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Certified Peer Specialist (CPS)

CPS is the acronym for Certified Peer Specialist. These are individuals who are also persons in recovery and who have been trained and certified to work within the behavioral health field (technically, the mental health field as state Medicaid requirements limit those who receive certification to those who meet the state definition of serious mental illness. Furthermore these state certified positions can only serve persons who also meet the state definition. DBH is also promoting a broader definition of Peer Support staff throughout the system so that persons with addictive disorders and others can serve in such vital roles). They are trained to display key elements necessary to be a key supporter of others who are on their own personal journey to recovery. Certified Peer Specialists are employed within various behavioral health programs throughout our system.


A key concept in recovery-oriented care, choice refers to the central role people with psychiatric disabilities and/or addictions play in their own treatment, rehabilitation, recovery, and life. Within the behavioral health system, people in recovery need to be able to select services and supports from among an array of meaningful options (see menu below) based on what they will find most responsive to their condition and effective in promoting their recovery.

Both inside and outside of the behavioral health system, people in recovery have the right and responsibility for self-determination and making their own decisions, except for those rare circumstances in which the impact of the illness or addition contributes to their posing imminent risks to others or to themselves.



A strong connection to the rights, resources, roles, and responsibilities that society offers people through public institutions and associational life.

Community Resource

A place where you may receive additional support that can assist your recovery, but that does not provide actual clinical treatment.

Community inclusion/opportunities:

The focus is on nesting recovery in the person's natural environment, integrating the individuals/families in recovery into the larger life of the community, tapping the support and hospitality of the larger community, developing recovery community resources; and encouraging service contributions from and to the larger community. Connection to community is viewed as integral to long-term recovery.

Community Residential Rehabilitation Services

Comprehensive mental health treatment services provided to adults with persistent mental illness in a community based residential setting. Services include rehabilitation, habilitation, social, vocational and personal development.

Community Supports

Material and instrumental resources (including other people), and various forms of prostheses that enable people to compensate for enduring disabilities in the process of pursuing and being actively involved in naturally-occurring community activities of their choice.

Community Treatment Teams (CTT)

A primary direct service where a multi-disciplinary team provides comprehensive and intensive case management supports to persons with serious and persistent mental illness, and for whom traditional community mental health services alone are not effective.


When you are unhappy or concerned about your treatment or your provider agency.


Literally means someone who purchases services or goods from others. Historically has been used in mental health advocacy to offer a more active and empowered status to people who otherwise were being described as “clients” or “mental patients.” Given that people in recovery have not really viewed themselves as consumers in the traditional sense (ala Ralph Nader), this term has never really generated or been met with wide-spread use.

Continuity of Care Team (COC)

The COC Team is an integrated part of the entire Behavioral Health System and ensures coordination between service authorization, case management and continuity of care planning.

Continuity of Care/Contact

Is a phrase used to underscore the importance of sustained, consistent support over the course of recovery. Such support can come from living within a community of shared experience and hope, but also can refer to the reliable and enduring relationship between the individual in recovery and his or her recovery coach. Such sustained continuity is in marked contrast to the transience of relationships experienced by those who have moved through multiple levels of care or undergone multiple treatment relationships.


An individual who meets the education and experience requirements listed in Chapter 704, and who provides a wide variety of treatment services which may include performing diagnostic assessments for chemical dependency, developing treatment plans, providing individual and group counseling and other treatments.

Crisis Intervention Services

Immediate response and intervention services available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week designed to ameliorate or resolve the precipitating stress of the crisis situation. Services are provided to adults, adolescents and children who exhibit an acute problem of disturbed thought, behavior, mood or social relationships. The service provides a rapid response to crisis situations that threaten the well-being of an individual or others. Services include intervention, assessment, counseling, screening and disposition by telephone and may include walk-in, mobile and crisis residential coverage systems.

Crisis Response Center (CRC)

Hospital based evaluation sites for any individuals who need and immediate psychiatric or drug and alcohol evaluation. There are 5 CRCs throughout the Phila. area that are open 24/7. They are staffed by a psychiatrist, nurse, social worker and other support staff. Evaluation and referrals are made for people who come in as voluntary or involuntary consumers. People should be evaluated within 5 - 7 hours and referred to the appropriate level of care.

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