Gregory D. Benjamin

Degree Name

Master of Public Health/ Doctorate of Physical Therapy

Streaming Media



Background: Depression affects one in six adults and results in billions per year in medical expenditures, lost wages, and lost production. Frequently the social impact is much larger. One newer approach to helping individuals is the use of peer mentors called are Certified Peer Specialists (CPS). To date, little research has been done on the effect of being a CPS upon their own recovery from depression.

Purpose: To identify what internal and external cues to action are present in CPS workers own recovery as a result of being a peer mentor, and to identify differences in those cues from before becoming certified.

Methods: Data was collected by the use of semi-structured interviews which lasted on average 30 minutes. 449 participants from Bucks, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties were contacted by email, distributed by the certification body for Pennsylvania. Six participants successfully completed the interview.

Results: Improvement was noted after joining the work force as a CPS. Participants noted more cues to action after employment. Healthy coping strategies were utilized instead of unhealth options. Participants noted finding new relatability within their career, coworkers, and other medical professionals as a result of becoming a CPS. Self-care became a focus to maintaining mental stability. Participants noted finding the ability to interact with people while not taking on other’s problems as their own.

Conclusion: Every participant noted a very positive personal result to becoming employed as a CPS. They were able to detect a problem earlier and easier with the use of cues to action and respond better with the use of new positive coping strategies. They also felt more secure in their own recovery by the use of proper self-care, while enabling a healthy work-life separation. With these results, the process of becoming a CPS appears to be at minimum no additional risk of harm for recovery of depression, and at best a valuable asset to helping foster personal value and growth.


Apr 17th, 12:00 AM

The Effect of Peer Mentoring on Certified Peer Specialists’ Own Recovery: A Health Belief Model Approach.

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