peer class

NAMI DuPage 2016 Peer Support Specialist Graduating Class flanked by trainers, Patty Johnstone and John Wilkerson.

February 8, 2016

Wheaton, IL: NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) DuPage announced the second graduating class of 12 individuals from its Peer Support Specialist training program. A graduation ceremony was held on Monday, February 8th, 2016 to celebrate their accomplishment.

The Peer Support Specialist training program was initiated over 2 years ago as a means to train and certify individuals with lived experience who have initiated their recovery journey and are willing to assist others who are in earlier stages of the recovery process. Peer Support Specialists are also a logical extension of NAMI DuPage’s group supportive services that are designed for individuals or families requiring more one-on-one personalized support. The program consists of 16 weeks of classroom training followed by mentoring sessions. Upon successful completion of the program, Peer Support Specialists are then eligible to meet on a one-on-one basis with individuals and/or families requiring mental health services. Peer support specialists are also an integral part of the Recovery Connections Hospital Program who offer hope and a path to recovery through personal stories to behavioral health patients of the DuPage County’s six area hospitals.

“Peers can relate to others in a non-clinical, more personal way as they have a similar lived experience.” stated Angela Adkins, Executive Director.  “By serving as positive role models, our peer support specialists can inspire hope that recovery from mental illness is not only possible, but probable.”

NAMI DuPage’s Peer Support Specialist training program is funded in part through the DuPage Foundation and the Community Memorial Foundation, along with individual contributions.

For more information on becoming a Peer Support Specialist, please contact Patty Johnstone, Resource Support Director at 630-752-0066.