Providing hope, support, education, and advocacy to parents of children with mental health and substance use issues.
It’s a rocky, uphill path for children and families dealing with mental illness and chemical dependency. Children receive services for their recovery, but the parents often do not receive help or support from a parent who has traveled the same rocky, uphill path. In order for parents to be the best natural support for the child(ren), they need help and support, by a peer who fully understands the isolation, trauma, judgment, fear, confusion, questions, and utter exhaustion of raising a child with a mental illness and/or chemical dependency.
The purpose of Parent Peer Specialist services is to empower parents by increasing their knowledge and skills, model behavior for others, provide hope for change and growth, assist in advocacy and teamwork, navigate service and support systems, encourage and understand the youth’s voice, and provide peer support through the shared parenting experience. In addition to face-to-face parent peer specialist services, I would like to offer phone services as well. Often, a parent needs to talk to someone in the moment. When a parent’s child is hospitalized, the parent is scared, isolated, and not sure what to do. Being able to call a PPS would be invaluable at that moment. There are several other times when a phone call, in the moment, is necessary for parents.
When a parent(s), and the social worker, agree that the parent(s) needs support, hope, assistance with the school, an advocate, education, or someone to listen that has had similar experiences and understands better than someone who has not.
Parent Peer Specialists meet with parents face-to-face at a mutually agreeable site including, but not limited to: the parent's home, a public library, a public coffee shop, or a county office. Michelle will also make every effort to participate in all CCS team meetings.
To learn more about the Wisconsin Parent Peer Specialist Initiative visit the Wisconsin Peer Specialist Site