Peer Support Services

HSC has spent many years instilling a recovery orientation in its culture and utilizing peer support services. HSC was the first organization in Central Illinois to hire peer support specialists to work with individuals experiencing a mental illness (1998). Several of the individuals hired as peer support specialists have been promoted to other positions in the agency to provide crisis services, mental health case management or supportive employment.

In 2009, HSC was selected to participate in a four year Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration SAMHSA initiative. Through this grant opportunity HSC has also pursued further peer training (Whole Health Wellness and Resiliency, Peer Support Training through SAMSHA-HRSA) for peer support services related to wellness. In 2010, HSC launched its first annual Peer Academy. The Peer Academy provides an orientation to mental health services, support and recovery for individuals who are interested in peer support positions.

In 2012, utilizing the concepts, as agreed upon in the Williams v. Quinn Class Action settlement, HSC developed and opened a peer-run recovery center -- Brighter Days Ahead. The recovery center engages all recovering individuals and provides resources and support by peers.