About CAPS Academy

Our Academy is an experience, not just a training. We believe in creating a welcoming learning community where everyone's voices, perspectives and experiences are shared and heard. Our faculty brings an unwavering commitment to our values as peers. We believe the student experience can bring about individual transformation, and are devoted to helping students become agents of change.

Project Return Peer Support Network

Project Return Peer Support Network

Lead: Los Angeles Region, Southern and Central Counties

PRPSN is an independent, peer-run organization providing peer support services in a range of settings throughout Los Angeles (LA) County and is an associate of both MHA and MHAC.  PRPSN Programs are designed around SAMHSA’s Eight Dimensions of Wellness and utilize a variety of evidence-based practices in service delivery.

PRPSN’s diverse programs are on the cutting edge of peer provided services. Today services include a robust training program that has seventeen years’ experience training peers in preparation for employment or volunteer work in the public mental health system (over 800 peers have successfully completed training and obtained certificates), a peer run crisis respite house, an English/Spanish Warm Line, two Spanish language programs for consumers and families and a community integration program for individuals who previously were in locked settings and over 150 peer support groups provided on a weekly basis in all service areas of Los Angeles County and online. Groups are facilitated by peer volunteers who are trained, supported, and supervised by paid peer staff. 

PRPSN works in a wide range of settings from forensic facilities, board and care homes, county jail, community-based wellness centers, mental health centers, churches, and community centers.  PRPSN Training Institute is the oldest Peer Supporter training in Los Angeles County and one of the first non-profit peer training programs to be recognized as a pre-requisite by MHA National for their National Certified Peer Supporter Certificate. PRPSN has trained peers from all over the world and throughout California.

For more info about Project Return Peer Support Network, visit prpsn.org

Mental Health Association of San Francisco

Mental Health Association of San Francisco

Partner: Bay Area, Central, Northern Counties

Founded in 1947, MHASF is one of the largest, oldest, and most established peer-run, 501(c)(3) organizations in California. The mission of MHASF is to cultivate peer leadership, build community, and advance social justice in mental health and is an affiliate of both Mental Health America (MHA) and Mental Health Association of California (MHAC).

All MHASF programs have been developed in partnership with families, and individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges to ensure training and education are peer-run, peer-informed, and culturally congruent. MHASF provides a continuum of peer support including counseling, professional skill building, referral pathways, and community-based interventions (both virtual and in-person); proudly serving over 40,000 individuals annually.

MHASF tailors' outreach to reach historically marginalized individuals, recognizing how systemic barriers like socioeconomic status create environments where marginalized communities are less likely to access or obtain support for prevention, distress or trauma, and recovery. Our Department of Peer Services provide a multitude of peer-support programs to the community including: Peer Support and Wellness; Peer Specialist Integration with St. Francis Memorial Hospital and Marin General Hospital; Alternatives to Incarceration; and Social Support for Collecting Behaviors which collectively serve approximately 550 unduplicated participants annually. MHASF’s Warmline Department provides a 24/7 California Peer Run Warm Line and the 24/7 CalHOPE Peer Warmline that serves the entire state and has supported callers from nearly all counties in California. Both Warm Lines hire and train peers from across California to be counselors.

Additionally, MHASF’s Department of Education and Innovation (DEI) provides mental health consumers opportunities focused on advocacy, innovation, training, and workforce development. DEI’s Training Institute (TI) provides National Certified Peer Specialist Certification and evidence-based capacity building training utilizing a peer-centered curriculum since 2012. TI offers actionable solutions for supporting and achieving professional development and workplace excellence through virtual trainings, technical assistance, and consulting services. DEI’s

For more info about Mental Health Association of San Francisco, visit mentalhealthsf.org

Mental Health America of California

Mental Health America of California

Partner: Superior, Northern, and Central Counties

MHAC is a statewide 501(c)(3), peer-run organization with 90% of the organization’s employees, advisory boards and Board of Directors as peers, leading the state since 1957 to educate and advocate on behalf of underserved, inappropriately served and unserved communities across the state. MHAC consists of six affiliate/associate service-providing organizations in the counties of Alameda, Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Barbara.

MHAC’s Transitional Age Youth (TAY – youth aged 15-26) program, California Youth Empowerment Network (CAYEN), is a peer education and mentor program with teams in the counties of Butte, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, San Diego and Tehama including county employees and community based direct service providers.

MHAC’s Peer Certificate Training program has trained peers in the counties of Fresno, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Solano, Siskiyou and Tehama. MHAC’s Connection Coalition program consists of California state-ran organizations representing family and peer groups, County Behavioral Health Boards and Commissions, California Planning Council, Alcohol and Drug Program Executives, Pharmacy Groups, Psychiatrists, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Hospital Association, Psychologists, County Behavioral Health Directors Association, Forensic Mental Health Professionals.

For more info about Mental Health America of California, visit mhac.org