Southeast Story from a Peer Support Center in Tennessee
We are happy to feature an inspirational story from a Peer Support Center in Tennessee. This story illustrates the ways in which providers, teams, and agencies are working together to offer encouragement and share lessons learned during this challenging time.
"We have had several very devastating events since the beginning of March. We had a tornado come through. Then, the COVID-19 emergency. We were told to shut down in mid-March and have been working from home since that date. We already had a recovery-based website. Since our orders to stay at home, the website has been very useful in maintaining contact with our members. We have added over 100 new members since that date. Of the most importance for us was…the opportunity and technology to offer our members group calls. The first phone group was amazing! I know for me, it re-established my sense of hope and connection with my peers. It allowed me the opportunity to instill hope that we were all going to get through this trying time and that no matter what, their support system was still available and that all was not lost. For a few of our members, the center is the only socialization they receive. So, this was monumental for them. Hearing the excitement in their voices was without question, the best thing I have ever witnessed. While we are not out of the woods yet, I believe our members know that they matter and that we will do all we can for them. I feel a renewed sense that humanity is still good and that we are able to support and care for others even with obstacles in our way. Because of our regular groups, I have a renewed faith in human resiliency and that people still have the ability to get well and stay well no matter what. It has also proven that people still care about each other. As staff, our team has decided to embrace the idea of pulling something positive from every situation, and this has definitely proven to help each of us in every aspect of our lives. We can and will recover. "
-Manager, Peer Support Center, Tennessee
The Southeast MHTTC wants to provide our region with the opportunity to share how COVID-19 has affected our professional lives and the strategies being used to provide mental health services and treatment during the pandemic. "Southeast Stories" will be featured on the Southeast MHTTC website throughout the rest of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
It is our hope that sharing stories from peers, clinicians, agencies, and hospitals across the region will provide hope for all of us as we weather this storm together. If you and your team have a story from the frontlines of the mental health response to COVID-19, please share HERE.