Jenn Peoples: Living in Recovery, Mental Illness, Addiction & Covid-19

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Listen, 29 min.

Jenn Peoples’ childhood was frightening and traumatic.  As a result she’s faced terrifying demons of self-destructive behavior.  Now she’s far along in recovery, not from her mental illness, but from the self-destructive behaviors that followed.  Today, she is a dual diagnosis counselor at a peer support recovery center in downtown Santa Rosa, California.

The concept of centers run by and for people with chronic mental disabilities came out of the psychiatric survivors and mental health consumers movement and, in California, has been supported by the Millionaires Tax, Prop. 63 since 2004.

People like our guest often point to the support of peers and peer-run centers as one reason that their lives have improved. Some of these folks have a strong desire to give back by helping others in similar situations.  Add training to that desire and you build powerful role models and community leaders like Jenn Peoples.

Image by Keith Alcantara from Pixabay

Covid-19, unemployment, the opioid epidemic and the West Coast fires have terrorized vulnerable people who were already struggling.  Jenn Peoples tells us how all this looks for those she knows and describes how she and others, despite it all, are keeping their feet on Recovery Road.

Adrienne Lauby produced and hosts this program.  Mark Romoser and Sheela Gunn-Cushman provided production support.

Jenn Peoples is a Peer Recovery Specialist who works for Interlink in Santa Rosa California. If you’d like to know more about Interlink or join one of Jenn’s groups, call (707) 546-4481 or go to Interlink Self Help Center’s website. They offer a warm line for emotional support. Sonoma County’s Behavior Health Department also offers a warm line at 565-2652 and San Francisco has a 24/7 warm line at 855-845-1415

Jenn also reminds us that there are many free Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on line. In the north bay there are in-person meetings at the Alano Club in Petaluma and at one of the downtown parks in Santa Rosa. A phone can help ease the mind and keep you connected to support and you can often find free smart phones in Santa Rosa at a big blue tent outside the Food Max on Sebastopol Road or in the Coddington parking lot in front of J.C. Penny’s.

Finally, Jenn mentioned Smart Recovery an alternative to the 12 step programs.  SMART Recovery is an international non-profit organization that provides assistance to individuals seeking abstinence from addiction. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. The SMART approach is secular and science-based, using cognitive behavioral therapy and non-confrontational motivational methods.  Like 12 step programs, their mutual support meetings are free of charge.

Original air date 9/11/20, KPFA radio

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