About The Peer Support 40-hour Academy

Peer Support Training Topics


  • Confidentiality
  • Role Conflict
  • Limits and liability
  • Communication facilitation and listening skills
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Problem assessment
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Cross-cultural issues
  • Common psychological symptoms
  • Medical conditions confused with psychiatric disorders
  • Stress management and resiliency
  • Burnout out and Boreout
  • Grief management and Loss
  • Domestic violence
  • Medical issues and lifestyle impact
  • Suicide assessment and prevention
  • Crisis management intervention
  • Work-related critical incident stress management
  • Dependency and abuse
  • Concepts of Peer Support
  • Operational & Policy Guidelines for your Department
  • Stress Management
  • When to seek mental health consultation/referral information
  • Relationship/family issues and concerns
  • Military support
  • Local resources
  • Organization stress and communication
  • Brief screening tools
  • Wellness and self care
  • Anger Management
  • Ethical & Confidentiality issues in Peer Support
  • Suicide & Suicide Prevention
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Communications
  • Interventions and Tips
  • Perspectives in Survivorship
  • Using a Therapy K-9 for Peer Support
  • Experiential processing

This (one time) 40-hour Academy complies with all best practices for public safety supporters as outlined and taught by Dr. Jack Digliani, PhD, EdD and Dr. John Nicoletti, PhD, ABPP.


Question:  Will I be able to go back to my department and start a peer support team?

Answer: We will give you all the tools to start the process of building your team. However, we are unable to dictate your department budget, nor the culture of your department.

Question: After the Academy is over, is ERTC still available for verbal assistance as we get our team up and running?

Answer: Yes. You can call, text or email ERTC members with any questions. We can speak with whomever you need us to speak to, in order to get your Team moving forward.

Questions: Can you help us to qualify a Clinical Supervisor?

Answer: Yes. This will be discussed during class.

About the Instructors


  • Dr. Teresa Richards and Joanne Rupert, MA LPC, NCC are currently the Clinical Supervisors/Advisors of Peer Support Teams and/or perform all the Counseling for 11 Emergency Response Departments, as well as many first responders from other agencies across the Front Range and Western United States. 
  • Tim Brown, MA LPC, is the Clinical Supervisor for the Larimer County Sherrif's Office, and Commander for Loveland PD. Tim teaches various portions of this Academy.

  • Joanne has personally been involved in peer support for over 17 years, and worked with Dr. Jack Digliani, who has been a pioneer in bringing peer support to the emergency services field. With a combined experience in emergency services of over 30 years, our academy offers:
  • All-you-need-to-know about setting up your team, 
  • What guidelines and what policies need to be in place to stay compliant with the Colorado State Statute and in addition, our training covers.
  • All topics you would need to know and understand by industry standards to have an effective, ethical peer support team in your department. 
  • No complicated psycho-babble - just real information, with a hands on approach. 
  • This class goes very quickly and is packed full with important information pertaining to Peer Support - what NOT to do vs. What you NEED to do.

  • Peer Support Team Academy's are offered throughout the year through multiple departments. Schedule yours using our contact form!

  • If your department hosts an academy, for every 10 people who attend the training, one person from their department can attend for free. Limited up 3 people per 30 participants.

Ask About Peer Support Team Academy