Recovery Leadership Academy

Meet some of our Recovery Support Specialists and Graduates

Recovery Support Specialist Training and Certification Program

The Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network Recovery Support Specialist Training and Certification Program is an 80-hour course that prepares persons in recovery from a psychiatric or substance use disorder, or family members of people in recovery, to take an exam to become a certified Recovery Support Specialist (RSS).

The course duration typically runs for a period of up to 16 weeks and is facilitated virtually. Students need to possess the computer skills and have access to the required technology in order to complete the course in a virtual format. A thorough description of skills and technology requirements can be viewed in this document.

Each week, students can expect to complete an assigned homework module and attend a live-streamed class facilitated by RLA instructors on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Each module assignment will have a central theme and be comprised of videos featuring subject matter experts and professionals, and may include additional documents related to the module. Students have six days to view the contents of each module and complete and submit a written assignment. The live-streamed classes run for two hours and provide the opportunity to discuss the module with classmates and instructors and engage in group exercises. On many occasions, a guest speaker will present to the class and provide time for questions from students.

Some of the topics covered in the modules include:

  • Overview of mental health, addiction and co-occurring challenges
  • Family and natural supporters in the recovery process
  • Harm reduction techniques
  • History of behavioral health treatment and patient/human rights
  • Holistic alternatives to treatment
  • Legal regulation and patient rights
  • Recovery Support Specialist Ethics and Professionalism
  • Cultural competencies and World View
  • Introduction to Motivational Interviewing and Intentional Peer Support
  • Physical disability movement
  • Trauma, trauma informed/human centered care
  • Evidence Based Practices

Upcoming RLA classes

RSS Training and Certification (Spring, 2024)

The next RSS Training and Certification course is tentatively scheduled to begin the second week of February, 2024. The application window to apply for this class is closed. If you submitted an application, please monitor the email address you provided for important communications from the RLA team. We will begin responding to applicants after the new year. The RLA reserves the right to limit the class size and may require applicants to interview during the application review process.

If you are interested in applying for future classes, please check this page in early spring 2024 for announcements of course offerings and  application dates.