A peer support specialist is a person who has unique, personal, or “lived” experience with addiction, mental illness, or trauma, and is using that experience in a behavioral or mental health setting to help others in their recovery journey. Peer support specialists bring insight, compassion, trust, and hope to their roles in organizations, and help remove the stigma associated with mental illness. Requirements to become a certified peer support specialist vary by state. In Maryland, a high school diploma or GED is required, along with 500 hours of work or volunteer work and training based on the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery training.