WISE U is a statewide peer support training and technical assistance program, offering job coaching, placement assistance, and ongoing employment support. The training program provides individuals with lived experience the necessary core competencies, work-related skills and foundational knowledge essential to the effective practice of peer support. WISE U also facilitates workshops, and activities for brand-new peer volunteers, experienced peer advocates, peer supervisors and managers, organizational leadership, and every position in between. WISE U also provides employment support to all of its graduates. This support includes linkage to paid or unpaid volunteer/intern work, providing access to a job portal, resume and cover letter review, and mock interviews. Wise U continues to check in with Graduates up to 6 months after they complete the program.
More than 240 individuals have graduated from WISE U and 195 have been placed in peer support work. Through this program, Cal Voices has also delivered hundreds of peer employment trainings, webinars, and workshops for agencies and peers in the Public Mental Health Service (PMHS) throughout California. As of 2022, WISE U is a verified training program for California’s Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Program.
WISE U trainings, workshops and activities are based on the core principles and competencies for peer support identified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) and are rooted in recovery-oriented practices.
WISE U receives its funding from HCAI through the Mental Health Services Act or MHSA.
To help employers in California's public health system recruit and retain consumer and family members staff through genuine workforce integration. Our goal is simple: to help employers in California’s public mental health system recruit and retain consumer and family member staff through genuine workforce integration. We strive to put the MHSA’s vision and values into practice by promoting and advancing peer employment.
Training and education for peer support workers which includes preparation for California's Medi-Cal Peer Specialist Certification Program, and the National Certified Peer Specialist Credential
Career mentorship for program graduates
Training and workshops for peer providers and employers
Statewide educational events and conferences
Technical assistance for mental health agencies/organizations who employ peer support workers