We have had chats with J, K, R, M and Y, peers at Recovery Innovations. This is blog 2 of a series of 10 blogs on this topic. When recovery culture happens, is it through groups, people meeting together, learning how to do things? How does it work?
They do one on one support, supporting their peers. R shares, “We embrace all cultures, because there are a lot of different ones to embrace!” Embracing a person’s culture allows him or her to feel included, not feel set aside or put off by the fact that they are there to develop a recovery for their mental health challenges. Recovery is possible for everybody, not just one culture or gender. We all have our own unique ways and bring different things to the team.
R adds, “When I come in to work each day, I come in unjudgmental to my job and treat everyone like they’re really something special, because they are. They’ve helped me in my recovery and it’s a journey to me. It’s not just recovery, it’s a journey and you can have high points and low points but you always finish out on top if you just keep that hope for yourself and others!”
It’s obvious that there’s a lot of power in the whole group, that hope together with everybody supporting each other in that process. Y says, “They understand what we are trying to relate to them and also relating to them, that we’ve been through what they’re going through.”
R described how she felt alone in her crises and in her mental health challenges. “But, in the recovery environment, you feel equal to everybody else there…without the stigma mental illness puts on a person.” She reveals “just having that camaraderie with people that meet me where I’m at and accepting who I am and not look at me and say, ‘Well, she’s got this diagnosis.’ Or ‘She’s got that problem.’ You know, I can be myself.”
The recovery peers feel that a part of the power of the program is that they are also working toward wellness. They don’t focus on illness or getting treatment. As part of that, everybody defines their own idea of what wellness is for them across those five pathways.
In the next segment, the counselors will share some of their experiences in the wellness program.