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Peer Support Centers in Tennessee

Definition of a Peer Support Center

Peer Support Centers are peer-run programs where people who live with mental illness or a co-occurring disorder come together to learn about recovery, find support from their peers, make friends, and socialize. All 45 Peer Support Centers in Tennessee are 100% staffed by people who are in recovery from mental illness or a co-occurring disorder and who have been trained to provide peer support. At the Peer Support Centers, members develop their own recovery-based programs to supplement existing mental health services. Peer Support Centers are open a minimum of 24 hours a week, charge no fees, and offer healthy snacks.

Peer Support Centers have various activities that they focus on and include:

  • Recovery Education: 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.

  • Support Groups: Each Peer Support Center offers peer support groups to help people find the emotional support they need to help them in their recovery. This support is provided by people who can relate to what they are going through. Trained Certified Peer Recovery Specialists provide positive role models of peers in recovery.

  • Volunteerism: Each Peer Support Center participates in volunteer activities, such as visiting residents of a nursing home, sorting food at a food bank, or picking up trash in the neighborhood. These activities provide opportunities for members to reap the benefits that come from giving to others and staying connected with the community.

  • Social Activities: 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 kickball; and even going out for lunch from time to time.

For a list of Peer Support Centers in Tennessee, click here.

For more information about Peer Support Centers in Tennessee, including a map of all 45 centers as of January 2014, please click here.