Recovery Support Services
Sometimes talking with someone who has “lived experience,” someone who has walked in your shoes, can make all of the difference.
Recovery support services include peer support services or recovery coaching services. A peer support specialist delivers peer support services, and a recovery coach delivers recovery coaching services.
What is a peer support specialist?
A peer support specialist (also known as a peer) is a person who has been diagnosed with a mental illness and has received mental health services from the public mental health system. Peers are specially trained to use their life experience (as a person in recovery from mental health disorder) to help others who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder that may be experiencing some of the same challenges.
What is a recovery coach?
A recovery coach (also known as a peer recovery coach) is a person who has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder and has received substance use treatment from the public mental health system. Recovery coaches are specially trained to use their life experience (as a person in recovery from a substance use disorder) to help others who have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder that may be experiencing some of the same challenges.
Some peers and recovery coaches have life experience with recovery from both mental health and substance use disorders. Peers and recovery coaches are embedded in just about every Adult Behavioral Health Department program at The Guidance Center.
What do peer support specialists and recovery coaches do?
(link to) First and foremost, peers and recovery coaches serve as ambassadors to the community mental health system. Peers and recovery coaches can mentor you in your recovery by sharing their personal recovery stories and specific information about their recovery experiences that may be relevant and helpful to you. They can also help you:
- Get through the intake process at The Guidance Center
- Increase your understanding of some of the basic principles of recovery
- Identify your personal strengths, talents, skills, and resources
- Find hope and inspiration to move forward in your own recovery
- Develop realistic and achievable goals
- Improve your health and wellness
- Learn strategies and coping skills that can aid you in your recovery
- Access other community services such as primary health care, housing, education, employment, transportation, etc.
- Learn to advocate for yourself effectively.
- Strengthen your support system or get connected to a recovery network
- Actively engage in community life
In addition to working with you individually, The Guidance Center offers groups facilitated or co-facilitated by peers and/or recovery coaches.
Peers support specialists facilitate several groups that are designed to help you improve your health and wellness, including:
- Whole Health Action Management (WHAM) – WHAM is focused on helping participants establish and pursue individual health and wellness goals with the support of their peers.
- Consumers Helping Others Improve their Condition by Ending Smoking (CHOICES) – CHOICES is focused on helping participants make decisions about and take steps toward reducing or discontinuing their use of tobacco.
- Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) – WRAP is focused on helping participants anticipate and develop personalized plans for future psychiatric emergencies.
Recovery coaches also help co-facilitate skill-building groups designed to help you stop using substances and maintain your sobriety.
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