The Youth Peer Mentor Program (YPMP) is a four-tier model designed to help address California’s substance use crisis by providing substance use education to young adults ages 16-35 across the state, with a focus on transition age and justice-involved youth. The goal of the program is to create scalable and sustainable strategies, programs, and services that are evidence-based, meet the needs of the community, and align with the goal of the Department of Health Care Services to serve youth and rural areas of the state. The four tiers of the program include Mindfully Exploring Substance Use, Mindful Peer Mentoring Training, Become a Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician, and Become a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist. In 2021 YPMP developed and piloted the Natural High Retreats, which is an opportunity for personal development in an outdoor therapeutic learning environment facilitated by skilled professionals. In 2022 YPMP plans to launch into Valley State Prison’s Youthful Offender Program, bring the Mindfully Exploring Substance Use program into schools, explore relationships with Drug Courts throughout the state with the possibility of providing YPMP programming as alternative sentencing for participants, along with many other exciting endeavors.
To learn more about YPMP, visit the CDCR website or read the YPMP 2021 Annual Report.