IPS-Oregon HUB

FolkTime is the Oregon Hub for Intentional Peer Support Training.

What is Intentional Peer Support?

Intentional Peer Support, known as IPS, is a relational framework developed in the 1990s by Shery Mead and others who were active in the mental health consumer/survivor/x-patient movement. It has evolved over the years while engaging many people in the work of transformative, mutually responsible relationships. This framework is generally evoked when someone may be experiencing intense emotions or psychological distress, yet it proves useful in many situations and relationships. For these reasons, we believe IPS is beneficial to all human service providers!
“As peer support in mental health proliferates, we must be mindful of our intention: social change. It is not about developing more effective services, but rather about creating dialogues that have influence on all of our understandings, conversations, and relationships.”

– Shery Mead, Founder of IPS

3 Principles, 4 Tasks

The formation of IPS’s Principles and Tasks gives gravity to our ideals, distilling the extensive core content down to digestible pieces that we can hold on to, even in the midst of challenging situations:



  • Helping to Learning Together

    Moving from helping to learning is a shift from "doing to" people to "being with" people. It's a shift from "me and you" to "us". It's about thinking, "What can we create and learn together?"

  • Individual to Relationship

    Even when doing tasks with people, our focus and intent is still on building relationship, thus learning; the task itself is just the vehicle for doing so.

  • Fear to Hope & Possibility

    Hope-based relationships are based on what is possible, where we are going, and how we can create something new together.

  • Connection

    We learn how to validate and relate with on one another. If and when disconnects occur, we can embrace them as opportunities that might even deepen the relationship.

  • Worldview

    With curiosity, we explore how we have come to see the world, making ourselves aware of assumptions while listening for the untold story.

  • Mutuality

    Negotiating and naming power, all parties are able to say what we see, feel, and need while making spaciousness for all of our worldviews to come together. This process enables us to examine our lives in the context of mutually accountable relationships and communities, looking beyond the mere notion of individual responsibility for change.

  • Moving Towards

    Instead of focusing solely what we need to stop or avoid doing, the practice of focusing on what we want encourages us to increasingly live in ways that aid in the creation of supportive beliefs and actions.

Quotes and descriptions adapted from the Intentional Peer Support Core Material.
Other topics to be covered during the training include: Trauma, Crisis Alternatives, Ethics and Boundaries, Abuse Reporting, HIPAA, CSX Movement, and Progress Notes We all have our own “worldviews” and we thrive when they have been validated. We all have our own stories and some of us want to change what we have come to know. Creating a new and exciting story with another peer is wonderful! This allows us to stop dragging around the old baggage. We do this with seeing the world in a whole new way. You can too! In our training, we will practice IPS through various role plays, activities, videos, and demonstrations. PSS: A Peer Support Specialist is any [range of] individuals who provide supportive services to a current or former consumer of mental health or addiction treatment. (From ORS 414.025). Intentional Peer Support is recognized as an approved training for individuals working with Adults “Peer support specialist” means an individual providing services to another individual who shares a similar life experience with the peer support specialist (addiction to addiction, mental health condition to mental health condition).


Angel Prater

Angel Prater works for FolkTime as the Executive Director, is a Certified National IPS Trainer, and was named Oregon’s IPS trainer of trainers. She is the mother of two beautiful daughters, and has recently become a grandmother of a chunky little baby boy.  Angel enjoys riding motorcycles, skydiving, socializing, and most of all, spending time with her family. Angel says, “Recovery became a new way of life. Living without the use of drugs allowed a life of mental wellness and stability.  I made a promise to take all of my life challenges and turn them into something good. I promised God that I will walk with those who are struggling so they may know that, no matter what, there is hope! IT CAN BE DONE!”  Since July 5, 1996, Angel has been supporting others by sharing her experience, strength and hope, without shame or guilt. She hopes to inspire others to share their story as well.  As the famous movie says, let’s “Pay it forward!”

Danielle Grondin

Danielle Grondin is honored to be part of the peer movement. Her schooling focused on Sociology and Civic Leadership, while her lived experience illuminated the strengths and shortcomings of our current systems of care. Danielle has been in educator roles for over a decade and is passionate about social justice, intersectionality, sustainability, and holistic healing modalities. As the Director of Training at FolkTime, Danielle specializes in Intentional Peer Support. She is also trained as a Youth & Young Adult Peer Support Specialist, a Hearing Voices Facilitator, and a Certified Yoga Instructor. Danielle is a pet parent to three fuzzy animals, loves the outdoors, and enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends.