COAPS Internships

Internships are not guaranteed and are dependent upon funding.  Please contact us to find out more! 

COAPS who have completed the older adult peer specialist training are eligible to apply for sponsored internships in agencies that provide services to older adults. 

The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research provides oversight and mentoring to the COAPS throughout the internships.  Specialized internships are developed collaboratively with the Center and the provider agency.  

During your internship, you will be responsible for providing a variety of support services to older adult consumers. You will serve as an advocate in assisting consumers in accessing community resources, teaching and modeling self-help and coping skills and working as a wellness coach.  You will educate individuals with both a mental illness and chronic disease and aid consumers in their pursuit of self-directed health and wellness goals. 

I learned to connect in a different way. My eyes were open to how they (older adults) grew up, gave me a different, fresh perspective. I am modeling these approaches for the other staff.


  1. Applicants must have completed the 72 hour Certified Peer Specialist training and the 18 hour Certified Older Adult Peer Specialist training. 

  2. Self-identified current or former user of mental health or co-occurring services in recovery.

  3. High school diploma or GED.

  4. A commitment to recovery, choice, empowerment, and the ability of people with SMI/COD to find meaningful lives in the community.

  5. Ability to establish a trusting relationship with peers, including excellent interpersonal skills.

  6. Good communication, writing and organizational skills.

  7. Ability to network within the community and work with diverse populations.