Peer Support at CHA

For people with behavioral health and substance use conditions

About Our Teams

CHA understands the value of peer support for people with behavioral health and substance use needs. That's why we offer peer support services in our hospitals and outpatient clinics.

Peer support workers draw from their own lives to provide support and understanding. Our teams make connections with people, using their wisdom and life experience to help others.     

CHA Recovery Coaches

Recovery Coaches are people who have been there. They help connect people to self-help, addiction and recovery support groups, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), and therapists trained in substance use and mental health. They understand because they have walked this path, and continue working every day on themsleves and to help others.

Click here to learn more about CHAs Recovery Coaches

What are Peer Specialists?

Peer specialists are people who have lived through trauma, psychiatric diagnoses, and navigating the mental healthcare system. They draw upon their own life experiences to suppoort others. Their goals is to build a foundation of trust based on shared knowledge and shared healing.

Peer Support Specialist Stories

Portrait of Ann Whitman, Peer Specialists

Anne Whitman

"Recovery is possible and ongoing!!”

Anne's recovery story

Portrait of Michael Ryan, CHA Recovery Coach

Michael Ryan

"I built daily living skills that put emphasis on my self-care."

Michael's recovery story

Wide portrait of Valeria, peer specialist

Valeria Chambers

"I was with a group of my peers and we were all working together on ourselves."

Valeria's recovery story

Why Peer Support?

<b>Why Peer Support?</b>

Peer Support in Mental Health and Substance Use Recovery is about a give and take - building mutually helpful relationships with others who are also working on their recovery. Peer support relationships are built upon trust, mutual respect and shared experiences.

Peer support specialists have been trained how to share parts of their story as well as helpful resources and tools when needed, to help a person discover for themselves what they need and want in their lives.

At CHA, we have two types of peer support specialists: Recovery Coaches and Certified Peer Specialists. They work primarily in Primary Care, Urgent Care and in hospital inpatient settings.

According to SAMHSA*, studies have shown that people who work with peer support specialists may have more self-esteem, hope and sense of control while also helping one feel empowered and confident in social settings. People who work with peer support specialists also may have less hospital stays and substance misuse and depression.

Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.

~~SAMHSA Working Definition of Recovery (Last updated in 2011).

The belief that recovery is possible for all who experience psychiatric, traumatic, or substance use challenges is fundamental to the practice of peer support. The likelihood of long-term recovery is increased with effective support. Peer support has been demonstrated through research and practical application to be highly effective.

Interested in speaking with a peer support specialist?

If you are interested in speaking with a peer support specialist, or finding a peer support group, please speak with your CHA Primary Care Provider.

Community References

Affiliated with:
Teaching hospital of: