The road to recovery can be a long process for those involved.
This week seventeen people from four counties are training to become certified peer supporters through the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. These mentors bridge the gap between support groups and counselors.
During classes this week the group learns the skills of peer coaching, ethics and boundaries.
"It helps build relationships. It helps people feel comfortable," explained Facilitator of Recovery Coaching Leonard Mayo. "Anytime you’re going through any type of recovery or recovery help it always does good that you might think someone knows what you’re going through so they can kind of relate."
The decision to help others is a personal one for those involved. One potential peer supporter said he’s looking forward to helping people develop goals and motivate those that don’t think they have a chance.
"Someone helped me," explained Phillip Turner from Muskingum County. "In the past I’ve had mentors to help me move forward and it’s just like paying it forward."
To become peer supporters a person must have two years of recovery from mental illness or substance abuse, taking training both in person and on-line and pass a test. They must go through a continuing education class every two years to remain certified.