Recovery Point receives grant for peer recovery coaches

Published: Mar. 29, 2018 at 11:38 AM EDT
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Recovery Point West Virginia has received a $480,000 grant for the placement of credentialed peer recovery coaches in area hospital rooms and drug-free mom and baby programs within medical facilities. The facility is the largest provider of peer recovery services in West Virginia.

With the grant, recovery coaches will provide services in identifying with people who may be struggling with substance use disorder and are seeking recovery.

Positions are being funded by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities as part of $2.08 million in funding to expand the state’s capacity of opiate use peer recovery coaches. The federal funding comes from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration’s State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants and is part of DHHR’s plan to expand regionally-based substance use recovery services for adults.

‘The placing of recovery coaches with experiential knowledge of both substance use disorder and the initiation/sustaining of long-term recovery is a potential game-changer in West Virginia’s efforts to stem the tide of addiction,” said Matt Boggs, executive director of Recovery Point West Virginia. ‘Being part of a clinical or medical team approach, a person who has ‘been there and done that’ provides a unique perspective in the effort to help others find recovery and become the people they were meant to be, free from the trap of addiction.’

Recovery coaches in West Virginia acquire the Peer Recovery credential through the West Virginia Certificate Board for Addiction and Prevention Professionals. Training includes an emphasis on ethics, setting boundaries, motivational interviewing techniques and other areas of knowledge vital to the process. Coaches hired will already have the credential or will be required to get it within six months.

‘Having the PR credential ensures that peer recovery coaches have a solid foundation - especially in setting boundaries and maintaining ethical standards - that will enable them to maximize their ability to help others find recovery, all the while protecting the recovery of the coach,’ said Greg Perry, director of recovery support services for Recovery Point West Virginia. ‘With those things in place, a recovery coach can provide incredibly unique services all centered around their lived experience of both addiction and recovery. Identification with others is often the missing link in early recovery that a recovery coach uniquely brings to the table.’

Recovery coaches will manage a small case load of patients in both emergency room and drug-free mom and baby programs. They will also provide advocacy, education, mentoring and general guidance. By focusing on coaching skills, the goal for coaches will be to improve outcomes in the lives of patients.

‘Having a recovery coach within an emergency room will change the demographic of the setting,’ said Arron Walker, who is a recovery coach focused on the criminal justice field with Recovery Point West Virginia. ‘Having a person with lived experience right there when others are in the depths of despair will be amazing. The person looking for hope will have somebody with knowledge who can provide insight to them.’

Under the grants, recovery coaches will be hired by Recovery Point West Virginia but will work within hospital emergency rooms and/or the drug-free mom & baby programs. Coaches will also spend time actively conducting outreach in the area, to promote and attract others to the programs and services offered.

‘Working within existing programs and reaching out to others will be the core mission of these recovery coaches,’ Matt Boggs summed up. ‘Offering a hand up to those who need it is vital to overcoming the substance use disorder epidemic we face.’

Recovery Point West Virginia will place recovery coaches in the following hospital emergency rooms: Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington; CAMC and Thomas Memorial Hospital in Charleston. Coaches will also be placed in drug-free mom & baby programs at Valley Health and Healthy Connections in Huntington; CAMC and Thomas Memorial Hospital in Charleston.

For more information about recovery coaching or the positions within hospital emergency rooms and drug-free mom & baby programs in the area, you can contact Recovery Point West Virginia at (304) 523-4673 or by email at Applications for these specific positions will only be accepted through a Recovery Point West Virginia job posting on