About Us

We are delighted to have been the predominant peer training program in southeastern Arizona over the last 10 years. It’s a complement to our reputation that many want to follow our path and we welcome them to the growing number of peer training agencies.
We have graduated 711 people from the RSSI since 2005 and many are still working in the behavioral health system or taken their skills and moved on to other employment. There have been 40 RSSI’s given through the CPSA contract and one RSSI in September 2013 for peer veterans through internal funding.


We are the first peer certified training program to offer an Integrated Healthcare Institute (IHI) as part of our curriculum. The Integrated Healthcare Institute intensive three day training covers an expansive array in this newly developing field. Our 7 day Recovery Support Specialist Institute expanded to 10 days with the addition of the IHI. If you are already certified through DBHS in peer support, taking this training will increase your hire-ability as physical health joins with behavioral health.
We now contract with Cenpatico of Arizona and are providing certified peer support in these counties: Yuma, La Paz (GSA 2); Graham, Greenlee, Santa Cruz and Cochise (GSA 3); and Pinal, Gila (GSA 4). This contract will expand our services throughout southeast Arizona reaching the rural areas.


The Recovery Support Specialist Institute (RSSI) was developed at the request of the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA) as a training to assist peers (people with mental illness and/or substance use disorders) to work in jobs at the behavioral health networks. The first class graduated in January, 2005 and students where employed at CODAC, COPE, La Frontera and Compass.
The “Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes” Pre - Post Self Evaluation were developed by Beth C. Stoneking, PhD, U of A Director and Research Assistant of Recovery thru Integration, Support & Empowerment (RISE) along with two CPSA employees. These formed the foundation for the RSSI. Beth, Dan Steffy, (CPSA employee) and Beverly McGuffin, (RISE employee) were the trainers.
From 2005 four RSSI’s were scheduled per year: 3 in Pima County and 1 in GSA 3 (Graham, Greenlee, Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties). This continued through 2010 and then the Institutes were only done in Pima County.
In 2013 several changes occurred: 1) peer training programs needed to be certified by the Department of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS); 2) the CPSA contract required that the RSSI be a Community Service Agency (CSA) and draw down the budgeted contract amount; 3) Dr. Stoneking retired from RISE and the name was changed to the Workforce Development Program (WDP); 4) Beverly moved into the Program Director position and continued with Dan Steffy as trainer and 5) Christina Baca and Arrow Foster were added to the team. After several months Arrow moved to a position in Phoenix and in November 2013 John Anglin joined the training team.
Tim Connolly became a trainer and added his expertise to the development of the IHI. As you can see in his bio he is well versed in areas that are important to personal health.

Workforce Development Program