Press release from North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services:
Eight organizations across the state will now be able to increase their recovery services, supports and accessibility for individuals with substance use disorders.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is awarding nearly $4,000,000 across eight community-based organizations to increase the availability of services provided by Certified Peer Support Specialists.
Peer Support Specialists are people living in recovery with mental illness and/or substance use disorder and who provide support to help others in their recovery through their lived experiences. The North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist Program is a collaborative project between the department and the UNC School of Social Work, Behavioral Health Springboard, that assures each peer support specialist has met a set of requirements necessary to provide support to individuals with mental health or substance use disorder.
“Peers are an integral component for many people seeking and in sustained recovery,” said NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for Health Mark Benton. “They offer acceptance, understanding and guidance to help others develop their own recovery goals. They also aid in helping others build their ‘recovery capital’ — resources and skills that can be drawn upon in the future to help sustain recovery.”
The eight providers will use these grant funds to enhance and supplement existing services and/or implement new services with the following expectations:
-Expand and/or enhance the number of locations where Certified Peer Support Specialist services are available
-Increase the number of individuals with a substance use disorder who are receiving CPSS services
-Increase the engagement with individuals, i.e., persons seen/served more than once
-Increase the number of individuals connected to community-based resources such as treatment, social service agencies, etc.
-Decrease referrals to a higher level of care, like in-patient care, by providing successful outpatient services so they can continue in both recovery and their daily lives
-Decrease in the length of time between initial meeting and connection to first service/support
-Provide opportunities for employment for CPSS
The organizations receiving grant span the state to help get services to as many people as possible, regardless of where they live:
Anuvia Prevention and Recovery Center, Charlotte
Coastal Horizons, Wilmington
Drug Free Moore County, Carthage
First at Blue Ridge, Ridgecrest
Freedom House Recovery Center, Chapel Hill
Kellin Foundation, Greensboro
Nash UNC Healthcare Foundation, Rocky Mount
Sunrise Community for Wellness and Recovery, Asheville
As of September 2022, there were 4094 Certified Peer Support Specialists in North Carolina with substance use and/or mental health experience.
These grants are made available as a result of funding from the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplement Appropriations Act, 2021.