The Copeland Center Selected as “Hannaford Helps” Reusable Bag Program Beneficiary
by Jim Janusz
I would like to share my own journey through recovery with you. It is spring 1993. Picture me, a bright young man, trying to get through college with a promising future ahead, and a lot more hair. I had entered college on a full Army ROTC scholarship based on previous high academic achievements. Like many college students, I was trying to balance my studies with an active party life on the weekends.
I couldn’t do it. My ambition was soon overshadowed by a stressful and overwhelming schedule, and I soon found myself in the darkness of a nervous breakdown. At the age of 19, my world seemed to turn upside down almost overnight. It was my first hospitalization, and I had to withdraw from all my classes. I never returned to college in the fall. I felt entirely disconnected from my friends, as the shame seemed almost unbearable.
National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life. Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. The observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.
Brattleboro, VT September 3, 2015 Congressman Peter Welch today announced the award of a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery, for its new program, Doors to Wellbeing, a program on creating accessibility to mental health and wellness services in the US.
National Consumer Technical Assistance Center
Check out our new website! http://www.doorstowellbeing.org/
Survivor, Thought Leader Wins National Voice Award for Work in Trauma-Informed Care
WASHINGTON – By the time Cheryl Sharp reached the age of 24, she had survived nine suicide attempts, lost her mother to a mental illness and battled addictions. Today, she is a pioneer in the field of trauma-informed care and a recently announced winner of a 2015 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Consumer/Peer Leadership Voice Award.
TRUFANT, Mich.—The important roles and value of people helping others in the mental health and addictions fields will be the focus of a Global Peer Supporter Celebration Day.
“Peer supporters are individuals who are well along in their recovery journeys from mental health and/or addiction challenges who help others on their journeys,” according to Steve Harrington, Executive Director of the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS). “This is a relatively new profession that has quickly proven to be cost effective in the treatment of these disorders.”
I found out about WRAP when I first became a volunteer for PRO-ACT in Philadelphia, PA. As a volunteer, I was trained as a recovery coach where I assist those in short-term recovery with identifying ways they can sustain their recovery and work on achieving their life’s goals which included education, employment housing, spirituality, and other domains.
In helping others through their recovery, I felt I was unable to hold my own. I kept feeling empty when I was alone and only felt complete when I was volunteering and assisting others. I was suicidal without cause every day and I faked a smile throughout the day wishing the quote “fake it til you make it” would work for me. I felt myself falling deeper into my depression and felt so hopeless. I knew this was not the life I wanted to live. I saw a flyer offering information about WRAP and an upcoming workshop about it. I called the contact on that paper and registered for the next class.
In the middle of a trauma crisis late in my life, feeling so controlled by professionals, I reached out on the internet and found a ‘crisis plan’ to stop the chaotic place I was in with many suicide attempts and to hopefully not add to the 20 plus hospitalizations I already had in 4 years.
Completing this crisis plan allowed me to understand my own struggles with triggers and what had gone so wrong in my life, my crisis plan ended up looking like a book. Having it official with registering it with my state by my lawyer and putting it in my file at my hospital, my Psychiatrist was very supportive of this and together we began to regain my life back.