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Peer Into Recovery
37 minutes | 8 days ago
Episode 6: Peer Job Development with Cynthia Evans
Peer Job Development with Cynthia Evans About the Episode Date: November 12, 2020 Episode 6: Peer Job Development with Cynthia Evans Summary Supporting peers in their job search and professional development is often a task of a peer recovery specialist. Encouraging peers to discover and follow their dreams is empowering for both the peer and peer supporter. We also discuss the future of the profession of peer support and thinking beyond the one-on-one peer support model. Key Topics Challenges faced by peers and peer recovery specialists in job searches Computer proficiency and role play as essential job skills for peer recovery specialists The importance of networking in professional development Incorporating job skills learned in other professional capacities Cynthia Evans has worked for peer-run mental health and disability organizations on the local, state, and national levels. Over the last 25 years, she has worked as a Peer Support Specialist, Job Developer, Trainer, Consultant, and Program Director. Administration, grant writing and management, training and group facilitation are among her many skills professionally. A native of Detroit, she is a gifted speaker who seeks to use life lessons learned to “enhearten” her peers - which means “to encourage, to give confidence to, and to embolden others!”
26 minutes | 18 days ago
Episode 5: Overcoming Obstacles with Leroy Robinson
Overcoming Obstacles with Leroy Robinson About the Episode Date: November 5, 2020 Episode 5: Overcoming Obstacles with Leroy Robinson Summary How does an individual in recovery deal with obstacles? Regardless of what society throws at you, you have choices. Rather than opening wounds while working with peers, Leroy chooses to stay positive, and tries to support peers by modeling how to love yourself and others. As peers in recovery, we have more in common than we have differences. Leroy advocates through his personal example, showing others that the person they might at first stereotype can turn their life around and help others do the same. Leroy Robinson is supervisor of the 401 Peer Center in Radford, a facility operated by New River Valley Community Services that is designed to support individuals in recovery from substance use and mental health disorders. Originally from Philadelphia, he is in long-term recovery, after 24 years of active addiction. He was one of the first two participants to graduate from the Pulaski County Adult Drug Court Treatment Program in 2016 and has most recently been employed by New River Valley Community Services as a Peer Recovery Specialist, assisting individuals enrolled in local drug court and jail diversion programs.
23 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 4: Probation Peer Support with Eddie Wiggins
Probation Peer Support with Eddie Wiggins About the Episode Date: August 20, 2020 Episode 4: Probation Peer Support with Eddie Wiggins Summary Peer Recovery Support has been shown to help increase success in community living for adults with mental health conditions who return from a period of incarceration. The goal of Probation Peer Support is to provide a mental health peer support component as another recovery wellness tool for individuals under probation supervision. Mental Health America of Virginia contracted with the Virginia Department of Corrections for a pilot project in 3 state probation districts: Portsmouth, Winchester and Wytheville. Two Peer Recovery Specialists co-facilitate weekly wellness groups to adult probationers who have mental health or co-occurring mental health and substance use needs. The peer recovery support model uses evidence-based principles of recovery as defined by SAMHSA, and facilitators are trained in the WRAP or a similar model. The pandemic has limited implementation, but phone support is being provided in one district and other virtual support options are planned to help fill the project's goals until in-person groups can resume. Also, probationers may call the MHAV Warm Line at any time for peer to peer listening and supportive reinforcement of recovery principles. Key Topics Overview of probation peer support program Challenges faced in establishing a new program during the COVID-19 pandemic Continuing education opportunities for peer recovery specialists interested in forensic peer support Eddie Wiggins is a Registered Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist, as well as, a certified Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Peer Recovery Support Trainer for 3 years. Mr. Wiggins is a certified WRAP facilitator. He has previously, worked with the Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board’s “Next Step Psychosocial Unit” as a Peer Specialist facilitating educational groups and activities. Currently working with Mental Health America of Virginia as the Probation Peer Manager, he supervises PRS facilitators in three Probation and Parole Districts in the state of Virginia and is responsible for developing and implementing a pilot wellness support group for the Virginia Department of Corrections. He has also held the position of Member-At-Large with SAARA of the Peninsula, volunteering to go into the Newport News City jails to co-facilitate recovery wellness groups for criminally involved individuals seeking to find their pathway to recovery. Prior to working with Mental Health America of Virginia and the Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board, Eddie worked with the Peninsula Alcohol Safety Action Program as a Facilitator for 12 years; the Chesapeake Bay Alcohol Safety Action Program In Virginia Beach, VA, as the Executive Administrative Assistant and Coordinator for the ASAP Facilitators. He served as a Residential Substance Abuse worker and Mental Health Technician at two local Rehabilitative Substance Abuse/Mental Health facilities. He has created training curriculums for, ”at-Risk-Youth” while serving as an Information System Consultant and Trainer with the City of Hampton, VA. With 29 years of long term recovery and wellness practice, Eddie, has spoken at many different venues both locally and elsewhere to individuals that struggle with addiction and mental health disorders to improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.
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