Red Cross Medical Hero helps educate other to help with recovery

September 28, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski

the 2019 red cross medical hero is a woman who has turned her painful past and to hope for others in fact the initiative she launched at Karelian is growing I’m here I care about you I want to get to know you irin Casey spends much of her time training people who have faced substance use and mental illness whether it’s their own struggle or a close family member these volunteers are working to help others navigate their journey to recovery her leadership and this training is all part of core Alliance peer support program sometimes being in the health care system can be pretty intimidating and you have a lot of medical language coming at you and sometimes it also feels like people are asking you to do things and they don’t really understand what you’re going through and the peer recovery specialists are people that have lived it and walked it and and have that very like intimate knowledge about what it’s like to live with and struggle the idea is that lived experience will break down the barriers helping to reduce the shame and stigma associated with mental health and substance use so far 42 people have completed the program and another 13 are currently in training after completion people go on to work or volunteer at Karelian and other agencies Casey says they found with a peer support specialist by a patient’s ID that person is more likely to apply a doctor’s instructions we’ve also seen patients who develop this hope and its purpose because now they want to help people just like the peers are helping people and so they have a new reason to pursue recovery and so that’s a really powerful thing to watch that’s exactly what happened to Casey someone helped her on her road to recovery and now she’s turned helping others into a career something the Red Cross finds heroic I don’t necessarily feel like a hero particularly but I do I do go to bed every single day knowing that people have more opportunities because of the work that I’m doing and feel more alive and more hopeful than before and that’s kind of my litmus test for my myself is if I go to bed at night and I made one person feel hope in one way then that’s all that I really care about because that was me right that was me who felt like there wasn’t any hope and then I still hold on to the people that made me feel like I could do it for more information on celebration of heroes you can head to our website wsl Escom