A journey and a destination. Recovery happens here!


Model the way of Recovery

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How does one model the way of recovery? This differs from person to person. Often, the term is used to describe individuals who set standards, apply skillsets in diverse environments to make the most out of life on their recovery journey, while holding themselves accountable for their actions.

This is accomplished and demonstrated by making and keeping appointments for self-care, setting and achieving goals, keeping up with hygiene, advocating for better quality of personal care, understanding our symptoms, medication side effects and triggers, educating ourselves about ourselves, making healthy choices both physically and mentally, setting boundaries, and asking questions to develop strategies to overcome obstacles.

Setting boundaries between professional and personal life can be challenging. A short-term sacrifice can turn into a long-term problem. Being open and honest with yourself and others allows for discovery and knowing limitations.  Reaching out for assistance shows how much you care to overcome the issue at hand. We are under a microscope.

What you post, comment, or share on social media is in public view, which can affect those we serve, who we work for, and/or ourselves in positive and/or negative ways. 

A good resource to use as a guide is the Eight Dimensions of Wellness from SAMHSA (https://www.samhsa.gov) which provides an image of what holistic wellness looks like. Like human beings are mental, physical and spiritual beings.

The above aspects can be further expanded as the following: Emotional, Environmental, Financial, Intellectual, Occupational, Physical, Social, and Spiritual. By keeping all dimensions in balance, we model the way of recovery.  

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5 Awesome Recovery Toolbox Items

free toolbox clipart icons graphic 254059What supportive items are in your recovery toolbox?  As we grow in our recovery, we add specific tools (skills) to our boxes.  Below is a list of items geared to have supportive purposes to add to your toolbox.

5. Volunteering

Volunteering offers socialization, community, and skillset building, as well as a strong feeling of doing something good. “Giving back” is a term often heard. Many organizations, causes and events offer opportunities to volunteer. Volunteering can be customizable to suit a wide variety of needs. For those looking for employment, this is a great way to get your foot in the door. Places to find opportunities to volunteer include animal shelters, zoos, churches, local mental health/recovery boards, local consumer-operated services, public events, organizations, state/metro parks, schools, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and more. 

4. Google Platform

For the techies, Google Docs allows users to create documents and spreadsheets where you can log your moods, feelings, goals, notes, journals, and symptoms (similar to Microsoft Word and Excel). Save the documents to Google Drive (accessible by any Drive enabled device, download Drive online) and recall them during the appointment, or when needed. Google Calendar is also a great way to keep track of a variety of things:  appointment times, medication times, moods, feelings, hobbies, goal tracking, etc. You can also set whom you share this calendar with (if you choose to share it). Google + offers the ability to build a profile and network with individuals. You can even create or join Hangouts, where you can see the people you are talking to by the camera on their devices (similar to Skype, with the ability to add more than one person to a Hangout). The Google platform is accessible by any computer or Android or iOS device, making it very versatile. Best of all, it is free!

3. Recovery Apps for Your Smartphone and Tablet

Reachout - Social support app for people with health issues such as: cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as mental illness and substance abuse issues. Users can share and read stories and interact with each another.

PTSD Coach - By the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for PTSD, this app tracks your PTSD symptoms over time and has tools for management.

Optimism -Self-tracking for mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Detect patterns in mood, triggers, and create a wellness plan to help manage your mental health.

SAM Self-Help for Anxiety Management - Record your anxiety levels and identify triggers. Over 20 self-help options to use for physical, emotional, and mental symptoms of anxiety. You can build a customized “toolbox” of the app’s features that work best for you. Use the social cloud feature to share your story with others.

Secret of Happiness — Has a strong focus on gratitude to relieve depression and anxiety. The app alerts you (at times you can set) to reflect and record the things in the last 24 hours that you are grateful for (evening), and your goal for the day ahead (morning).

Code Blue - Designed to provide teenagers struggling from depression or bullying with support when they need it. Users choose contacts and build their support group. The app alerts the support group that a user needs immediate help. Members of the support group reach out to the user. The app shares the user’s location with the support group and members can indicate that they are on their way to see the user in person.

Breathe2Relax (no website available) - For stress management, by walking users through breathing exercises to help to reduce stress, control anger, and manage anxiety.

2. Local Fellowship Groups

These are groups of like-minded individuals sharing similar interests. These groups can be of anything:  religious (faith-based) groups, 12-Step groups, special interest clubs (books, knitting/quilting, poetry/spoken word, photography, journaling, and social media on anything that might strike your fancy (including peer support). A great way to have conversations, share a common interests, and not feel alone.

1. Local Drop-in Recovery Center/ Consumer Operated Service (COS)

A great place were individuals in recovery with mental illness, addiction and/or trauma, can be safe, socialize, play games, watch movies, hop on a computer, sit in on a group, gain information/resources and access Peer Support. A solid solution to the hangout spot to work on what you need to. It could be one day a week, once a month, or every day!  Check with your local mental health/recovery boards for a location nearest you.

What do you use in your recovery toolbox? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Why Celebrating Recovery Publicly Matters

Top SecretI used to think I was alone, that no one cared. This was supported by when I screwed up, everyone pointed it out. When I excelled well beyond their expectations, I got silence! In fact, it was as if nobody cared by the amount of success I’d worked so hard to achieve. Suddenly, my SUCCESS was TOP SECRET! So I could distance myself from the rest of the world and the very things I wanted badly (belonging and understanding), or change my view and tactics and advocate to the people who mattered. Little did I realize how much of an impact talking about success to others would matter. My problem was I shadowed my successes to the highlighted negative.

The same choice applies to celebrating our victories. Do we choose to not celebrate (TOP SECRET), celebrate with our recovery family (INNER CIRCLE), or do we celebrate openly and publicly? Typically, the public only sees the negative. The media is quick to point out when someone overdoses – “It’s an epidemic!” Or, that this person committed this violent crime – “Mental health disorder!” They don’t show people in recovery and how far they’ve come. In fact, we’re told we should’ve been doing this all along and don’t need a pat on the back for it! We are a living billboard and a direct reflection of what the public sees. Like it or hate it, it doesn’t change the fact. If one person carries this much persuasive power, celebrating our recovery openly and publicly gives us a chance to change the public perception.

How many people support local recovery centers or can name just one center in their community? The community would care if they were made aware of it. The public outside the addiction/mental health circles hasn’t a clue what’s going on. In a way, our stories are like infomercials. The key points are to show the before (problem) and after result, with the success we’ve achieved. It does us little to no good sharing only the problems, while our successes remain shadowed. We would get silence from the community while strengthening the preconceived stereotypes. Thus, what I had experienced for so long. To quote a dear colleague of mine, “Sad stories don’t pay bills.”  We need to share our success to anyone who will listen, the public included.   

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What is The P.E.E.R. Center and PEERdance?

Simply put, The PEER Center is a consumer operated drop-in center for people living with mental illness, addiction, and/or trauma. We operate two centers in Columbus, Ohio, and are open 365 days a year. All of our services are free.

The "PEER" in PEER Center is an acronym for Peers Enriching Each others' Recovery. We provide a safe place where individuals receive respect, encouragement, and hope that supports and strengthens their recovery in mental health, addictions, and trauma.

Their purpose is to provide immediate support to people in need. Because we are a drop-in center, all someone has to do is show up and follow the code of conduct, which keeps everyone safe. No referrals are needed and everyone 18 and over is welcome.

Every member of our staff - from front line peer supporters to management - lives with mental illness, addiction, and/or trauma. The people who work here don't just talk about how to be well; we live in recovery. Peer support is a vital tool to have in a person's wellness toolbox and we excel at walking the walk and talking the talk. We know what to do because we've done it.

"The best part about The PEER Center is that everyone is welcome and it's a place to feel supported and safe," says an associate (what we call the folks who use our services) who asked to remain anonymous. 

The PEER Center Needs Your Help!

 

PEERdance small

And we want you to get involved!

We are currently looking for Dance Captains and corporate sponsors for PEERdance on the morning of September 24th, 2016. (Yes, that is a bye week for you Buckeye fans out there!). PEERdance is our signature community event and fundraiser designed to showcase that recovery happens every day. While society is quick to focus on negative outcomes of mental illness, addiction, and trauma we want to highlight that recovery is possible.

Our Dance Captains are the key to the success of our event. By creating and leading a dance team you will ensure that our services continue to remain available and free for our community. Don't worry, it's easy and while dancing is encouraged - it isn't necessary.

And we are here to help you every step of the way.

Mark your calednars to come on down and listen to music, enter the T-Shirt contest, show your support, and celebrate recovery with us.

To sponsor, sign up, or for more information please contact Gabe Howard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The PEER Center’s 2015 Top 10 List

Top 10

 

2015 was a great year for all of us at The PEER Center. Here are the top ten things we accomplished:

10. Launched New Website

The PEER Center has refreshed its website and blog for 2015. All the new features can be found by visiting us online at www.ThePEERCenter.org.

9. Social Media Growth of Over 30% Across the Board

2015 saw an average of 30% growth in our social media engagement.  Our Facebook and Twitter gained lots of new followers and interaction has increased tremendously.  We introduced our YouTube Channel (watch here), and our e-mail list had substantial growth, as well. (Sign up here!

8. Community Involvement at All-Time High

Staff and volunteers from The PEER Center were quite active in our community this year, taking part in such events as the National Night Out (NNO), having a booth at the Ohio State Fair, and attending many community health fairs and events.

We presented at various conferences all over Ohio and our Peer Outreach Program (POP!) continued to let peers in our community know we are here for them.

7. Power of Hope Community Presentation

The PEER Center, in conjunction with NAMI Franklin County and COVA, helped put on a free panel discussion for members of the central Ohio community. The Power of Hope panel included people living with mental illness, people with addiction concerns, family members, and a social worker.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Kevin Dixon from ADAMH of Franklin County.

6. Peers as Professionals Education Program in Conjunction with OhioMHAS

The PEER Center, in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), offered Peers As Professionals, a CEU eligible educational program discussing the issues surrounding being a person living with mental illness, addiction, and/or trauma in the workplace.

Missed the training? See the video series on our You Tube Channel.

 

TPC Family With Santa

 

5. Launched PEERchampions 

In 2015 we launched the PEERchampions program to allow people to join us in supporting peers in Ohio.

PEERchampions are dedicated advocates, volunteers, and community members who want to help support the recovery journeys of people living with mental illness, addiction, and trauma in central Ohio. Join today by clicking here.

4. PEERdance a Huge Success

On October 17, 2015, The PEER Center held our 2nd Annual fundraiser and 1st annual PEERdance at the Westin Columbus Downtown.  It was a beautiful event held in the Westin's historic Grand Ballroom.  People joined us from all over Ohio to dance, laugh, and celebrate recovery.

We also presented awards to some very special people:  David Royer, the CEO of ADAMH Franklin County, received our inaugural PEERpower award; Priscilla Woodson was named VolunPEER of the Year; and Rick Cunningham won Peer of the Year.  Special thanks to the Westin, DJ Michael Porter, and all of our award winners. 

3. Columbus Dispatch Article

On Sunday, December 20, 2015, The PEER Center was featured in The Columbus Dispatch article, "No Judgement Zone."  Amidst all of the negative information about people living with mental illness, addictions, and/or trauma, we were gratified that The Dispatch chose us when they wanted to feature something positive.  A number of our associates were quoted and highlighted in the article. Check out the Dispatch's webpage to read the entire story and to see additional video featuring our ED, Juliet Dorris-Williams.

2. Peer Services Delivery Grant

In September, The PEER Center was notified by Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) that we had been awarded the Peer Services Delivery Grant.  This means that The PEER Center will now be involved in a partnership with OhioMHAS to enhance and improve peer services throughout Ohio.  We will track the certification of peer supporters, work with groups who offer (or want to start offering) peer services, and enhance the delivery of peer services throughout the state.

Everyone at The PEER Center is excited to take on this new challenge.

1. Record Number of Visits to Both Our Centers

In 2015, The PEER Center had over 55,000 visits across both of our locations. PEER East had over 31,000 visits and PEER West saw over 24,000 visits. As is our custom, every guest was welcome to a cup of coffee and all of our services (from the computer lab to over 50 different groups per week), free of charge.


Thank you to everyone who contributed to such a successful 2015.  Let's continue working together to make 2016 even better!

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PEERhugs Project

It’s that time of year again!  All the leaves are off the trees, the weather suddenly got much colder, and every store is filled with decorations and twinkling lights.  The holidays are here - and that means PEERhugs is back.

What is PEERhugs?  PEERhugs is The PEER Center’s annual holiday program to distribute care packages to our associates.  The holidays can be a difficult time of year for those in recovery, and everyone needs a hug sometimes.  So we offer our associates three types of hug boxes:  Hygiene Packs, Warm Hug Kits, and Coping Toolboxes. 

Can you help?  We need individuals and organizations to make up hug boxes for our associates.  This would be a great project for community groups like schools, church groups, fraternal organizations, and others.  Or maybe you and your family would like to give something back this holiday.  Remember – you can never give or receive too many hugs.  Here are the types of boxes we need:

Hygiene Pack consists of toiletries such as washcloths, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, towels, and other hygiene-related items. These are packaged in a gallon-size Ziploc bag and distributed to any associate who requests one.

Warm Hug Kit consists of hats, gloves, mittens, blankets, socks and other items to help someone keep warm during the cold months and brave the ice and snow of an Ohio winter.  These items can be packed together or distributed individually.

A Coping Toolboxis just what it sounds like – a pack full of small items to help a person cope in a difficult situation. We’ve all encountered disappointments and setbacks on our paths to wellness.  You probably use many different physical items to manage your own stress without even thinking about it.  Things like keeping a Koosh ball on your desk to toss around when you are frustrated at the office or lighting a scented candle to relax at the end of the day can make a huge difference.  Do you ever pick up a crossword puzzle to have a temporary distraction from a difficult problem?  Or maybe just to have a bit of fun and reward yourself after a long week?  All of these coping strategies can help you get over a rough patch. 

PEERhugs
And what is the best help during a bad period?  A HUG!  A hug from someone who cares and understands what you are going through.  We want to offer our associates a PEERhug by packaging a shoebox-sized (or smaller) container of items they can turn to when they are struggling.  The person receiving the PEERhug can reach into the box in times of stress to take their mind off their troubles and have a momentary distraction from the difficult situation they find themselves in. And let’s get creative! We are looking for small things (remember, shoebox-size or smaller) to give someone a pick-me-up.  Anything that engages the mind or senses will help.  Ideas include lotion, scented candles, tea bags, hard candy, cuddly blankets, poetry, written affirmation statements, pretty postcards, puzzle books, or a deck of cards.  We also like to include textured items, like a fuzzy stuffed animal or a Koosh ball – the kind of thing you can pull out and fiddle with.

The PEER Center staff will also be assembling PEERhugs boxes, and we need donated items to put in them.  Any donations of the itemsPEERhugs
listed above would be a great help.  We also need gallon-size Ziploc bags and shoe boxes to package the hugs.

Please remember that we can only distribute unopened toiletry items.  These items are often given away free in hotels or as product samples.  If you are planning on purchasing items to donate, make the most out of your donation dollars by buying in bulk and looking for sales.  And remember to always make sure you understand the pricing structure of the store – often travel-sized items are actually higher priced than other options. 

So as we start into this weekend of thanksgiving, please help us give all of our associates a PEERhug.  And a big HUG back to you and yours from all of the staff and associates of The PEER Center!

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What to Expect When You Visit The P.E.E.R. Center

According to our website, “The P.E.E.R. Center is a drop-in wellness, recovery, and support center. Our mission is to provide a safe place where individuals receive respect, encouragement, and hope that supports and strengthens their recovery in mental health, addictions, and trauma.”

 

Sounds good, right? But if you have never been here, you might be wondering what our facility is actually like. Our goal is to be open and welcoming to everyone, so with that in mind, we want to give prospective visitors some idea of what a day at The P.E.E.R. Center is like.

The P.E.E.R. Center has two locations, one on East Broad Street and one on West Broad Street. There are some differences, but the way things run and the services we offer are the same. It is a relaxed and informal environment; we want you to participate (or not) in your own way and at your own pace. You will never be pressured to do something you find uncomfortable.

Walking into The P.E.E.R. Center


When you walk in the door, the first thing you will see is our sign-in sheet. East has a green sheet and West has gold. We like to have some idea of who is visiting and how many folks come through in a day. How many people are at the Center varies a lot from day to day, and even from hour to hour. Sometimes it is slow and sometimes it can get pretty busy. If a staff member doesn’t realize that you are new, don’t be too hard on them. We see a lot of faces.

After signing in, you are welcome to explore the Center at your own pace or ask for a tour. In our main common area, where you will usually find folks playing cards, reading, having a snack, or just visiting over coffee. If you would like a tour or have questions, find a staff member and they would be happy to help.

The PEER CenterPlease keep in mind, all of our staff members have lived experience of mental illness, addiction, and/or trauma. So we can relate to your struggles, because we have had them, too. We are all equals, working through this together.

If there is too much going on in the main lobby, we have quiet places at both locations. We also have rooms for groups and meetings. Both Centers have computer labs, a television, and we always have coffee – lots of coffee.

Everything We Do is Free to our Community


Help yourself to a cup and our staff will help you with cream and sugar. So come on over and play cards, watch a little TV, go online for a little while, or just sit and chat. If you want to get to know some people better, check out our webpage for our monthly calendars of peer-led support groups. We have groups for veterans, anxiety support, women’s groups, even a knitting class. There is something for every interest and many different needs. Attending a group can help you better get to know other associates who have similar interests and struggles.

We hope that you enjoy your first visit with us and that it helps you with your recovery. And if you do have a good experience, we want you to come back! When that happens, we ask that you sign-up as one of our “associates.” Associates are the lifeblood of our organization and is the term we use for the people who use our services. Becoming an associate will only take about 10 minutes and ensures that all of our services stay absolutely free.

We hope to see you soon. And we’ll have a pot of coffee waiting!
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Through the Lens of Our Own Lived Experience

Recently, winter has made its presence known in central Ohio. We’ve had snow, ice, and freezing temperatures for the past couple weeks and it has put a damper on many people’s outdoor activities. School age children seem to be the only group that isn’t complaining about the frigid conditions.

 

“Seem to be” is the key phrase is that sentence. When it snows hard, the first thing I think about is the effect it will have on my car. I then think about how happy children will be if school is cancelled. These are the prominent Lived Experiencethoughts in my mind. I will be the first to admit that, on the coldest day, I didn’t even want to drive in to work. The idea of getting in a cold car in my garage, driving it 30 minutes to my destination, and walking the ten seconds to the front door was simply too much for me.

Then I considered some of the people we serve. Not everyone we serve has a car, or stable housing, or even housing at all. When the weather turns sour, they aren’t focused on the drive to work; they are focused on staying alive through the night.

Using Our Lived Experience to Make Decisions


This is an excellent example of how we, as people, view the world around us. We view it from our personal vantage point, through the lens of our own experience. It is an understandable human trait, but to truly help someone, we can’t apply our own experience to theirs.

Pretend for a moment that I don’t work for The P.E.E.R. Center and I have been tasked with “solving” the winter weather issue. So I invest in more snow plows, more salt trucks, or even covered roads! I invest money into heated tunnels, cars that warm up faster, and subsidize garage parking to keep people out of the cold. Based on my understanding of the problem, crafted entirely from my life experience, I have solved the issue.

Listen to Others' Lived Experience


In this scenario, I did not intentionally ignore anyone, I was not being manipulative, playing politics, or trying to be non-inclusive. So when the criticism starts that I don’t care about the homeless or people who don’t have heat in their houses, and only care about people with cars, I become defensive. Those accusations are simply untrue. I wasn’t intentionally doing any of those things.

I was, however, short-sighted and ignorant. I did not ask people what they felt they needed. I did not investigate the entire scope of the issue. I did not get anyone’s thoughts on the issue at all. I just assumed that everyone saw the issue the exact same way as I do.

Had I taken the time to ask people what they needed, I could have designed a solution that helped more people. To truly help people, we must talk to them. We must consider everyone’s life experience. Assuming that your worldview and life experience will help everyone is the equivalent of thinking a coin has no back because you can only see the front.

This is why at The P.E.E.R. Center we always ask people to share their experiences, as well as their values and goals. It is for these reasons that we never ask, "What's wrong with you?" Instead, we ask, "What happened to you?" We believe in self-directed recovery because no one knows themselves better than they do.
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Music, Art, and Healing at The P.E.E.R Center

Volunteer Spotlight: Singer Priscilla Woodson


headshot-priscillaThe P.E.E.R. Center is very fortunate to have an amazing community of people who support us. Whether by donating money, volunteering time, or providing needed supplies (like coffee), these kind, caring people support us on a daily basis. One of those people is Priscilla Woodson, a local recording artist, singer, songwriter, mentor, radio personality, and actress. She believes in the power of music, art, and healing.

Priscilla has been volunteering with us for years, lending us her beautiful voice at our Recovery Celebration as well as singing at our first annual fundraiser last year. Every Thursday, Priscilla comes to The P.E.E.R. Center and sings to our associates, staff, and anyone who happens to be there. She doesn’t stop there. People make requests, sing duets, and even perform solos, all with the guidance of a professional singer and performer.

When someone gives so much of themselves to other people, it is important to share their story. We sat down with her before one of her Thursday performances to learn more.

Music, Art, and Healing with Priscilla Woodson


Question: We know you are a talented singer, but we don’t know why you volunteer for The P.E.E.R. Center. Can you explain?

Answer: I have battled with depression but no longer suffer from it. Because I come from a pathology of mental illness and depression this disease is near and dear to my heart, so I understand the struggle many of your people are going through. That is my connection to The P.E.E.R. Center and I want to give back.

I also see many people in the artistic community suffer in silence. When they are performing, they feel alive and safe; but when they are alone, they succumb to the loneliness and they are broken. The stigma of mental illness and addiction prevents them from seeking help. Since no one can spend all their time performing, we lose amazing people, because they don’t know how to fight their demons.

Music, Art, and HealingWhile I do believe the best of artists are born through unhappiness, it doesn’t mean they want to suffer. I know what pain and suffering is and I know that music and art have a role in healing. Art allows people to connect to other people, and that has immense value in recovery.

Question: What advice do you have for people working to reach recovery?

Answer: I take a holistic approach to health and wellness. We have to be right in our mind, body, and soul. We have to fight against the odds and follow through with our convictions. We all must aspire to greatness!

Question: Now that we know a little more about what drives you to volunteer, tell us who or what inspires you to sing? Favorite artists, types of music, and favorite instrument?

Answer: I don’t know that I can name favorite performer; there are so many and such a range. I love Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald and I also love Adele and Whitney Houston. I have a genuine love for music and I can’t say I have a favorite, because all music moves me. Music is beautiful.

I don’t play any instruments, myself, but I love the acoustic guitar. It is the true essence of the music and it allows you to understand the full content. When a singer is paired with an acoustic guitar, I can listen for hours.

I am a gospel and jazz singer and I love that style of music a lot. Again, so difficult to pick a favorite. I can, and do, sing most styles.

Healing Never Sounded So Beautiful


In September of 2014, Priscilla left her corporate job after 20 years, a decision she says has made her happier than ever. Her contributions to the artistic community are massive, including releasing five albums with a sixth album and a book being released on January 31, 2015.

As the interview was wrapping up, I asked her if I could pick the first song she sang that day and, ever not the diva, she replied with an excited, “Of course!” I truly felt inspired that someone is out there spreading joy and inclusion and connecting with other people. It only seemed fitting that I choose, “At Last,” by Etta James.

She belted it out to a happy and energetic crowd and, as if to prove her point that music connects us to people, whenever I hear that song in the future, it will remind me of that moment – and all the people I shared it with.

Please visit Priscilla Woodson on the web at www.priscillawoodson.com

 
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Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 
"Make a career of humanity, commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in." – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the unusual things about us is that we don’t exactly fit perfectly into any particular category. We do offer support groups for our associates (our name for the individuals using our services) with mental health concerns and groups for our folks with trauma and addiction concerns. So, does that mean we belong in mental health services or addiction services? So far, trauma services isn't an option by itself, let alone part of another whole.

Our mission statement clarifies that we are a place “…where individuals receive respect, encouragement, and hope that supports and strengthens their recovery in mental health, addictions and trauma.” Our approach, quite simply, is to meet people where they are and welcome everyone who talks through our doors.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream was for everyone to be equal, including having equal access to the things they needed to be happy and to be well. Throughout his life, he spoke to the idea that kindness for one was kindness for all. His famous quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” resonates with us here at The P.E.E.R. Center. We feel strongly that when one of us achieves, we all achieve. We are all linked, for better, for worse.

We didn't invent the model of welcoming all people and treating them with dignity, respect, and compassion. We haven’t even perfected it. Every day, we keep our minds open and listen to the people we serve, and through that partnership, we change and grow. We give people what they need and help them achieve their goals.

We are proud that we don’t fit into a single category, because people don’t fit into a single category. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood this and spent his life showing us the power of loving each other. We don’t claim to have all the answers to the issues our society faces, but we are proud that we are willing to play our role and to set an example that caring for our fellow humans lifts us all up.

In this article we explain why The P.E.E.R. Center is proud to continue the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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Top 10 Accomplishments 2014: Recovery Year in Review

Another year has come and gone and we at The P.E.E.R. Center have had a fantastic 2014. We have continued to help people in our community reach recovery and, as always, welcome everyone who enters our doors.

Deciding the top 10 accomplishments wasn’t easy. There were amazing accomplishments that had to be left off the list. We had employees win prestigious awards, associates who celebrated recovery milestones, and we were able to support an astonishing number of people.

Stay with us in 2015 as The P.E.E.R. Center continues to help the people in our community reach their recovery goals. Without further ado . . .

Recovery Year in Review Top 10 List


10. Increased Social Media Presence and Digital Outreach

People increasingly get their information and news online and follow organizations they care about in the same way. For the first time in our history, our Facebook Page has over 500 likes and our e-mail list continues to grow. In 2015, we will be increasing our blog posts as well.

If you are not on our e-mail list, please sign up here!

To like us on Facebook please click here!

9. Started the PEERHugs Program

It is a simple premise, if you think about it. Take comfort and/or hygiene items and place them in a bag. Distribute the bags to people in need.

We had a lot of support from the employees of The P.E.E.R. Center and hope to grow the program by involving community groups, churches, etc. in the future. As of this writing, we handed out well over 3,000 items, including washcloths, bars of soap, toothbrushes, shampoo, and anti-bacterial hand wash.

8. First Full Year of Operations for PEER West

In December of 2013, we opened a location on West Broad Street in the Franklinton area. This location has quickly become a community staple, serving an average of 40 people per day. PEER West is open seven days a week from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. Stop by and see us!

7. Record Number of Outreach Activities

The P.E.E.R. Center was active in our community this year. In addition to hosting our first fundraiser and conference (See #2), we participated in police officer training through the Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) program, have associates who serve on community boards, and attended numerous health fairs and other community events.

We were even featured in the news, bringing us to . . .

6. The P.E.E.R. Center Featured on WBNS Channel 10 News

Being mentioned on the local news is a powerful thing. Getting your name and message out to the community has immense value and there is the added bonus of having a professional video and/or news story to share with people unfamiliar with the organization.

This year, we were featured on the six o’clock news in a two-minutes, 30-second segment. Please watch the video by clicking here.

5. Celebration is Part of Recovery


Recovery Top TenThere is a lot of hard work when it comes to recovery. Doing the hard things is what leads to long-term success. But it is important that we take time to focus on other areas of people’s lives.

This year, The P.E.E.R. Center hosted 24 birthday celebrations, one for each center per month. We served cake, fruit, and drinks, and sang Happy Birthday to everyone who had a birthday that month.

(Honorable Mention: We also hosted a Thanksgiving meal, as well as a holiday meal on Christmas Day.)

4. Partnered with Outside Community Groups

The P.E.E.R. Center is proud to work with outside groups to offer resources such as wellness checks, job placement, flu shots, and the like. Partnering with other community groups allows us to serve our associates in a fiscally responsible fashion, without having to reinvent the wheel.

3. Impressive Number of People Served

The P.E.E.R. Center is a drop-in center and everyone is welcome. Everything we do for the community is free, and we take great pride in that. In 2014, we had over 14,000 support visits at PEER West, 28,000 support visits at PEER East, totaling over 42,000 support visits during the past year.

On average PEER West hosts 40 people per day, and PEER East hosts 75 people per day. Our doors are open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays.

2. EEOW! First Annual Fundraiser and Hosted First Recovery Conference

EEOW! is a funny word that stands for Exciting and Energizing October Weekend. The three events, held over two days, contained a free, one-day conference; an evening fundraiser; and our third annual recovery celebration.

The conference featured breakout sessions hosted by BlackMen Speak and Dr. E, as well as a panel discussion that included Dr. E, BlackMen Speak, Gabe Howard, and Liz Schindler – all moderated by our executive director, Juliet Dorris-Williams.

The Fundraiser featured the vocal stylings of Priscilla Woodson and a moving speech by Joe Anderson of BlackMen Speak.

The number 1 item on our "Top 10 Accomplishments 2014: Recovery Year in Review"


Tune in next week for an entire article based on our number one accomplishment. You’ll be impressed, we promise!
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The Similarities that Connect Us All

The P.E.E.R. Center December 2014


 The Similarities that Connect Us All


Welcome to December, everyone. In central Ohio, the weather is getting colder and warmer and colder again, letting us know that fall is heading out and winter is setting in. The thoughts around the Center turn to holiday parties, keeping warm, and everything becomes a little more festive while the outside world becomes a little more tolerant.


We at The P.E.E.R. Center believe we embody the spirit of this season every day. We believe that everyone is valuable and that respecting our differences is one way we can all be the same. We all have values, traditions, and people we hold dear.
December has over 20 different holidays that people around the world celebrate. No matter what day or customs you hold dear, we all value something. It is in these moments that we find the similarities that connect us all.

 

PEERHugs -- A Different Way To Give Back This Winter


The PEER Center



 
This holiday season, The P.E.E.R. Center would like to introduce you to PEERhugs -- a different way to give back. PEERhugs is a new effort we are implementing this year to extend our care to other areas of need. It consists of Coping Toolboxes, Hygiene Packs, and Warm Hug Kits, each serving a unique purpose for people in need.

 




  • A Coping Toolbox consists of items a person can use to help cope: a teddy bear, deck of cards, Koosh ball, crossword puzzles, scented candles, or blankets.


 

  • A Hygiene Pack consists of wash cloths, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, towels, and other hygiene related items.


 

  • A Warm Hug Kit consists of hats, gloves, mittens, blankets, and other items to help someone keep warm this winter.


 

This is a great project for a group of people and creativity is welcome. Kits are already being distributed by our agency to people in need, and we hope to keep going through the end of January.

 

For more information please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






December Holidays


Below is a list of December holidays. If you aren’t familiar with the traditions and would like to learn more, please use Google to explore the customs.

The Similarities that Connect Us All?
Nov. 30 – Dec. 24 - Advent
5 – St. Nicholas Day
8 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception
8 - Bodhi Day
12 - Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
14 - Monkey Day
16-24 - Hanukkah
21 - Winter Solstice
21 - Dong Zhi Festival
21-25 - Pancha Ganapati
23 - HumanLight
23 - Festivus
25 - Christmas
25 - Newtonmas
26 - Boxing Day
26 - January 1 - Kwanzaa
26 - Feast of St. Stephen/St. Stephen's Day (Western)
27 - Feast of St. Stephen/St. Stephen's Day (Eastern)
27 - Feast of St. John the Apostle/Evangelist
31 - New Year's Eve

Be sure to check out all of our December happenings on our calendar links throughout the site. Have a happy, safe, and healthy holiday season and we will see you in 2015!

Your Friends at The P.E.E.R. Center
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November 2014

The PEER Center has a great deal to be thankful for in this season of gratitude. We took lead on a regional conference, co-sponsored by our statewide peer advocacy agency. We extended ourselves by embarking upon an intentional fundraising season. We hosted our third annual recovery celebration. We were featured on a local news channel. All of these things occurred in a two month period of time, with the first three happening on one very intense weekend. What makes these events special for us is that we extended ourselves, we took risks, we took steps into an unknown future for the simple reason that the opportunities presented themselves. What makes these events extra special is that we are peers, also known as consumers, also known as people living with mental illness, people in addiction recovery, and people surviving trauma. Conventional wisdom says that people like us are sick and in need of care; we need someone else to make decisions for us; we need someone else to speak for us; we are fragile and can't handle stress or worse. Conventional wisdom hardly ever says that people like us are strong, capable, powerful and brave. So, on the other side of these giant STEPS into the future of our organization, we can say, because we know for sure, that we are strong, we are capable, we are powerful, we are brave, and we are peers.  

We are grateful for those who have supported us from the beginning. We are grateful for new supporters we have gained in the last few months. We are grateful for our fellow peers who let us walk along side them as they take small and large steps into their own powerful futures. We are grateful for our families and friends who support our commitment to this work.  We are grateful that we get to do this work, for us, by us. We are grateful for our community sponsors and partners. Together we have shed light on the power of peers. Together we have forwarded the cause of recovery. Together we will continue to embrace the possibilities of recovery and the hope that it engenders.

Be sure to check out all of our November happenings on our calendar links throughout the site.

The PEER Center wishes you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

In gratitude and wellness~

gratitude
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October 2014

 

PEER WordleWe've been talking about it for months, and it is finally here!!  The P.E.E.R. Center's Exciting and Energizing October Weekend (EEOW!) is upon us. While we are putting on the final touches, it is not too late to register for the conference or to buy a ticket to the fundraiser and to help us celebrate recovery with three very important events. The first event is  "Partners in Recovery: A Conference of Diversity, Hope and Wellness, at the Columbus Convention Center on October 18th. We are so excited about our featured speakers, "Black Men Speak", Dr. Elaine Richardson (Dr. E), and Gabe Howard.   This event is FREE and includes complimentary lunch and parking.  Later that same evening, The P.E.E.R Center will host it's first annual fundraising event, that includes inspirational talks and music from Black Men Speak and Priscilla Woodson. Heavy hors d'oeuvres are being served!! As a nonprofit organization it is our responsibility to do all we can to remain fiscally viable. Your support at our fundraiser helps us keep all of our services free of charge for our peers in Franklin County. And finally, on Sunday, October 19th, The P.E.E.R. Center will operate for limited hours in our Centers in the morning. At 2pm we will resume activities at Long Street Studio for our third annual Recovery Celebration, which includes food, fun, dancing, and open mic with DJ Richie Rich and live music provided by Priscilla Woodson and The WellJam Experience. It's exciting! It's energizing! It's October!!  We hope you will come celebrate with us! Register or get more information on our Events page on this site


The P.E.E.R. Center is simply bubbling over with being featured in a WBNS 10TV news feature last month. We are grateful to our supporters who were willing to share and to participate on that anxious day!  Check it out here!

Click on the beautiful Fall icons to see the full calendar of events for October.


Until next time, Stay Well!!
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National Recovery Month - September 2014

WebBannerHorizontalSeptember is National Recovery Month!! Like other organizations doing everyday recovery work, we actively encourage people to openly discuss (speak out!) about mental health and substance abuse disorders, while we are promoting the reality and the hope of recovery. While The P.E.E.R. Center is delaying our annual recovery celebration activities until October, we support the 2014 theme, and with our colleagues, encourage you to "Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, and Reach Out." 

While this is definitely September, it is not to early for us to talk about our Exciting and Energizing October Weekend (EEOW!) when we will celebrate recovery with three very important events. The first event is  "Partners in Recovery: A Conference of Diversity, Hope and Wellness: at the Columbus Convention Center on October 18th. Our featured speakers include "Black Men Speak", a California based member / speaker organization who want to share the reality of substance abuse and mental health recovery while living in an urban environment, along with the challenges of trauma, community violence. Through story and song, Black Men Speak share their experiences to encourage hope and faith to others walking the recovery journey. Also speaking is Dr. Elaine Richardson (Dr. E), author teacher, entertainer) who will share how she triumphed over childhood and adult trauma, and substance abuse.  Also speaking is Gabe Howard, officially diagnosed in his early twenties, now uses his life-long struggle with mental illness and addiction to motivate others and spark change.  Later that same evening, The P.E.E.R Center will host it's first annual fundraising event, that includes inspirational talks and music, (with heavy hors d'oeuvres!!). Finally, on Sunday, October 19th, The PEER Center will operate for limited hours in the morning so that we can CELEBRATE RECOVERY !! at our third annual food, fun, dancing and open mic with DJ Richie Rich and live music by The WellJam Experience. It's exciting! It's energizing! We hope you will join us. Register or get more information on our Events page on this site.
PEER Wordle

Highlights from our September East schedule include: "Get Connected" which continues on Fridays at noon; Knitting Club continues on alternate Wednesdays; "Job Readiness" continues on Wednesdays at 11am; “Moving Forward”, a new group focusing on goal-setting, motivation and empowerment continues on alternate Thursdays at 11am;  "Man Up!"continues on Saturdays at noon, and alternate Tuesdays at 2pm. "Women and Trauma" continues on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays.

Highlights from our September West schedule include: 5 Minute Move It!, a midday movement moment, Wednesdays at 11am; Job Readiness continues at a new time, Thursdays at 2pm; "Lessons Learned", a new mixed-gender discussion group focusing on relationships, toxic communication etc., continues on Mondays at 1pm; Free Vaccinations will be offered by Project Love on September 8th at 1:30pm;  CompDrug will be our guest speaker on medication assisted addiction treatment on September 17th at noon. Join us on "Super Saturdays" for a full day of fun activities.

The Associate Governing Board  (AGB, including Code of Conduct Review) meets as follows:
WEST Center on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 1:00pm.
EAST Center on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 1:00pm.
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Remember to call our daily Warmline, between 10pm and 2pm for non-crisis phone support. Click on our calendar links to see the full schedules for September.

Until next time~
Stay Well!!

 

 
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August 2014



Plans are still underway for our upcoming "Exciting and Energizing October Weekend! (EEOW!)" The weekend begins with "Partners in Recovery: A Conference of Diversity, Hope, and Wellness" at the Columbus Convention Center on October 18th, 2014, featuring, "Black Men Speak", a California based member organization whose mission is to spread the word, throughsave_the_date_typography_by_candacelepree-d4bzz19 the telling of their stories of substance abuse and mental health recovery while living in an urban community. Their goal is to give voice to the challenges of trauma, family issues, community violence and the importance of faith as they encourage others on the road of wellness and recovery. Our second confirmed speaker is Dr. Elaine Richardson, (Dr. E.) our homegrown powerhouse (author, teacher, entertainer) of triumph over childhood and adult trauma, and substance abuse, who shares her life story to promote healing and empowerment. Some of our conference speakers will be featured in our first annual fundraiser later that same evening. Finally, on Sunday, October 19, 2014, we will be hosting our third annual Recovery Celebration at Long Street Studio. We will be sharing more information about this in the coming weeks.  So remember to SAVE THE DATEs of October 18th and 19th!!  TICKETS for the fundraiser portion of the weekend can be purchased NOW!! Click on the EVENTS tab of this website and click on the purple banner at the top of the page.  If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, contact us directly or through the Contact Us tab on this website.   

As usual, there is always a lot happening at The PEER Center. Our other BIG NEWS is, effective August 1st, our West Center is expanding operations to 7 full DAYS!!!  We are pleased and grateful to be a part of and embraced by the Franklinton Community. Our West Associates (participants) heavily lobbied for extended days, and as is our practice, they lobby, we listen. 

Highlights from our August East schedule: "Get Connected" will be offered on Fridays at noon; "Job Readiness" continues on Wednesdays at 11am; “Moving Forward”, a new group focusing on goal-setting, motivation and empowerment continues on alternate Thursdays at 11am;  "Man Up!"continues on Saturdays at noon, and alternate Tuesdays at 2pm. "Women and Trauma" continues on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays.   

 Remember: our Associate Governing Board (AGB, including Code of Conduct Review) will meet at the EAST Location on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 1:00pm.  

Highlights from our August West schedule:  NOW OPEN DAILY, 10am-6pm, including holidays!!! "Let's Walk" continues on Wednesdays at 11am; "Job Readiness" now meets at 11am on Thursdays; "Lessons Learned", a new co-ed discussion group focusing on relationships, toxic communication etc., continues on Mondays at 1pm; "Super Saturdays" return with a full day of fun activities.

The Associate Governing Board  (AGB, including Code of Conduct Review) will meet at the WEST Location on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 1:00pm.  

******************************************************************************


Click on our calendar links to see the full schedules for 


august******************************************************************************


Remember that our WARMLINE, (614)358-TALK (8255), is available daily for non-crisis phone peer support.

The P.E.E.R. Center is a self-serve Ohio Benefit Bank.  At both locations, peers may use our designated computer workstations to connect to programs and resources, such as food assistance, child care assistance, health care coverage and much, much more.  The Ohio Benefit Bank portal is very user friendly and is available anytime during our operational hours.  No appointment needed.

The P.E.E.R. Center remains enrolled in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Simply designate “PEER Center” using our non-profit organization number, 91907, as the charity you wish to support. You earn rewards as you shop, and your rewards help support us.  This DOES NOT impact your fuel points. This is a unique way for the Kroger Company to give back to the community! If you have already enrolled and selected us as your favorite charity, THANK YOU!!  You may need to re-enroll each year so check your status.

Another way to support us is through AmazonSmile. Amazon.com will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to The PEER Center when you select us as your favorite charitable organization. Always start your shopping at http://smile.amazon.com to make your shopping count.  We appreciate your support! 


Until next time be safe, be happy and stay well!!    

 
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July 2014

03 festive_purple_fireworks_at_night_2The PEER Center is excited to share the news about our upcoming "Exciting and Energizing October Weekend! (EEOW!)". The weekend will begin with "Partners in Recovery: A Conference of Diversity, Hope and Wellness". Our first annual fundraiser will be later that same evening. Finally , on Sunday, we  will host our 3rd Annual Recovery Celebration.  We will be sharing more information about this in the coming weeks. Remember to SAVE THE DATES of October 18th and 19th!! Meanwhile, TICKETS for the fundraiser portion of the weekend can be purchased NOW!! Click on the EVENTS tab of this website and click on the purple banner at the top of the page.  If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, contact us directly or through the Contact Us tab on this website.  

As always, we host a variety of activities at our Centers. At our East Center in July, Job Readiness continues on Wednesdays at 11am; "Moving Forward", a new group focusing on goal-setting, motivation and empowerment will be offered on alternate Thursdays at 11am; The My Plate series continues on Thursdays at noon; Man Up! continues on Saturdays at noon, and alternate Tuesdays at 2pm.  Our East Center Associates will attend the Ohio State Fair on Thursday, July 24th at 10am. 

At our West Center, "Lets Walk" begins on Wednesdays at 11am; "Lessons Learned", a new co-ed discussion group focusing on relationships, toxic communication, etc., will  be offered on Mondays at 1pm; The MyPlate Series continues on Wednesdays at noon.  Food, fun and Friendship returns on alternate Saturdays!!; and our West Center Associates will have an outing to the Ohio State Fair on Friday, July 25th at noon.

Please note: Our East Center will operate on a holiday schedule for the Independence Day (July 4th) holiday, and our West Center will be closed.

******************************************************************************


Click on our calendar links to see the full schedules for July.


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Remember that our WARMLINE, (614)358-TALK (8255), is available daily for non-crisis phone peer support.

The P.E.E.R. Center is a self-serve Ohio Benefit Bank.  At both locations, peers may use our designated computer workstations to connect to programs and resources, such as food assistance, child care assistance, health care coverage and much, much more.  The Ohio Benefit Bank portal is very user friendly and is available anytime during our operational hours.  No appointment needed.

The P.E.E.R. Center remains enrolled in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Simply designate “PEER Center” using our non-profit organization number, 91907, as the charity you wish to support. You earn rewards as you shop, and your rewards help support us.  This DOES NOT impact your fuel points. This is a unique way for the Kroger Company to give back to the community! If you have already enrolled and selected us as your favorite charity, THANK YOU!!  You may need to re-enroll each year so check your status.

Another way to support us is through AmazonSmile. Amazon.com will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile green fireworkspurchases to The PEER Center when you select us as your favorite charitable organization. Always start your shopping at http://smile.amazon.com to make your shopping count.  We appreciate your support! 


Wishing you and yours a safe and happy Independence Day!!

In Wellness~

 
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June 2014

 The PEER Center welcomes June with the usual mix of wellness activities. There is no simple way to summarize PEER happenings, just know that it is "happening" at PEERs. The warmer weather encouraged us to restart our walking group, and for those who want movement, but seasonal allergies make that challenging, we have "move it" in place with our Monday, Wednesday and Friday "5 minute Move it".  This month we are also starting MyPlate which teaches the fundamentals of eating healthy. In addition to a couple of outings, we are hosting The Welljam Experience! Movement, Music and Healthy Eating.... must be the start of summer! Click on the calendar links throughout the website to see the full schedules and to plan your wellness activities through the month.  If you don’t see something that enhances your recovery or wellness, please let us know. While we focus our activities on the 8 dimensions of wellness, Printwe also know that the wellness journey is personal and multifaceted.  We value the ideas and input of our participants, and as people living in recovery ourselves, we are aware that the work of recovery is ongoing. Send us a message via our Contact Us page, or send us an email through our general email: info at thepeercenter dot org. Better yet, drop on by for a tour or a visit.  Remember that you are always welcome at PEERs!!

East Center activities include: Walking Group each Monday at 11am; the MyPlate series Thursdays at noon;  Knitting Club begins on June 11th and will meet on alternate Wednesdays at 2:00pm, beginners or experienced knitters are welcome;  An outing to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium June 19th at 10:00am;  Special music from The WellJam Experience on June 15th at 2:00pm; Veterans Support continues on Wednesdays at 1pm; discussions on alcohol and other drug recovery continue through our ManUP! Group, Saturdays at noon, and our co-educational AOD recovery group, Sundays at noon.

West Center highlights include: MyPlate series on Wednesdays at noon; An outing to the Columbus Arts Festival June 6th at noon;  Music from the The WellJam Experience on June 14th at 2:00pm; Anxiety support on alternate Tuesdays at 2pm;  Job Readiness on Thursdays at 2pm; "Get Connected" continues each Monday from 1pm- 3pm; Super Saturday’s at West are focused on fun and socialization. Arts and crafts, Karaoke, cards and games, are just a few of the fun offerings. Join us!!

The Associates Governing Board (including Code of Conduct Review) will continue to meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 1pm.  The West Center will host the AGB meeting on the second Tuesday, and the East Center will host the AGB meeting on the fourth Tuesday. 

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Remember that our WARMLINE, (614)358-TALK (8255), is available daily for non-crisis phone peer support.

The P.E.E.R. Center is a self-serve Ohio Benefit Bank.  At both locations, peers may use our designated computer workstations to connect to programs and resources, such as food assistance, child care assistance, health care coverage and much, much more.  The Ohio Benefit Bank portal is very user friendly and is available anytime during our operational hours.  No appointment needed.

The P.E.E.R. Center remains enrolled in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Simply designate “PEER Center” using our non-profit organization number, 91907, as the charity you wish to support. You earn rewards as you shop, and your rewards help support us.  This DOES NOT impact your fuel points. This is a unique way for the Kroger Company to give back to the community! If you have already enrolled and selected us as your favorite charity, THANK YOU!!  You may need to re-enroll each year so check your status.

Another way to support us is through AmazonSmile. Amazon.com will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to The PEER Center when you select us as your favorite charitable organization. Always start your shopping at http://smile.amazon.com to make your shopping count.  We appreciate your support! 

Until next time~
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May 2014





The PEER Center joins with other community partners in highlighting May as Mental Health Month. This year’s theme has two objectives: to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and its preventive factors and benefits for mind and body; and to build broad public recognition around the role of mental health to overall health.  Of course, here at The PEER Center, attending to our health and wellness is an everyday, all the time kind of thing. Remember that you are always welcome in this place where recovery happens. Come by for a tour; have a cup of coffee; stay awhile for some fun conversation; get some support; learn some tips and strategies for enriching your recovery journey with others who are walking the path of recovery too!! The mutuality of support is the thing that is unique about The PEER Center.  We believe that wherever we are on the journey, we each have something to learn, something to teach, and something to share. Your experience of recovery enriches our experience of recovery. Come join us!!

MHM 2014 Mind Your Health LogoWith the warmer weather our East Center is excited to reinstate our weekly Walking Group each Monday at 11am.  Also, if you are looking for a 5 minute dance break, drop on by at noon on Monday, Wednesday or Friday for our 5 Minute Move It!! The Bipolar Support group is moving to Saturdays at 5pm.  Continuing in May is our Job Readiness initiative in collaboration with Columbus Area Integrated Health Services; HIV/STI Testing is scheduled for May 16th and 23rd; Free Vaccines through Project L.O.V.E. is scheduled for May 12th.  Also continuing: Music Therapy, AOD (Alcohol and Other Drug) Recovery, Relapse prevention, Women and Trauma and Man UP! (Men’s Recovery).

At our West Center, Job Readiness will be offered on Thursdays at 2pm. "Get Connected" will be offered on alternate Monday's at 1pm. HIV/ STI testing is scheduled on alternate Tuesdays at noon.  Free Vaccines through Project L.O.V.E. will be offered on Monday May 12 at 1:30.   There will be an outing to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Friday, May 23rd at noon.  Remember that every Saturday is a "Super Saturday" for arts and crafts, Karaoke, Bingo, Cards and more.  Some of our ongoing groups include the Veterans Support Group, Anxiety Support, Setting Boundaries, Coping Skills, AOD recovery and Men's and Women's Recovery Groups.   

The Associates Governing Board (AGB) will continue to meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 1pm.  The West Center will host the AGB meeting on the second Tuesday, and the East Center will host the AGB meeting on the fourth Tuesday.  AGB meetings also include Code of conduct review sessions and are only scheduled during these specific dates and times.

******************************************************************************


Remember that our WARMLINE, (614)358-TALK (8255), is available daily for non-crisis phone peer support.

The P.E.E.R. Center is a self-serve Ohio Benefit Bank.  At both locations, peers may use our designated computer workstations to connect to programs and resources, such as food assistance, child care assistance, health care coverage and much, much more.  The Ohio Benefit Bank portal is very user friendly and is available anytime during our operational hours.  No appointment needed.

The P.E.E.R. Center remains enrolled in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Simply designate “PEER Center” using our non-profit organization number, 91907, as the charity you wish to support. You earn rewards as you shop, and your rewards help support us.  This DOES NOT impact your fuel points. This is a unique way for the Kroger Company to give back to the community! If you have already enrolled and selected us as your favorite charity, THANK YOU!!  You may need to re-enroll each year so check your status.

Another way to support us is through AmazonSmile. Amazon.com will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to The PEER Center when you select us as your favorite charitable organization. Always start your shopping at http://smile.amazon.com to make your shopping count.  We appreciate your support! 

Remember to "Mind Your Health" today and everyday. It's all about being and staying well!

Until next time~

 
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April 2014

 showers1      The one thing that The P.E.E.R. Center has in common with most other recovery organizations is our emphasis on hope. Hope that our lives will get better, that circumstances will change, that we will heal, that we will learn how to manage and plan our lives in accordance with our own values, that our stories of pain and triumph will ultimately have meaning.  Hope can sometimes be difficult to grasp and hold on to, and that is why sometimes we need a friend; someone who can relate to what we are going through; someone who can remind us that it will get better.  Living life in recovery is much like the changing seasons or the waning and waxing of the moon.  Nothing ever really stays the same. We simply learn how to deal, how to cope, who to lean on, how to ask for help, how to manage. And we learn. The most important thing that we learn is that WE CAN!  We CAN cope. We CAN manage.  And that is worth celebrating ... every time!!!!   During the month of April, it is our hope that you will visit us at The PEER Center, where everyday we are learning about ourselves, sharing our stories of pain and triumph, encouraging and reminding each other that it gets better. It may be raining now, but the flowers will come. That is what it means to hope.   hope stone (1)

During April at our EAST CENTER, we will expand on our employment support activities by co-sponsoring a Job Readiness group on Wednesdays at 11:00amThis group is a collaborative effort with Columbus Area Integrated Health Services, Inc.  Our latest focus on wellness is movement. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon we will take "5 Minutes to Move It!". So if you drop by at noon you might find us literally doing the "Happy Dance".  HIV/STI Testing is scheduled for April 18th and 25th.  Free Vaccines through Project L.O.V.E. is scheduled for April 14th. A Bowling Outing is scheduled for April 16th at 11:30am. Continuing groups include Young Adults Support Group, Music Therapy, AOD (Alcohol and Other Drug) Recovery, Relapse prevention, Women and Trauma and Man UP! (Men's Recovery) . 


Offerings at our WEST CENTER include HIV/ STI testing, which continues on alternate Tuesdays. Free Vaccines through Project L.O.V.E. will be offered on April 14th.   There will be an outing to COSI  on April 25th at noon.  Some of our ongoing groups include the Veterans Support Group, Anxiety Support, Setting Boundaries, and Coping SkillsOur West Center is now open six full days. Food, Fun and Friendship Saturdays will continue through the month of April.   

The Associates Governing Board (AGB) will continue to meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 1pm.  The West Center will host the AGB meeting on the second Tuesday, and the East Center will host the AGB meeting on the fourth Tuesday.  AGB meetings also include Code of conduct review sessions and are only scheduled during these specific dates and times.

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Remember that our WARMLINE, (614)358-TALK (8255), is available daily for non-crisis phone peer support.

The P.E.E.R. Center is a self-serve Ohio Benefit Bank.  At both locations, peers may use our designated computer workstations to connect to programs and resources, such as food assistance, child care assistance, health care coverage and much, much more.  The Ohio Benefit Bank portal is very user friendly and is available anytime during our operational hours.  No appointment needed.

The P.E.E.R. Center remains enrolled in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Simply designate “PEER Center” using our non-profit organization number, 91907, as the charity you wish to support. You earn rewards as you shop, and your rewards help support us.  This DOES NOT impact your fuel points. This is a unique way for the Kroger Company to give back to the community! If you have already enrolled and selected us as your favorite charity, THANK YOU!!  You may need to re-enroll each year so check your status.

Another way to support us is through AmazonSmile. Amazon.com will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to The PEER Center when you select us as your favorite charitable organization. Always start your shopping at http://smile.amazon.com to make your shopping count.  We appreciate your support! 

 

In Wellness~

 

 

 
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