Successful ‘Roads to Recovery' expands to Jefferson County

Pictured, left to right, front row, Paula Hanna, Roads to Recovery supervisor and Stephanie Seidle-Weaver, office and public relations manager, In the back row are, from left, Christopher Luzier, director, and Tyler Painter, supervisor.

Successful ‘Roads to Recovery' expands to Jefferson County

By Randy Bartley

Staff Writer

CLARION

The road to recovery in Clarion is leading to Jefferson County. "Roads to Recovery" offers peer support for the mentally ill in Clearfield, Clarion and, starting April 1, in Jefferson County.

In Clarion County, Roads to Recovery has partnered with the Center for Community Resources and Clarion County Mental Health to create a new Youth and Young Adult Peer Support Program.

Roads to Recovery contracts with the Center for Community Resources and Clarion County Mental Health to empower individuals receiving behavioral health services, as well as their families, by providing peer support services.

Their peer mentors undergo specialized training and are certified by the state of Pennsylvania and also are certified in first aid and CPR.

Roads to Recovery has offered peer support in Clarion County with incarcerated individuals and those involved with the criminal justice system with persistent or severe mental health diagnoses, as well as other adults with mental health and behavioral health issues, for the last six years.

Roads to Recovery has also created a Youth and Young Adult Peer Support Program to encourage young people struggling with mental and behavioral health issues and provide them with examples that recovery in mental health does happen.

"Roads to Recovery is excited to announce that they have expanded their Clarion County-based Certified Peer Support Program to begin offering those same mental health services in Clearfield and Jefferson counties starting on April 1," said Stephanie Seidle, office and public relations manager for Roads to Recovery.

Roads to Recovery has over 10 years of compassion and knowledge to the area's mental health industry.

At the heart of the program are the certified peers.

"Peer support services are unique to behavioral health services in that peer support staff use their own personal knowledge and experience to help others navigate the often difficult road to recovery," said Christopher Luzier, Roads to Recovery director. "This one on one service allows individuals to grow and develop skills to help achieve their own mental health recovery goals through the shared life experience of their peer mentor.

"As a peer-driven program, the individual served is involved in planning their own goals, identifying their personal barriers and using their personal strengths to access their recovery."

Mentors with the Roads to Recovery programs come from various backgrounds, with strong recovery stories, and have a desire to help serve others struggling with their own recovery.

"Peer mentors help individuals through empowerment by building a rapport based on equality and trust and sharing their experiences and recovery tools," said Luzier. "The Peer Support Program also links individuals to a range of services such as transportation, medical, housing, education, and crisis services."

Goals commonly accomplished within the program include finding employment, budgeting, staying out of jail, improved communication skills, self-advocacy, development of productive daily routine, improved coping skills, and development of job skills.

Peer mentors also assist with building skills such as role modeling, general goal setting, and building social support with peers and family relationships.

Certified Peer Support services are available for individuals 14 years of age and older.

To qualify for the program, an applicant must have a signed referral from a licensed medical professional and be Medicaid funded.

To obtain more information call 814-765-0302 or 814-226-5126.

The program is working with about 60 individuals in the Clarion County.