10/14/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Bright Spot - DMH, Bureau of Wellness and Recovery Services

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Good evening IDHS Staff,

For today's Bright Spot, I would like to highlight the work of our Division of Mental Health's (DMH) Bureau of Wellness and Recovery Services on successfully conducting its 2020 Virtual Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) Competency Training during the months of July, August, September, and October.

The CRSS credential creates a career pathway for individuals with lived experience in mental health recovery or co-occurring mental health and substance use recovery who are interested in using their lived experience to support the recovery of others.

To obtain the CRSS credential, individuals must obtain a minimum of 100 hours of training and education in the areas of advocacy, mentoring, recovery support, and professional responsibility. Additionally, individuals with the CRSS credential must complete continuing education hours to maintain their certification.

By modifying the training to a virtual platform, the DMH team was able to offer educational support to 474 individuals seeking to obtain their CRSS or needing continuing education to maintain their CRSS.

Behind the Scenes

The DMH team spent countless hours working to transform training that was designed for in-person, interactive learning to be modified for delivery using a virtual platform. Realizing that the number of participants would need to be limited in order to maintain the interactive learning aspects as much as possible, the team committed to offering each session multiple times to increase availability and access.

A special thank you to all of our DMH staff, especially Kathryn Dittemore, Tom Troe, Tanya Cooley, Cindy Mayhew, Rhonda Keck, and Christopher Keck. Amazing work team!

Thank you,


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS