"Directed by PEERS Supported by Allies"
WV Recovers is a statewide peer-operated behavioral health advocacy and education organization. Currently working toward 501(c)3 status, WV Recovers is a project of Hampshire County Pathways, Inc. Funding is courtesy of Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA)
We work with service providers, peers, and professional and community organizations to ensure that services and systems are trauma-informed, culturally responsive, and recovery-oriented by reducing stigmatizing practices and expanding consumer involvement in mental health and substance use policy and planning at local, state, and national levels.
We apply the mantra "Nothing About Us Without Us!"
WV RECOVERS·MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2018·
The success of Recovery in West Virginia requires the support of the entire community. "It takes a village," right? But it's also important to understand that no two pathways of recovery are the same. And how could they be? Very rarely does someone "just" suffer with alcoholism, or "just" suffer with an eating disorder. These illnesses are often co-occurring, as symptoms of deeper underlying issues, and can make long-lasting and sustainable recovery more difficult to maintain.
On July 6th and 7th of 2017, 50 peers and peer allies from every region of West Virginia gathered at the Living World Church in Buckhannon for the West Virginia P .E.E.R (Power, Education, Experience, and Resilience) Summit. Twenty (20) West Virginia peer-run organizations, recovery service agencies, and recovery-focused health systems were represented at the Summit. Doors to Wellbeing (D2W), a SAMHSA-funded national Consumer Technical Assistance Center, facilitated a strategic planning process for re-imagining, revitalizing, and reorganizing a statewide peer-run movement for wellness and recovery. Inspired and united, the participants in the West Virginia P.E.E.R. Summit emerged from the Living World Church with a collaborative vision for advancing a peer-powered recovery revolution in their home state.
The Summit participants instructed and authorized D2W to craft a White Paper that captured the aspirations, illuminations, and specific recommendations that emerged from the Summit. The process produced recommendations that address three foundational categories: 1) Strengthening the position of West Virginia peers on their journey toward wellness and recovery; 2) Strengthening the position of West Virginia peers employed as peer specialists in the behavioral health system; 3) Strengthening the position of the West Virginia statewide peer movement.
Examples of key recommendations include:
1. Develop and conduct a self-advocacy and recovery skills training campaign for peers that is coordinated at a statewide level but implemented at the regional and local levels.
2. Develop and implement an adequately funded and sustainable system for peer specialist recruitment, training, certification, and ongoing professional development.
3. Develop and conduct an ongoing training program for behavioral health clinicians and providers to educate them about the role and value of peer support, peer-delivered services, and peer specialists.
4. Develop a statewide peer-run organization that can unify peers, amplify peer voices, and represent peer perspectives and policy priorities at tables where policy decisions that impact peers are being made.
5. Develop and market a professional business plan and create a public-private funding collaborative that can work together to provide adequate financial resources for the new, statewide peer-run organization.
In late August of 2017, BBHHF reached out to Summit organizers and shared an Action Plan for a peer-driven system transformation in West Virginia. The Action Plan had been developed by BBHHF with the assistance of the SAMHSA-funded BRSS TACS (Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy) 2017 Policy Academy and involved peers and peer allies as key participants. The proposed action steps of the Action Plan were in very close alignment with the core recommendations that had emanated from the WV P.E.E.R Summit.
The most important recommendation was for organizers of the West Virginia P .E.E.R. Summit and members of BBHHF BRSS TACS Team to conduct a joint meeting to explore how participation in the implementation phase of the Action Plan can be expanded to include Summiteers, and if some key elements of the Summit’ s recommendations can be included in a new, integrated Action Plan.
From this collaboration, A 7-member body was elected to serve as the interim organizing committee for the establishment and development of an integrated behavioral health peer network in West Virginia. The goal is to establish working partnerships that will facilitate the development of a sustainable and effective statewide peer recovery network. This network will increase the number of individuals receiving peer support services, Behavioral Health Advocacy, technical assistance, and peer support training while systematically transforming personal and community outlooks on those being serviced by the behavioral health system. This network is being established for the purposes of: providing linkage and referral to treatment, peer support services, and peer support resources statewide; provide quality peer support training and technical assistance throughout the state; educate the community about mental health disorders and the role of peer support services; and facilitate an annual statewide peer conference.
We believe that in bridging the various recovery pathways and recovery initiatives in West Virginia, individuals will be better equipped to find the means of support that suits them best. After all, recovery is a process, not a destination.
Some people find their serenity through the 12 Steps and "in the rooms." Some people find it through a deeper connection with Mother Nature, on hikes and rock climbing excursions. Still others find it through the restoration of a long-lost mind-body connection, deepened through a yoga practice or healthy cooking. WV Recovers strives to make as many pathways accessible to those seeking recovery as possible, in hopes of creating a more unified recovery community in West Virginia.