Statewide program offers peer-to-peer addiction support - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Statewide program offers peer-to-peer addiction support

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WARREN, Ohio -

It was a message of inspiration for recovering addicts in Warren Tuesday night. The event a part of a statewide coalition through the Ohio Department of Health and Mental Addiction Services to train individuals as peer support workers or recovery workers. 

Jody Bell, a Peer Support Facilitator, describes a peer supporter as "A peer supporter is an opportunity to combine a lived experience with those that have lived experiences with mental health challenges, and/or alcohol or substance abuse."

The training started in 2011, but has since been revised and in 2017 will be a billed service and reimbursable through Ohio Medicaid. The training covers self awareness and self care to allow those going through the training, to help those they train become productive members of society.

Kae Yost, who is completing her training, says to those that are currently suffering from addiction to always have hope. "There is light at the end of the tunnel. Right now it may be difficult, but as a peer I can help you through and there is hope and there is light at the end of the tunnel."

Yost adds one key to the program is that someone recovering from an addiction or mental illness might not be as intimidated reaching out to a peer than a professional. 

According to OEC requirements, recovery coaches must have at least two years of continuous recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, and/or mental health challenge. Applicants must also complete 12 hours of pre-course work once accepted. 

Click here for more information on the program

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