The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, has awarded Sweetser, whose locations include Belfast and Rockland, the contract to provide recovery-based peer training statewide. A peer is an individual who is receiving or has received services related to the diagnosis of a serious mental illness and/or substance-use disorder and is willing to self-identify with other peers.

The recovery-based peer training is envisioned as a statewide training program that will leverage peers to develop a recovery-based training curriculum. Trained peers will become facilitators, and will introduce evidence-informed recovery curriculum and ongoing skill development to other peers employed or volunteering in behavioral health settings (e.g., behavioral health homes, assertive community treatment programs, clubhouses and peer-run recovery centers).

Persons with lived experience have critical roles in caring for themselves and each other, whether informally through self-help or more formally through peer support services. Lived experience is defined as knowledge gained by an individual who has experienced the process of recovery from serious mental illness and/or substance-use disorder.

The contract term is anticipated to run from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, with the option to renew for three years.