CHEEERS receives SAMHSA Grant to train Peers as Doulas

CHEEERS offers unique training opportunity to Arizona credentialed Peer Supports.

Under a unique and innovative program CHEEERS Recovery Center has received funding though SAMHSA’s Building Communities of Recovery Grants to provide credentialed Peer/ Recovery Supports who currently or plan to work with pregnant women with substance use disorders specialized training to become a certified Doula.

What’s a Doula?

A doula, also known as a birth companion, birth coach or post-birth supporter, is a non-medical person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, to provide emotional support and physical help if needed. They also may provide support to the mother’s partner and family. 


CHEEERS believes that Peer Support is part of the solution to address Arizona’s Opiate and Substance Use Epidemic. Integrated Health addressing the whole person, providing support for pregnancy and recovery; it’s a win win! 

  • Consider that in the date range of June15, 2017 – November 21, 2018, Arizona reported 1450 babies with Neonatal Abstinence Disorder, and estimated that only 51% of women with Opiate Addiction are receiving the recommended treatment while pregnant. 
  • We know that pregnant women often do not seek services and support due to fear, judgment and shame and we know that Peer Support can help.  Receiving proper treatment, care and support is critical in the woman’s health and in the health of her baby. 
  • Providing Arizona’s peer supports with doula training will better prepare the workforce to assist pregnant women through the prenatal care, birth and post-partum phases while supporting the unique issues relating to recovery and substance use.  
  • Continuous support during pregnancy and birth from a person outside the mother’s family or social circle, is associated with reduced mortality rates, improved overall health of the mother and the baby, shorter labor time,  and a lower need for medical interventions and can reduce a mothers’ negative feelings about their childbirth experience.
  •  Our trained Peers as Doulas will be better equipped and qualified to assist with not only the recovery aspects of the women’s journey, but also the birthing process and how to support healthy pregnancy and outcomes for both the mother and infant.


This unique opportunity will provide Arizona’s Peer Recovery Specialists with training to include testing and certification costs to become a doula and  work with Pregnant, Post- Partum women (and their families) who have substance use and mental health disorders. 

The initial Doula Training will be provided in a 2 day class in Maricopa County as well as in Northern and Southern Arizona.  Becoming a certified doula requires additional classes, providing continuous in labor support for 3 births and references from 2 mothers and the medical practitioners.  CHEEERS has contracted with trainers and will assist Peers in receiving required trainings and working through the process. All fees associated with materials and classes will be covered under the grant.  To learn more about the Certification process visit

Training Schedule:

February:  Thursday 2/20 & Friday 2/21, 2020 

Phoenix, At CHEEERS RECOVERY CENTER  Must be present both days 8:30 to 5:30 pm 

May:  Thursday 5/7 & Friday 5/8 , 2020

in TucsonLOCATION TBD,Must be present both days 

September:  Thursday 9/10 & Friday 9/11, 2020 

Location TBD

must be present both days 


To be eligible, individuals must be credentialed peer supports in Arizona, or be a person with lived experience in recovery from substance use disorder, who is willing to become credentialed as a Peer and complete the Doula Certification as well.  CHEEERS will offer both trainings under the program.  Class sizes are limited to 10-12 individuals.

Please contact Lisa Zaran , Project Coordinator for Building Communities of Recovery Grant at 602-246-7607 ext. 2130   for more information and to register for the trainings.

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