Thank you very much for your interest in Peer Coach Academy Colorado. Here is a brief rundown of my history working with peers. I have worked as a peer manager since I began working It Takes A Village in 2006, co-facilitating a substance use treatment group as a peer facilitator for a grant-funded program. I transitioned to Denver Health HIV clinics, started a newsletter and a not-for-profit dedicated to addressing stigma and adherence to care. In 2012 I transitioned to the Methadone clinic and began a peer support program intended to put patients successfully managing their own Methadone adherence in front of patients who were new to the program or struggling. I partnered with AFR for training and implemented a peer-to-peer program that continues to this day. The hospital experience provided me with a fairly basic understanding of mental health issues, common challenges for people who are dually diagnosed as well as a plethora of resources available.
I began to realize that our community needed more than the training and support Colorado had, so in 2014 upon leaving Denver Health, I traveled to Connecticut and trained with an early pioneer of the National Recovery movement CCAR ( www.ccar.us) . The training was profound and includes a remarkable section focused on power and privilege which invites participants to understand the challenges and stigma that people of color and other minorities experience in our systems. I keep up a healthy professional relationship with CCAR and can tap into their years of Recovery Coach experience if the situation were to arise.
Since then, I have worked on a recovery-oriented treatment option for multiple DUI offenders featuring a peer co-facilitator and using a cognitive based recovery oriented curriculum instead of the same one most have used at least one time earlier. I have collaborated with Colorado Mental Wellness Network to bring recovery coach trainings to their catalog of peer trainings.
What I believe is essentially missing from most peer programs I have encountered in Colorado are supervision, professionalism, education, and boundaries. PCA has assembled 5 continuing education trainings including Ethics, MAT, Legal Recovery Coaching. These supportive shorter program give the coaches an opportunity to reassess their skills. receive healthy feedback, reconnect with the larger recovery coach community, and learn new information about the field all of which enlarges their perspectives and creates stronger values.;
I have demonstrated strong supervision skills in my career. As a CAC III, I have been supervising CAC’s for the last 5 years. With regard to Recovery Coaches, I am fortunate enough to maintain contact and relationships with most of the coaches that have graduated my trainings. Many continue to work with others to this day.
I am attaching a copy of the 4 day training agenda (40 hours) On a 5th day (or 5th and 6th days later) we could add any of the extra modules like Ethics or Legal Recovery Coaching to compliment and strengthen skills. If the group would benefit from diversity, I can invite one or two trainees of different cultures or backgrounds to take part.
I hope this is not too long. I get excited as I talk about this work. Please feel free to edit and/or request more if needed.