Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Friends of Atlantic House, Inc.

Name of Innovative Program: 
Carteret County Peer Recovery Center
Sponsoring Organization
Friends of Atlantic House, Inc.
Name of Innovative Program Lead: 
Memory Dilallo
E-mail Address of Innovative Program Lead: 
Peer Recovery Center <peerrecoverycenter@gmail.com>
Project Description: 
 The Carteret County Peer Recovery Center (the center) is a peer long-term recovery support network in Carteret County, North Carolina.  The center is a 501(c) 3 tax exempt organization and the Board is comprised of peers.   “Peer-to-peer” mean people in recovery from a mental health disorder including drug and alcohol addictions helping each other. A “peer” is someone who has the experience of recovery from mental health and substance use disorders, either directly or as a family member or concerned other.  The center is open to anyone needing help in their journey to recovery.   Trained volunteer peers operate the center.  The center offers peer to peer crisis intervention, WRAP, peer counseling, education classes, assistance with basic needs such as housing, employment, volunteerism, and information and referral.  The center supports people to manage their wellness, give back and help others.  The mission of the center is sharing hope and caring to achieve recovery from mental health disorders and alcohol and or other substance use disorders through shared lived experiences, community networking and opportunities.  The vision of the center is to maintain a peer-to-peer community that provides a friendly, safe and supportive place to help people build and maintain meaningful lives.
Creativity and Innovation: 
 The center is the hub to the Recovery Coalition.  The Recovery Coalition includes community partners aimed at developing a recovery community.  People with mental health and addiction issues become trained as peers (with many specialties such as veteran, suicide, legal, hospitalization) and then volunteer in the community- recovery becomes part of the community culture which will decrease the stigma associated with mental health problems.By supporting peers to have meaningful and valued roles within the community and openly disclose their recovery journey,  people will become educated and accepting about mental health and addictions issues.The center is a portal for people to access help and resources to start their recovery journey with trained people that have shared experiences.  The center is a place for people to start their journey, use their treatment tools, begin to help others, receive education and if desired gain experience for employment.
Leadership: 
Carteret County requested support from CoastalCare, MCO, covering five counties.  The CoastalCare staff organized a Carteret County coalition and provided education and direction to become organized, assess the community, involve a wide range of community partners, develop a vision and mission statement, develop an action plan, train peers and teach about volunteer networks and recovery centers.  The peers set-up a leadership structure and a schedule for peer coverage, activities and classes.  The coalition holds community meetings and conversations to increase the volunteer network, identify funding, prioritize events, strengthen the center as the hub to the coalition effort and identify ways to infuse recovery support system through the county.  CoastalCare trainings include Peer Specialist, WRAP, Suicide Prevention, Understanding Addictions, Meeting facilitation, etc.  CoastalCare integrated the Prevention Prepared Communities, Community Conversations and Peer-to-Peer Recover Center Guides into a localized effort lead by the County Coalitions for Recovery.
Sustainability: 
AA, NA, NAMI, Service Providers, MCO, Healthcare Providers, Law Enforcement, Faith-based organizations, County Commissioners, Public agencies and the hospitals participate as partners.  The coalition assessed community needs to include improving efficiencies to save money by supporting the center.Law Enforcement and Hospitals are vested in alternative crisis support systems that reduce law enforcement and hospital resources.  The MCO needs recovery supports for people to access while in treatment to build a successful life plan. The largest sustainable resource is manpower.  The Peer support and other training classes are integrated into the Community College system and are provided throughout the year.  CoastalCare has conducted several train-the-trainer classes and offered scholarships for people.  Scholarship recipients are required to provide volunteer hours. The center writes grants, applies for awards, sponsors events, and does fund raising events.  The VA, VR and other agencies with the same mission contribute funds to projects and events.
Replicability: 
The CoastalCare MCO staff  helped organize a Carteret County coalition and provided resources for the coalition to gain strength, become organized, assess the community, involve a wide range of community partners and citizens, develop a vision and mission statement, develop an action plan, train peers and teach about volunteer networks and recovery centers.  CoastalCare has been training peers through the five county regions.  Trainings include Peer Specialist, WRAP, Suicide Prevention, Understanding Addictions, Meeting Facilitation, etc.  Two smaller counties have started to replicate the Coalition and Recovery Center model.  They are requesting free locations for the centers in each county.  CoastalCare developed a “How to Guide” and provided several links and materials to best practice models.  CoastalCare integrated the Prevention Prepared Communities, Community Conversations and Peer-to-Peer Recover Center Guides into a localized effort lead by the County Coalitions for Recovery.
Results/Outcomes: 
The mission of the center is sharing hope and caring to achieve recovery from mental health disorders and alcohol and or other substance use disorders through shared lived experiences, community networking and opportunities.  The vision of the center is to maintain a peer-to-peer community that provides a friendly, safe and supportive place to help people build and maintain meaningful lives.The Recovery Center goals include:
  • improvement in psychiatric symptoms,
  • reduced use of alcohol and drugs,
  • decreasing suicide,
  • decreasing misuse of prescription drugs,
  • decreased emergency room visits,
  • decreased hospitalization,
  • increased personal value and meaningful roles in the community,
  • increased stable housing,
  • improved relationships-friends,
  • increased volunteerism and employment,
  • stigma reduction in community and reducing peoples' fear and shame in asking for help and
  • creating a recovery community and
  • reduced service costs overall.   
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