Peer support providers have the potential to play an important role in the mental health field, not only because they can help fill the gap in the workforce, but also because they have something unique to offer. Their lived experience working to recover from mental health or substance use challenges gives them insights they can offer to others in similar situations.
As a young boy living in what was then Zaire, Bertine Bahige remembers watching refugees flee from the Rwandan genocide in 1994 by crossing a river that forms the two Central African nations’ border.
The opioid crisis that helped kill a record 108,000 Americans last year — and more than one million since 1999 — is by now a well-known tragedy. Less understood is that many if not most of these deaths, now largely from fentanyl, are preventable.