Press release from Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness:
Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness (Sunrise), North Carolina’s first non-profit 100% staffed by Certified Peer Support Specialists, is hosting their first annual Peer Support Job Fair. Anyone currently working as a Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS) or anyone interested in becoming a CPSS is invited to drop in anytime between 10AM-3PM on Tuesday, May 16th in Room #207 at the Goodwill Career Center, 1616 Patton Avenue to meet potential employers, network with current Peer Support Specialists, learn about the Peer Support certification process, and receive job-readiness assistance.
Peer Support is a pathway to stable employment for individuals who typically face insurmountable barriers to the workforce such as justice involvement and gaps in their job history due to substance use and/or mental wellness issues. It is an evidence-based model where individuals use their lived experience to provide support, resources and hope to others. Individuals must have a year or more of recovery and complete 50-hours of training accredited through UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work, followed by an additional 20 hours of continued education through Sunrise’s no-cost Peer University or other professional or interpersonal trainings.
“We’re really excited to be hosting this Peer Job Fair and grateful to our community partners who are participating,” says Matt McCoy, Sunrise Peer University Coordinator. “At Sunrise, we are very proud of all of the graduates that have been through Peer University, and it’s my honor to play a small role in their journey. Now we get to be a part of the next step in their process—
getting them in front of businesses and organizations that have Peer Support Specialists on staff so they can see the variety of job opportunities that may be available.”
A 2018 report from Mental Health America states that peer support lowers the overall cost of mental health services by reducing re-hospitalization rates and days spent in inpatient services, improving quality of life, increasing engagement with services, whole health and self-management.
Peer support specialists practice in a range of settings, including peer-run organizations, recovery community centers, recovery residences, drug courts and other justice system settings, hospital emergency departments, child welfare agencies, homeless shelters, and behavioral health and primary care settings, just to name a few.
“Everyone is welcome to attend the Peer Job Fair,” says Matt, “those who are currently employed in Peer Support and those interested in learning how to turn their lived experience into a career.”
Representatives from employers including Vaya Health, Mahec, RHA, First at Blue Ridge, ADACT, Insight Recovery, Umoja Health, Wellness and Justice Collective; Love & Respect Community for Recovery and Wellness, Meridian Behavioral Systems and Family Preservation Services will be available to answer questions and discuss possible job opportunities. A representative from A-B Tech’s Human Resource Department will be available for resume and job-readiness assistance. Light refreshments will be provided.
If you are an employer of Peer Support Specialists and would like to have a representative at the Peer Job Fair, please contact Sunrise Training Coordinator Kate Promer at KPromer@sunriseinasheville.org or call 828-505-5146.