At Advocates, we believe that people change and grow in connection with others. We also place tremendous value on the life experience of people in mental health and addiction recovery. Our growing team of peer specialists and recovery coaches use their expertise and personal stories to inspire hope and demonstrate that recovery is possible for everyone. Peer professionals support people in Advocates’ Behavioral Health programs in a variety of ways, including connecting them to recovery resources and a network of support outside of the mental health system. They also serve a vital role in raising awareness about mental health recovery in the wider community.
The peer specialist role is unique because it is not clinical. Peer specialists at Advocates listen and share and encourage. They don’t administer medications or take clinical notes. The relationship between a peer specialist and the person they are supporting is based on respect, mutuality, and trust. Many people at Advocates credit peer support as a crucial factor on the journey to recovery. As Sharon explains, “Partnering with a peer specialist has helped me realize that I am in recovery and the next steps. They enlighten me and encourage me to strive for the stars.”
The Living Room
The Living Room is a 24/7 crisis alternative to emergency department visits that is a welcoming space where people experiencing emotional distress and crisis can walk in to connect with a peer specialist on the spot. No referral is necessary to visit our comfortable, home-like location. Learn more.
Peer Virtual Support Groups
Advocates is now offering several virtual support groups via Zoom. These include mental health support groups as well as social and recreational groups. Facilitated by members of Advocates Peer Specialist team, these support groups are open to anyone in the community, not just individuals served by Advocates, and participation is confidential. Learn more.