, nurtured to have a sense of self-determination, mastery
26. “Training Entity” is an organization that has received approval from the
Certifying Entity to provide training for the Medi-Cal Peer Support
Specialist certification program.
27. “Trauma Focused” refers to maintaining awareness of the impact
traumatic experiences may have on an individual and the influence this
trauma may have on the choices they make in their life.
28. “Valid Certificate” means a certificate that is active, in good standing,
and is not expired, suspended, revoked or inactive.
29. “Wellness” is the conscious and deliberate process of creating and
adapting patterns of behavior that lead to improved health in the
following dimensions: emotional, financial, social, spiritual,
educational/occupational, physical, intellectual, and environmental.