I am a peer facilitator who has supported people living with various mental health and substance use disorders on their recovery journey for over 12 years. As a Certified Peer Support Specialist in North Carolina, I have personal lived experience with mental health challenges including depression and anxiety and I am a family member of an individual with substance use disorder. My formal peer support work began in 2008 includes employment with a Center for Independent Living (CIL) and an inpatient psychiatric facility that serves adults, youth, forensic, and geriatric patients. I also founded and served as executive director of North Carolina's very first mental health drop-in center from 2012-2014.
My professional certifications include Copeland Center trained Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) facilitator, a Mental Health First Aid trainer for both adults and youth, an Employment Peer Mentor for the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model, a North Carolina approved peer support specialist trainer, a presenter for NAMI's "In Our Own Voice" and "Peer-to-Peer."
As a volunteer, I started a Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) chapter, served on two legislative committees and board member of several peer run organizations. I have presented at conferences across the state or North Carolina on a variety of subjects including Advocacy; the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA); Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Employment; How to Start a Peer Run Drop-in Center; and Peer Support in a Psychiatric Hospital. I have provided training for individuals at Mountain Area Health Education Center, Cooper-Riis Healing Farm, Project Lazarus and several behavioral health managed care organizations.
I am an animal lover with a special place in my heart and home for cats. I enjoy reading, listening to classical music and playing the piano. I look forward to working within the framework of Support Groups Central to provide hope and encouragement to others along their recovery journey.