Tennessee according to current plans will do away with its 45 peer centers. What exactly will it lose. This information comes directly from Tennessee Dept of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
The peer centers in Tennessee serve an average of 3500 people a day. They are served literally for dollars a day. 106 certified peer specialists are employed. They serve every corner of the state. Almost every community has access to at least once. If you could put all the peer centers together in one location they would be by far the largest source of mental health services in the state of Tennessee.
They provide recovery education. Quoting from the Department... "Trained Certified Peer Recovery Specialists lead evidence-based classes, covering such topics and curricula as the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, Illness Management and Recovery, the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, and the BRIDGES psycho-education course. Other topics include stress management, anger management, and grief counseling.
Each center also provides support groups to its members. They provide opportunities to volunteer in the community and give back. And perhaps most importantly an opportunity for socialization for people who might otherwise have none... "Peer Support Centers provide socialization opportunities that address the isolation felt by many people who live with mental illness. Members enjoy going to local community events, such as art fairs, city clean-up days, or holiday festivals; playing games together, such as charades, cards, or even kickball; and even going out for lunch from time to time.
They make a difference. Here is what the people attending centers say about what they got from the experience:
- 96% felt better about themselves
- 95% were better able to ask for help when needed.
- 94% were more independent
- 93% felt like they were more in control of their life.
- 93% felt like they were less likely to go to a psychiatric hospital.
- 91% felt like they were less lonely
Is there anything in your life that has such important impacts in your life?? How much would you be willing to pay for something that did?
And most importantly if you knew you could help other people to feel the same way about their life how much would you pay? In a time when the government does so many things that dont make a difference how badly would you want them to continue doing this?
You can make a difference. Speak now. Speak loud. Speak often.
Save the peer centers in Tennessee