Slide Deck: Family Peer Support: How to Orient Families and Their Loved One Toward Recovery

In this presentation, Mid-America MHTTC specialists and partners with Omaha-based Community Alliance will demonstrate ways in which family peer support empowers families to support their loved one’s path towards recovery. In particular, participants will learn how recipients of family peer support:

  • Learn the definition of recovery;
  • Learn to motivate their loved one to engage in recovery and rehabilitation oriented activities;
  • Learn develop and implement a recovery plan for their loved one.




Jai SookramDr. Lilchandra Jai Sookram has been in the mental health field for over 40 years. At the Nebraska State Hospital, he provided psychological services to persons with serious mental illness and to their family members, and he directed clinical services including psychology, nursing, social work, therapeutic recreation, education and return-to-work programs. He is the former director of mental health services in Kansas and clinical director of a juvenile correctional facility. Currently he is manager of family and peer services at Community Alliance.

Bill BaerentzenBill Baerentzen, Ph.D., CRC, LMHP, is serious mental illness program director for the Mid-America MHTTC. Much of his outreach involves promoting evidence-based practices to help people with serious mental illness (SMI) live meaningful inclusive lives. Dr. Baerentzen has worked as director of a 250-bed emergency overnight shelter; supervisor of therapists in a treatment program for persons with co-occurring disorders; and as faculty in a rehabilitation counseling program.

KirkpatricksJames and Barbara Kirkpatrick were blessed with four children, two daughters and two sons. The Kirkpatricks' youngest son had problems with drugs for several years, and while rehabilitation centers like Valley of Hope and drug court work for some, they weren't the answer for Robert. Barbara Kirkpatrick signed her family up for Dr. Jai Sookram's class at Community Alliance, and all of the pieces to the puzzle started to fall into place. James Kirkpatrick believes that a lot of prayers and meetings with Dr. Jai saved Robert's life.

Cecilia Losee HeadshotCecilia Losee is a financial planner who specializes in working with special needs families. Her own disability and that of her adult daughter give her a unique perspective into what it takes to plan for the future. With over 10 years in the industry she uses many different tools, such as special needs trusts, to ensure the protection of government benefits while maximizing the amount left to take care of your loved ones.


Learn more about Family Peer Support: An Emerging Workforce at


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