NCCPSS Program Webinar Series

PSS Live WebinarsSeries Description: The North Carolina Peer Support Specialist (NCCPSS) Program, in collaboration with the Community Engagement and Empowerment team at the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Use Services (DMH/DD/SUS) and Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS) is pleased to offer free training to CPSS. These webinars will focus on a variety of topics related to Peer Support. The contact hours can be used for the additional training required for recertification.

Modality: These series consist of monthly webinars. Each webinar will be a 1-hour & 30-minute lecture. These webinars will be live virtual training via the Zoom video conferencing platform.

Registration: Registration is free, but participants must pre-register for this training. We will confirm your registration by email.

Target Audience: NC Certified Peer Support Specialists seeking additional training hours for certification or re-certification.

All training sessions will occur from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Date Speaker Title
May 23rd, 2024 Delton Russell, CPSS Peer Support Boundaries
June 20th, 2024 Patty Schaeffer, CPSS Peer Support Ethics 101

Inclement Weather Policy:
Any announcements regarding changes to the schedule due to inclement weather will be posted on  Registered participants will also be notified by email.

ADA Statement:
Registrants requiring any auxiliary aids or services identified in the Americans with Disabilities Act to participate in our training programs, please contact us by email at or by phone at (919) 445-0990 after completing registration to ensure we have enough time to secure the requested services.

Contact for Questions:
For questions, further information, or concerns, contact
Or call (919) 843-3018

NC CPSS logoConfirmation Notices and Certificates of Completion:

After the training concludes, participants will receive an email notifying them of the process and the manner in which they will gain access to the evaluation and the certificate of completion for the training. The Certificate of Completion email will go within 5 business days after the training concludes to participants who met the time requirement listed in the continuing education policy based on the length of the training.

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Starts Modality Title
06-20-24 Peer Support Ethics 101 6/20/2024

NC CPSS Webinars

Reducing the Stigma of Mental Health Challenges
Will be held live on 01/25/2024 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Speaker: Wes Rider, BSW


This session provides an open dialogue about stigma in society. Webinar attendees will learn the meaning of stigma, how discrimination and stigma tie with each other and methods they can apply to eliminate stigma. 

Theory and Practice of Recovery
Will be held live on 02/22/2024 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Speaker: Delton Russell, CPSS


This training connects concepts of trauma to addiction and feelings of shame by exploring Adverse Childhood Experiences. Peers will learn how to integrate these concepts into their practice certified peer support specialists in an effort to empathize and apply compassion within a professional context.

Introduction to Motivational Interviewing: What If There’s No Such Thing as Peer Resistance?
Will be held live on 03/21/2024 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Speaker: Michael McGuire, LCSW, LCAS, LMFT, CCS, MINT


The experience of resistance while providing peer support is a constant obstacle, often leaving both the Certified Peer Support Specialist and the peer frustrated, tired, and unfulfilled. In spite of these consequences, there has been relatively little effort made toward investigating the conceptualization of resistance. Join us for a lively discourse as we break down current views of peer resistance and identify ways to be supportive to other peers.

Understanding the Spectrum: Navigating Bipolar, Moral Injury, and PTSD
Will be held live on 04/25/2024 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Speakers: Ret. Major General Martin, Ret. Master Sergeant Romero, and Coast Guard Veteran Ryan Curran


This webinar offers a unique exploration into the complex world of mental health, illuminated through the powerful narratives of three veterans, each bringing a distinct perspective shaped by their roles and experiences

Peer Support Boundaries
Will be held live on 05/23/2024 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Speakers: Delton Russell, CPSS


This training illustrates healthy boundaries with the peers served and discusses how arrested development impacts the ability to create healthy boundaries.

Peer Support Ethics 101
Will be held live on 06/20/2024 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Speakers: Patty Schaeffer, CPSS


Peer Support Specialists will explore ethical behavior, professionalism, and values within and beyond the PSS workplace.

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CPSS Webinars

This series will provide 1.5 hours of training (per webinar) needed for Peers to become certified or recertified.

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Wes Rider, BSW
Wes Rider graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from East Carolina University in 1993. He has worked with the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services since 2004. As a member of the Division’s Community Empowerment and Engagement Team, Wes maintains a commitment to support the voice and perspective of people who are consumers and family members, in the ongoing design, implementation and evaluation of the public behavioral healthcare system in North Carolina.
Delton Russell, CPSS
Delton is a Member Engagement Specialist with a specialty in Substance Use Disorders and is a person in long term recovery himself from both substance use and mental health. He is also a N.C. certified Peer Support Specialist as well as a certified Peer Support trainer a certified QPR (Question Persuade Refer) trainer and certified WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) facilitator. Delton serves as an individual advocate with members by helping them navigate the behavioral healthcare system and also serves as a systems advocate by promoting Peer Support and Substance Use services. Delton also serves as the PASAPA Liaison (Piedmont Area Substance Abuse Providers Association).  He strives to maintain open, effective communication and collaboration among providers and stakeholders in the Piedmont Region.
Michael McGuire, LCSW, LCAS, LMFT, CCS, MINT
Michael McGuire is employed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work as a Clinical Assistant Professor, the Director of the Substance Use and Addiction Specialty program, and lead trainer for a state-funded workforce development initiative. He is licensed as a Clinical Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, and Clinical Addictions Specialist, and is a credentialed supervisor and MINT Trainer. Michael offers training and implementation consultation on evidence-based practices with a particular focus on motivational interviewing, SBIRT, and family systems. Additional areas of interest include adolescent and family development, problematic substance use and addiction, experiential learning, military-involved families, Feedback Informed Treatment, clinical supervision, ethics, and workforce development.
Ret. Master Sergeant Crystal C. Romero
Master Sergeant Crystal C. Romero retired after serving 16 1⁄2 years in the US Army National Guard, serving full-time Active-Duty Operational Support primarily in her home state of New Mexico. Today, she is an activist for veterans’ causes and has had a significant role in passing legislation related to military sexual assault and veterans’ mental health. Crystal obtained four Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), held various positions, and successfully ran many programs like the DoD Innovative Readiness Training Program throughout her military career, beginning in logistics and later transferring to a Public Affairs Detachment. She then transitioned to the 64th Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Specialist. There she helped run operations and was activated for the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery efforts in 2003 and Hurricane Katrina, Rita, and Ike. Concurrently, she served with the New Mexico Counter Narcotics Task Force serving as the Finance and Executive assistant to the commander. In her final years in the military, she was a Senior Human Resources Specialist, Platoon Sergeant, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, member of the Safety Council, National Guard Bureau Counterdrug Program Evaluation team member, and the Joint Substance Abuse Program Coordinator for the State of New Mexico where she ran the drug testing program for all National Guard service members.
Ret. Major General Gregg F. Martin, PhD
Major General Gregg F. Martin, PhD, US Army (Ret.) is a 36-year Army combat veteran, bipolar survivor, thriver, and warrior, and a retired two-star general. A former president of the National Defense University, commandant of the Army War College, and commander of Fort Leonard Wood, he is a qualified Airborne-Ranger-Engineer and strategist, who holds degrees from West Point, MIT (two master’s and a PhD), and both the Army and Naval war colleges. He unknowingly lived most of his life on the bipolar spectrum, which largely enhanced his performance as a leader, until it went too high and ended his career, threw him into crisis, and led to his hospitalization. Now in his eighth year of bipolar recovery, he is an author, speaker, and ardent mental health advocate, who lives with his wife in Cocoa Beach, Florida. He has three sons, two of whom live with bipolar disorder – an artist and a poet/Special Forces veteran – while the third son is an Army Special Forces officer. Gregg’s life mission now is sharing his bipolar story to help stop the stigma, promote recovery, and save lives. His new book, “Bipolar General: My Forever War with Mental Illness”, is available on Amazon, and co-published by the Naval Institute Press (Jack Clancy’s first publisher), and the Association of the US Army. For more information, visit
Ryan Curran, M.Ed.
Ryan Curran is an experienced instructional designer and technologist with a 20-year track record in the military and financial sectors. He has a M.Ed. in Instructional Design & Development from George Mason University and specializes in change and project management, along with creating immersive digital learning experiences. Currently, he enhances the NCCPSS Program at UNC with his expertise and approachability. As a service-connected Coast Guard veteran and former defense contractor, Ryan offers a unique perspective and dedication, enriching his contributions to the field.
Patty Schaeffer, CPSS
Patty Schaeffer has been a North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist since 2011, a PSS Certified Trainer for two state approved curriculums, Advanced Level Facilitator of the Wellness and Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)©, and an instructor of seven other wellness curriculums. She has been active with the PSS Workgroup since 2019. Patty is a Qualified Professional able to aid state agencies, organizations, and providers of Behavioral Health with delivery of services to those in need. Patty is an active member of multiple community collaboratives and organizations. Patty is a representative from Western NC State CFAC, Partners CFAC and a member of the Leadership Fellow Academy First Cohort. In 2016 she became the Executive Director of WellSurgent, a peer owned and peer-run NP. She has received recognition in her own community and other parts of the state with the attitude of "There is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people and the services they may receive…they are all the same, Love all, Serve all."


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