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Peer Workforce Development Initiative


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Pathways Vermont is a leader in the state’s peer workforce movement and is working to greatly improve consistency, infrastructure, communication, and resource sharing among the peer-workforce community. We are dedicated to ensuring that all Vermonters are in a position to lead healthy and meaningful lives in their community.

Pathways Vermont was awarded a grant for a Peer Workforce Development Initiative (PWDI) by The Department of Mental Health (DMH) in early 2020. The Peer Workforce Development Initiative grant was developed by DMH to help the state build and maintain an infrastructure for a statewide mental health peer workforce. Goals of the initiative include, creating a steering committee, evaluating statewide peer workforce needs, facilitating awareness and participation by providing resources and information to peer support workers, and ensuring the availability of peer support worker training.

“This is a great opportunity to help shift the paradigm around mental health services utilizing the collective voices of Vermonters with shared experiences. We are excited about the possibilities for transformative change by providing empowering connections throughout the statewide peer network.” – Pathways Vermont Executive Director, Hilary Melton


Upcoming Trainings

Online Trainings

There are currently no upcoming Online Webinar events scheduled. Please check back soon for updates.

Customized Trainings

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our trainings

The mission of the PWDI includes the facilitation of various statewide peer support work trainings. Pathways Vermont is working to continuously provide peer workers with innovative and evolving opportunities to learn, grow and share experiences.  Our regular trainings and discussions include, but are not limited to:

  • Intentional Peer Support
  • Harm Reduction
  • Conversations About Suicide
  • Conversation About Oppression and Privilege

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Join the Peer Workforce Development Initiative in our Facebook group to discover more opportunities to discuss peer work in Vermont!


Steering Committee Members

The PWDI Steering Committee is composed of statewide leaders in Vermont’s peer workforce. The committee convenes regularly to oversee peer workforce development and training in Vermont.

Hilary Melton


Dan Towle


Karim Chapman

Gloria Van Den Berg

Katie Wilson

Ken Russell

Leslie Nelson

Malaika Puffer

Rene Rose


Meet Our Trainers

Rebeka Lawrence-Gomez

Pathways Vermont

Lindsay Mesa

Pathways Vermont

J Helms

Pathways Vermont

Alex Ferguson

Pathways Vermont

Calvin Moen

Western Mass Recovery Learning Community

Malaika Puffer

Health Care & Rehabilitation Services of Vermont

PWDI Resources


Vermont Mental Health Peer Specialist Certification in Vermont Webinar

Description: Vermont is one of just four states that does not have a statewide mental health peer specialist certification program. This interactive webinar will offer an introduction to mental health peer specialist certification programs, explore the features and benefits of such a program, address the challenges of such a program, and provide an overview of what a mental health peer specialist certification program might look like in Vermont.