Consumer Connections

Consumer Connections is a nationally recognized program which recruits, trains, and supports consumers of mental health services working to become providers of mental health services. The program works with mental health providers in New Jersey to expand employment opportunities for consumer providers. Consumer Connections offers courses which meet the educational requirements and lead to Certification as a Recovery Support Practitioner (CRSP).  For more information on the CRSP certification, please visit   For more information on Consumer Connections please email; or contact Chrissy Schayer, Director, at (848) 480-0916.


Mission Statement

Consumer Connections, a program of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, is dedicated to strengthening and expanding peer workforce development. Through the creation of high quality training and educational opportunities, our goal is to empower individuals working as Peer Specialists to use their lived experience to support others in moving toward wellness and recovery.



Upcoming Workshops: TBA

Please click here to learn more about these workshops and to register.



The application period for the fall 2017 CORE training is now closed.  Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in attending this session of the CORE training. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status on September 5, 2017.

Be on the lookout for the 2018 CORE training announcement, coming late 2017.



View the announcement here: 2017 training announcement

Consumer Connections is pleased to announce information about it’s 2017 training schedule. Consumer Connections and the NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services will prioritize 2017 training efforts toward individuals who are already working in peer positions in Division funded programs and have not pursued the CORE training or credentialing as a Certified Recovery Support Practitioner (CRSP). As the state of New Jersey moves toward a Medicaid fee-for-service system, it has become apparent that there are many peers in the existing workforce who have a need or desire to attend the CORE training and pursue credentialing as a peer provider.   It is also expected that Medicaid funding of peer positions will also increase the number of employment opportunities for peers with the CRSP certification.

This focus on our existing peer workforce means that there will be limited spaces available in 2017 CORE sessions for individuals not currently working in peer positions.  We encourage those individuals to apply as early as possible, to increase their chances of being selected for training.


CORE Training Dates in 2017

Consumer Connections will be offering 3 sessions of our CORE training again in 2017.  Our format (2 days a week for 12 weeks) will remain in the north and south, while our central training will be held 1 day each week through June to October.  The 2017 overview is as follows:

  • Spring: Southern New Jersey
  • Summer: Central New Jersey
  • Fall: Northern New Jersey

We will continue the same process of having set application periods for each session.   Detailed training session and application period information can be found here.


Important Changes in the Application Process for Consumer Connections

The application process and required paperwork for Consumer Connections has changed in 2017.  Prior versions of the application or other forms will NOT be accepted in 2017.  Please discard any older copies of applications you may have on file.   They are no longer valid

The 2017 application process will include the completion of an online training application and the submission of a referral form (self-referral or employer referral).  Application packets are only considered complete once both documents are received by Consumer Connections.   Both the online application and referral form will only be available during each specific application period.

Learn more about the application and selection process here: 2017 flow chart

To access the application and referral form during an open application period, click here.



New Consumer Connections Training Opportunities for 2017

Consumer Connections is also excited to announce a package of training opportunities for those individuals who are just starting to consider a career as a peer professional or who may not currently be working as a peer.  In addition to offering the CORE training three (3) times in 2017 (including the 3-day WRAP), we will be offering the trainings listed below which are geared toward individuals not already employed in the peer workforce:

  • 2 additional sessions of WRAP seminar 1
  • 2 individual CORE training courses will be offered as stand-alone workshops. Participants completing these courses will be able to count this toward future 2017 or 2018 CORE attendance
  • A workshop geared toward the aspiring peer professional- explores what a peer is, wellness and recovery, and job readiness.  This workshop will help future applicants prepare to enter the peer workforce.  This workshop will be offered 3 times in 2017
  • More to be announced!


In addition, Consumer Connections will continue to offer continuing education workshops for the existing peer workforce, such as our highly popular 3-day series on Co-occurring disorders.


Our calendar will be updated and specific dates will be announced as workshops are scheduled. You can visit our specialty workshop page here.



How to apply for CORE training


 CORE Training Information

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a Certified Recovery Support Practitioner in the mental health or co-occurring disorders fields, and you are a consumer in recovery, you are eligible to apply for possible admission to the CORE training.  The 108 hours of CORE training and 18 hours of WRAP will satisfy the educational component for the Certified Recovery Support Practitioner (CRSP) credential. If selected to participate in the CORE training, students will be required to attend 22 specified days of training. Please see the event calendar below for details.

For a list of important dates, please click here.





About Consumer Connections

More information on CORE Training

More information on Specialty Training

Support Services


Contact Us

Funding for Superstorm Sandy Recovery
Efforts through Generous Grants from:
American Red Cross Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Mental Health Association in New Jersey, Inc.

Address: 673 Morris Ave., Suite 100
                        Springfield, NJ 07081

Telephone: 1.800.367.8850 Toll-Free

FAX: 973-218-0636

EMAIL:Contact Us

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