Peers Walk Alongside You on Your Path to Recovery
In all areas of life—no matter your background—we know relationships are important to well-being. We call friends in hard times, visit family members when they aren’t feeling well, and often see support groups for individuals who have experienced similar challenges like chronic disease or the loss of a loved one. In the same way that we reach out to someone who we think will understand, peer support specialists can provide that understanding during a time when many feel alienated and hopeless. They provide an important connection and hope that recovery is possible.
Need to talk to a peer now?
Call the Substance Use Disorder Warm Line at 541-406-4444
What do Peer Support Specialists do?
Peer support specialists model recovery, teach skills, and offer support to help people experiencing mental health challenges or substance use disorders lead meaningful lives in the community. Peer support specialists promote recovery; enhance hope and social networking through role modeling and activation; and support existing treatment with education, empowerment, and aid in systems navigation.
Peer supporters are people who use their experience of recovery from mental health or substance use disorders to support others in recovery. Combined with skills learned in formal training, their experience and institutional knowledge put them in a unique position to offer support.
Why are peer support services important?
Peer support services have been shown to:
- Reduce symptoms and hospitalizations
- Increase social support and participation in the community
- Decrease lengths of hospital stays
- Improve well-being
- Encourage more thorough and longer-lasting recoveries
Strengths of Peer Support
Peers bring unique strengths and qualities to your recovery. These strengths include:
- Personal experience with whole health recovery that includes addressing the wellness of both mind and body
- Insight into the experience of internalized stigma and how to address it
- Compassion and commitment to helping others, rooted in a sense of gratitude
- Can take away the “you do not know what it’s like” excuse
- Experience of moving from hopelessness to hope-filled
- Listen and advocate without judgment
- In a unique position to develop a relationship of trust, which is especially helpful in working with people in trauma recovery
- Developed skills in monitoring their illness and self-managing their lives holistically
We believe in the power of peers. At times our care team will recommend you work with our peer support specialists – another tool to provide you hope and help you reach your wellness goals.
Connect You to Harm Reduction Resources
Your health matters to us. Harm reduction aims to connect individuals who use drugs to resources and community partners that keep you safe. If you or someone you love is actively using, our peer support specialists will get you the care and resources you need to be safe and healthy. They have access to harm reduction supplies like safer use kits and naloxone.
The Riverside Center
The Riverside Center is a peer-run drop-in center. This home-like space provides opportunities for people 18 and over to gather for social events, to talk with friends, and for support services, like Dual Diagnosis (AA for people with mental illness).
Curious if The Riverside Center could benefit you? Talk with your mental health professional and they can provide you with more information on how to connect with peers at The Riverside Center.
Due to public health guidelines and our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep you safe, The Riverside Center is currently closed.
Meet Our Peer Support Specialists