N.A.P.S. Statement in Support of Reproductive Rights

National Association of Peer Supporters logo

The National Association of Peer Supporters (N.A.P.S.) recognizes bodily and reproductive autonomy as fundamental rights that all human beings deserve and which deserve to be protected. This can include making decisions about which treatments to participate in, which medications to take, and the right to a safe and legal abortion. The Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a byproduct of which is that abortion is now illegal or soon will be in 16 states, is in opposition to some of the core values behind peer support. Notably, these include autonomy and self-determination, voice, choice, and control, and determining for oneself the life one would like to lead.

Peer support as a service originates from a long history of experiencing harm and oppression at the hands of systems. This has included forced treatment and medication, seclusion and restraint, and forced sterilization. Psychiatric survivors and ex-patient movements, among others, played large roles in advocating for the rights of people navigating behavioral healthcare systems to have control over their own bodies and many peer roles come from these movements as well.

We are still not in a place where every person has the right to make decisions about their own body. N.A.P.S. recognizes that those most impacted by abortion restriction, and those most likely to die from not having access to care, are people from historically marginalized communities; in particular Black and Indigenous women. As long as people who can become pregnant (however they identify) lack their basic human rights, N.A.P.S. will continue to stand alongside them for the restoration of those rights. We strongly encourage all peer supporters to do the same.

For additional information about abortion laws in your state please visit these links:



For additional information about peer support values, please visit the National Practice Guidelines at the link below:


State of the Union Address 2022

National Association of Peer Supporters

The National Association of Peer Supporters, representing the nation’s Peer Support Specialists, applauds President Biden and his Administration for bringing attention and solutions to the mental health of our nation.

“We must dramatically expand the supply, diversity, and cultural competency of our mental health and substance use disorder workforce – from psychiatrists to psychologists, peers to paraprofessionals – and increase both opportunity and incentive for them to practice in areas of highest need.  Our crisis response infrastructure must also be strengthened to ensure that those facing acute behavioral health challenges can be seamlessly connected to necessary services. ”

The White House

Since 2004, the National Association of Peer Supporters has been on a mission to grow the peer support profession by promoting the inclusion of peer specialists throughout healthcare and other community systems. In this growth, we hold true to the intent of why peer support exists, not just to help people transform their lives but also to transform healthcare and other community systems. Through feedback from peer specialists across the country, we have gained consensus on a standard occupational classification definition of Peer Support Specialists as well as published National Practice Guidelines for Peer Support Specialists that have been recognized by the World Health Organization. We fully understand the systemic and societal issues associated with growing the peer support workforce in a way that upholds the values of peer support.

Peer support specialists are experts at looking beyond symptom management and stabilization to address the whole person. Our lived and living experiences of overcoming mental health and substance use conditions or supporting loved ones through their journey to health and wellness give us insider knowledge of the barriers and resources necessary for recovery. This includes recovery-oriented and trauma-informed treatment, access to non-clinical recovery supports and services, and welcoming communities that allow for full participation and are free of discrimination.

Presidential Administrations have a played critical role in elevating the value that people with lived and living experiences of mental health and substance conditions and their families have in the design, delivery, and evaluation of services. We celebrate the inclusion of the Peer Support Workforce in the Administration’s strategy. We stand ready to partner with the Biden administration on improving the health of all Americans including through policy related to the peer support profession. 

View the press release from the White House here.

Links included

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An Opportunity for Growth and Change

2020 has been full of challenges and for many of us, crisis. The coronavirus impacted each of us on a personal, family, and community level. This ongoing pandemic will continue to alter our lives.
In May, our country’s history and present reality of racism came front and center with the killing of George Floyd. For some the harsh reminder of racism has brought tremendous pain, while others an acknowledgement that we have more to learn about antiracism and how to act to fight against racism.

As the trade association for the peer support profession, N.A.P.S. understands that racism, along with other forms of discrimination, is structural and systemic. Systems employing peer support specialists can harbor discriminatory and stigmatizing policy and practices, and peer support specialists may also face additional societal stigma and discrimination based on class, ethnicity, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, etc. We also know that discrimination, racism, and other forms of oppression impact the people in various systems whom peer support specialists serve.

While N.A.P.S. has made efforts to engage a diverse group of individuals from marginalized social groups, our Board recognized during our October strategic planning session that we can do better. We agreed to take proactive steps to increase the participation of underrepresented individuals and social groups in the membership and leadership of N.A.P.S.

One of the core values of peer support from N.A.P.S. National Practice Guidelines is that peer supporters facilitate change. The N.A.P.S. Board of Directors is committed to growth and change through the development of intentional practices and policies that support an organizational culture of acceptance, safety, and welcoming for all individuals. We continue to learn through this process and look forward to sharing this with you as we learn and grow from it.

Crisis as an opportunity for growth and change is a foundational concept to the peer support profession. Turning trauma, crisis, and chaos into meaningful change requires thinking in a new way, seeing in a new way, and responding in a new way. We hope you will join us in this effort.

Take care of yourself and your community,

Dana Foglesong
President, N.A.P.S. Board of Directors

National Association of Peer Supporters

iNAPS Rebrands as the National Association of Peer Supporters

iNAPS has reorganizied and rebranded as the National Association of Peer Supporters (N.A.P.S.). With this change N.A.P.S. has a new logo (see above) and is now officially the International Association of Peer Supporters, Inc doing business as the National Association of Peer Supporters, Inc.

To align more closely with the mission of N.A.P.S., we will prioritize the development of a professional association of peer support specialists by recruiting and uniting peer support workers as members of the professional association. N.A.P.S. will direct its focus to providing services to their members and promoting the interests of peer support specialists.

N.A.P.S. will continue conversations with peer support workers in other countries to explore the establishment of an international coalition and continue to welcome individuals from across the world as both members and volunteers. N.A.P.S. will also build strong partnerships with international organizations, participate in global gatherings and coalitions, and work to advance collaborative, peer support initiatives world-wide.

N.A.P.S. leadership is moving forward with a laser-focused approach to growing and supporting their membership, and addressing workforce development issues that impose barriers to the growth of the peer support profession. Over the coming months the N.A.P.S. board will evaluate their capacity to search for and hire an Executive Director.

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