Recovery support specialists inspire hope and support individuals with mental health, substance use disorder or trauma-related issues.
What: Global Peer Support Celebration Day Event and Graduation
When: Thursday, Oct. 20, 2-4 p.m.
Where: UArizona RISE Health and Wellness Center, 1030 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson
In honor of Global Peer Support Celebration Day, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson’s Department of Family and Community Medicine will celebrate the work and dedication of recovery support specialists on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the RISE Health and Wellness Center. A graduation ceremony for the Recovery Support Specialist Institute will take place at 2 p.m., followed at 3 p.m. by the department’s 8th Annual Global Peer Support Day Celebration event, featuring remarks from program leaders and students.
The Recovery Support Specialist Institute is administered by the UArizona RISE Workforce Development Program in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, part of UArizona Health Sciences. The RISE Workforce Development Program promotes recovery and opportunities for people with mental illness, substance use disorder and dual diagnosis by employing a collaborative approach to advocacy, service, education and research. Services are funded through a contract with the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.
Global Peer Support Celebration Day is an opportunity for recovery support specialists, also known as peer supporters, across the globe to reflect on and celebrate the important role they play in helping peers living with mental health, substance use disorder or trauma-related challenges move along the continuum of recovery and inclusion into their communities.
Recovery support specialists have received specialized training on how to use their experience to help others. Because they understand what it is like to move through the devastation and stigma often associated with having a mental illness, substance use disorder or trauma-related challenge, their first-hand knowledge and unique perspective empowers peers to envision possibilities for change.
Peer support results in psychological and physical health benefits for both receiver and provider. Peer support relies on a nonhierarchical, reciprocal relationship that fosters understanding and trust between recovery support specialists and their peers and among populations who otherwise may be alienated from or have poor access to mental health or substance use disorder services.
Recovery support specialists work in a variety of mental health, substance use disorder and primary care facilities, including inpatient and outpatient clinics, hospitals, crisis centers, emergency rooms, nursing homes, residential treatment facilities, government-sponsored agencies such as the Veteran’s Administration, and correctional facilities.