Impactful Leadership for Peers
I was standing in a hallway at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, on a 15-minute break from the leadership development cohort I had been accepted into several months earlier.
It was March of 2018, and I had just celebrated five years in recovery from alcohol use disorder and compulsive gambling addiction. In taking responsibility for my actions during active addiction, I’d served a brief prison time for eight counts of felony theft related to the embezzlement of funds from my last employer in politics. After completing my sentence, I sought a way to rebuild my life and connected my experiences in the political world to my newfound recovery.
Eventually, I found a home at a national organization in the addiction space, where I had worked for nearly three years by the time I joined the leadership cohort. I enjoyed my work nationally and was eternally grateful for this second chance at a career. Yet, I continued to feel dissatisfied, coupled with a pang of inner guilt that I was not thankful for what I’d been given. I wanted to expand my leadership capacity and create a far wider array of powerful results than what I was producing at that time and in that moment.
The concept of syndemics underscores how different health conditions interact to create added burden of morbidity (illness) and mortality (death) for specific groups. While syndemics can result from shared biological susceptibility (e.g, genes), they tend to be shaped by structural factors, such as lack of access to stable income, affordable housing, high-quality healthcare, and other resources, usually driven by racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and other forms of discrimination and disenfranchisement.
The Collaborative to Advance Health Services, which serves as the coordinating center for the
Peer Recovery Center of Excellence, is hosting the first-ever Syndemic Solutions Summit to explore solutions to the overlap of substance use challenges, HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, and more with a focus on the programs and initiatives that have proven effective at addressing syndemic health conditions. Individuals with lived experience, including peer workers, have a vital role in addressing syndemic health conditions, which is why the Peer Recovery Center of Excellence is proud to support the Syndemic Solutions Summit to ensure that the central role of lived experience in syndemic solutions is recognized and supported moving forward.
For more on the Syndemic Solutions Summit, check out our website at www.SyndemicSolutionsSummit.org.
This month, we are bringing you 6 new episodes! In late 2022, Tim Saubers, who leads our workforce development team, hosted a 6-month Skill Development Series for Peer Recovery Support Specialists. The training series provided recurring opportunities for peer recovery support specialists from across the country to build foundational skills that are necessary for effective peer support service provision. The series was so well attended and in demand, that we also offered it in early 2023. In this podcast series, Tim sits down to have a conversation with each facilitator to have a deeper discussion with them about their presentation and what it means for the field.
Peer Recovery Support Specialists: Exploring the Language Peer Recovery Support Specialists Use to Discuss Recovery
Peer Supervisors: Supporting Staff Who Experience a Return to Use
Organizational Stakeholder of the Month
The Peer Recovery CoE, along with our Steering Committee member, Michael King, are pleased to announce our latest Organizational Stakeholders of the Month! Each month, we will select a few of our stakeholders in order to highlight their incredible work at our monthly stakeholder calls, in the newsletter, and our podcast. Learn more about our featured stakeholders below.
Congrats to Lost Dreams Awakening and Laurie Johnson-Wade for representing our July Stakeholder of the Month!
Lost Dreams Awakening is a Recovery Community Organization (RCO) in New Kensington, PA committed to promoting the right and resources to recover through advocacy, education and demonstrating the power and proof of long-term recovery.
Lost Dreams Awakening strives to
- Advocate to make recovery supports and resources available to everyone in our community.
- Empower people in recovery and family members through education.
Remove barriers to recovery and celebrate connection through social events in a safe and supportive recovery environment.
Commissioned by NASTAD, in 2023 Facente Consulting created a video series that explores a variety of topics related to the complexities of harm reduction within supportive housing or temporary shelter programs. This video series summarizes the evidence supporting these frameworks, highlights a variety of successful models, and underscores important implementation tips. Find out more.
Meaningful Research, Evaluation, & Data Collection Series from the PRCoE
Unsure about research, evaluation, data collection, and how it relates to your daily workflows? TRx Development Solutions is providing a 3-session series for peers and organizations with peer recovery support services around meaningful research, evaluation, and data collection. This series is designed to assist peers and recovery organizations on how to explore meaningful research, how to engage with research, how to unpack the usefulness of data in day-to-day work, and how to effectively collect and use the data required by SAMHSA. Find out more.
Recovery Related News and Events
Syndemic Solutions Summit - Kansas City, MO - July 26-27, 2023
Multiple Pathways Recovery Conference - Des Moines, IA - August 21-23, 2023
National Association of Peer Supporters (N.A.P.S.) Conference, Norfolk, VA
Oct 25-26, 2023
ATTC Messenger - July 2023
Recovery Research Institute - Recovery Bulletin - June 23, 2023
- Adherence in Addiction Recovery Treatment: Surrender is Scary, Yet Critical
by Johanna Dolan, RCP, RCPF, RPS & Michelle Voegtle, MEd, LPC
Funding for this initiative was made possible by grant no. 1H79TI083022 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
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