Mental health can be affected by a lot of different things: anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction and beyond. Which can mean those of us living each day with it feel as if we are going through something no one else can understand. Having someone in your life that can truly speak with you about your experience and offer help where needed could be the opportunity needed to seek treatment for many. That is where Peer Specialists come in.
Working on different teams throughout Jefferson Center, Peer Specialists have lived experience with mental health challenges and treatment themselves and can offer advice in your mental health journey. They work directly with clinicians, psychiatrists, and nurses to encourage receiving care by sharing their own journey through mental health. The goal of Peer Specialists is to encourage hope around three things: the hope of recovery, the courage to persevere and the attitude around recovery.
Peer Specialists are experts in the work they do, combining their lived experience with specialized training in mental health, systems of care, and sharing their lived experience in a beneficial way. They can support you and your loved ones that need services in adult care, residential recovery, crisis, veterans, family services, and more. What makes our peers so important is much of their work is done in the community. They come to you by going out for coffee, meeting at the library, or taking a walk and many other activities.
What makes Peer Specialists so unique is their ability to meet clients where they are in a one-on-one setting, through the “high” or “low” points. With their expertise, Peer Specialists help you see problems as opportunities and mental health as not something they have to drag around for life. Instead, they share hope and support for a long and meaningful life.
With a partner in mental health and support to stay grounded, set goals, and move toward the future, your path to recovery becomes clear. Peer Specialists are an important way to help us feel seen. And that is all we need to start the journey.