A Study in Wellness
TRACY BRENNAN, Peer Liaison
I was nervous as I walked into the classroom on that early summer day. No longer a student, I returned to this classroom as a co-facilitator and instructor. I was eager, yet terrified, to guide my students into a relatively new and promising field. As the students filed in, I realized I wasn’t the only one who was scared; fourteen people of mixed backgrounds came tentatively together to learn how to turn their past struggles into a roadmap of hope as peer support specialists.
Peer support is rapidly becoming an important topic within behavioral health circles. Peer support specialists, who are also known as peer navigators or peer coaches, are people with “lived experience” in the realms of substance abuse and addiction, a mental health diagnosis, or someone who has experienced homelessness and/or trauma. They are not only living in recovery, but they are then able to model that recovery and guide others to find it for themselves.