Peer Support | Recovery Support Services
Cordova Community Medical Center is excited to offer Peer Support services through Sound Alternatives. Peer Recovery Support services are designed and delivered by specialists who, themselves, have experienced mental health, psychological trauma, or substance use. Their personal experience of these challenges provide them with expertise and insight that professional training cannot replicate. Support is being led by a person who has made enough progress in their recovery from a mental disorder or addiction that they can work with others that have the same disorder. Modeling recovery; humanizing the experiences, highs and lows; while teaching recovery skills that assist in maintaining wellness, thus reducing the likelihood of relapse.
Types of Social Support and Recovery Support Services
Individuals in recovery don’t have a single need. They have many needs. They may need assistance in finding a job, thus requiring a job referral service. But their confidence level may be at all-time lows, so they also need emotional support, perhaps in some type of coaching on interviewing skills, how to dress appropriately, follow-up tips. They may also need help locating child-care in order to find that job or clothes for when they get the job or help with transportation to make it back and forth to work. Each and every situation has very unique needs that are new and stressful for those beginning their journey in recovery.
Benefits of Peer Recovery Support Services
The benefits of recovery support services are both tangible and intangible. They vary from individual to individual. Some people in early recovery attest to the fact that these services helped them remain in recovery, whereas a simple reliance on 12-step meetings or sessions with a counselor did not. To that end, recovery support services fulfill their mission: to help people strengthen and remain in recovery.
Some Other Benefits:
• Safe place to socialize – Participants in Peer Recovery Support Services know they have a safe place to socialize with others who are also in recovery. This gives them a sense of belonging, of community, and a pressure-free opportunity to interact with others.
• Sharing personal stories and problem solving – Support activities often have an educational component as well. During their interaction, peers have the opportunity to share personal stories as well as solve problems.
• Learn new skills – Members can be referred to outside experts to demonstrate and teach new skill sets. The range of skills may include credit counseling, how to budget and manage finances, job skills training, how to prevent relapse, and effective conflict resolution.
• Place to practice new social skills – Recovery support offers participants a nonthreatening environment in which to practice some of the new social skills they have learned.
• Providing service to others – It’s common for participants in recovery to want to give back to the community, to help others as they have been helped. After all, the peer leader is someone who has also been in recovery – and chose to help others. This example inspires many participants to do likewise.
• Services available at different stages of recovery – The adaptability of recovery support services is that they are available at different stages of the recovery process. Such services may precede a person’s entering into treatment, and may facilitate or motivate the individual’s desire to change. Recovery Support Services may accompany treatment, thus providing a connection to the community during treatment. Services may follow treatment, offering better relapse prevention. Many people who do not enter treatment because they cannot afford it or do not wish to can benefit themselves with Recovery Support Services.
• Leadership development – During participation in recovery support, members are also building upon their leadership ability. This gives them a foundation to be able to help others by either directing the service or by providing support to their peers.
• Promoting shared values – Self-direction, empowerment, choice, giving back to others, keeping recovery first, being a leader, being authentic are shared values that are promoted during peer recovery support services.
• Always available – Recovery Support Services are one means of providing an invaluable, continuously available support following treatment. This safety net for individuals who have completed treatment helps them in their goal to remain in recovery and begin the necessary steps to achieve their dreams.
Act as a role model for consumers to prove recovery is possible.
Discuss shared lived experiences to make consumers comfortable.
Identify consumer needs and develop a wellness recovery plan for those needs.
Assist in the development of strengths-based individual goals.
Serve as an advocate, mentor, or facilitator for resolution of issues that a consumer is unable to resolve on their own.
Provide education on ways to maintain personal wellness and recovery.
Provide education on navigating the mental health system.
Assist with symptom management and recovery by modeling wellness, personal responsibility, self-advocacy, and hopefulness.
Help other providers to better understand and empathize with each consumer’s unique experience and perceptions.
Develop community supports- assists, teaches and supports consumers with activities involving daily living, vocational skills, housing access, maintaining financial supports and building support networks.
Are you or someone you know in need of Peer Support? Let’s face it, sometimes we just need someone to talk to in confidence that understands these common struggles so many of us face. Instead of facing it alone, reach out and get connected with our Peer Support Specialist!