Article: Understanding and Coping with Substance Use and Mental Health

Article: Understanding and Coping with Substance Use and Mental Health

Substance use problems, including alcohol and drug misuse, are much more common in people with mental health challenges than in the general population. For example, about 50% of people with serious mental health challenges experience problematic substance use at some point in their lives, compared to only about 15% of people without a mental health condition. Why are the rates of substance use problems so much higher in people with a mental health condition?…

Article: What is a Recovery Coach?

Article: What is a Recovery Coach?

You’ve been hearing about them. You’ve seen them hanging out at the Recovery Center and your friend’s sister’s partner is one! That’s right! Recovery Coaches are more and more common. In Massachusetts, they are everywhere. It’s a beautiful thing! Yet, some amount of mystery remains…What is a Recovery Coach and what do they REALLY do?…

COVID-19 and Resilience

COVID-19 and Resilience

So here we are, over 200 days into experiencing COVID-19. In some ways, it is true that we are all in this together, yet we are also painfully aware of the uneven community level impact of COVID-19 depending on social factors—the neighborhood you live in, your race/ethnicity, and your socioeconomic status. We know that people of color are at higher risk of becoming infected and dying of the virus. Vulnerable communities are experiencing proportionally greater…

What’s in a recovery story?

What’s in a recovery story?

For the past 15 years, the MGH Schizophrenia Program has hosted an annual Public Education Day for individuals with lived experience and their families. Without a doubt, the most popular component of this event that has been a panel of 3-4 people with lived experience talking about their recovery. This positive reception and my own reactions over the years as a clinician to hearing about and witnessing the journey from struggling to recovery has made me reflect on the function of recovery stories…

On becoming or working with a CPS in Massachusetts

On becoming or working with a CPS in Massachusetts

A Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) is a person who has experienced mental health issues, trauma and/or substance-use issues and has been through training designed to enable them to help others through similar situations. CPSs hold a unique role in the field of Mental Health Care. They provide emotional support, advocacy, and share community resources from the perspective of someone who identifies as having first-hand lived experience of recovery…