Hello, this is riley… I have recently been asked to help run the forum. I am a person with lived experience of a mental illness and I am a Certified Peer Support Specialist in the State of Iowa.
I have a firm belief that people are put on this earth to learn from one another, and that if we open our eyes and believe in recovery, anything is possible.
I have had many struggles in my life, some I am still trying to work through, and I do this on a daily basis. I have heard more than once that Mental Illness is not for wimps!!! I can attest to that!! It seems that having a mental illness sets us up to “feeling good” one day and “feeling bad” another. It seems it is not who you are, but it is something that we have to deal with every minute of every day. Whether you’re doing well and moving forward in your recovery, or riding the “speed bumps” that trip you up in the road we all can survive the ride.
I’ll give you an example… I have recently considered myself pretty stable… I was provoked into a conversation with a person who has a huge anger problem, especially when his mental health isn’t doing well. This person spent 1 hour in two conversations yelling at me and taking out his anger/aggression on me. I tried very unsuccessfully, to change the direction of each conversation that we had… I tried my best Peer Support skills, and although I felt this person was reaching out, he wasn’t willing to listen to what I had to say to help him let go of some of his anger. Frustrated, I told him that I would speak with him later. Once I hung up the phone, I was paralyzed, it felt that there was an elephant on my chest and I started having flashbacks of a not to nice time in my life.
That’s why it’s so important to be nice and compassionate when people are fragile. There are no stigmas, attitudes, and prejudices in this forum. We are all persons who are interested in helping each other in their recovery.
With love and peace,
The Iowa Advocates for Mental Health Recovery is launching Phase 1 of their Online Recovery Support Forums. An Online Internet Forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. Peer Support Specialists are spread across the state, and it is our hope that an online forum will help bring them together to support one another as well as discuss how to support others.
Phase 1 includes recruiting peer support specialists to be participants and moderators, approving participants and moderators, training moderators, and launching the online forum. Individuals who supervise other peer support specialists will have their own forum in the near future. If you are a supervisor, please wait for until the next phase.
If you have been trained as peer support specialist you are encouraged to apply at this time. If you haven't been trained yet, please provide us some time, and we will open it up to others under Phase 2 in the future. Please click the below button to apply to become a participant or moderator. The forum is currently open to individuals who are peer support specialists and/or individuals who are in recovery.