New Program to Train Recovery Support Specialists

Recovery sign
Print icon

Sharing personal stories and helping others can be a rewarding part of the recovery process for many people, and the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network has created a way to make that happen.

The Recovery Leadership Academy — an 80-hour certificate program for people in recovery from mental health and/or addiction to drugs or alcohol – is launching this fall. After completing the program, people will become recovery support specialists qualified to work in behavioral health systems anywhere in Connecticut. This includes in Hartford HealthCare emergency departments at Backus, Windham, Charlotte Hungerford and Hartford hospitals and The Hospital of Central Connecticut and MidState Medical Center.

“We need to approach recovery from as many angles as possible, and when people are in the clutches of addiction, sometimes the only voices that can reach them are those of experience,” said Karen Kangas, director of recovery and family affairs for Hartford HealthCare’s Behavioral Health Network who is, herself, in recovery.

The program – which is open to the family members of those in recovery, who have their own personal recovery history – mirrors a Recovery University program Kangas developed when she worked as executive director of Advocacy Unlimited. The goal, she said, is to teach people in recovery to become peer support specialists who can then guide others to recovery based on their shared experience and understanding of the challenges recovery poses.

BHN President Pat Rehmer calls Kangas “the conscience of our leadership group,” noting that her tenacity and her focus on the needs of the clients is tireless.

“People in recovery see things through a different lens. Their successful recovery helps them bring a significant amount of hope to people with substance use and mental health disorders,” Rehmer said. “Clients, through them, can see that it is possible for them to employed and have productive lives in recovery.”

Tuition for Recovery Leadership Academy is $300, scholarships and payment plans are available. For more information, visit www.hhcbehavioralhealth.org/recoveryacademy.


What's New

Fecal transplant

A Fecal Transplant? The Strange-But-True Weight-Loss Study

If the medications, shakes and diet plans don’t yield the weight loss results you want, the next step might be transplanting the stool of a thin person into your body. Sound far-fetched? Researchers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston recently proposed, based on their investigation into the workings of...

Healthy Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Fall Classic: Healthy Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Pumpkin anyone? It’s fall, which means it’s pumpkin season. Pumpkin is certainly an appropriate choice in a healthy diet. Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A, potassium, fiber and antioxidants like beta-carotene. One cup cooked is only 49 calories, with 12 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber and no fat....


Heart & Vascular Institute Has a New Home in the East

Because of the continued expansion of services, the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute has officially moved its Norwich office, formerly located on 164 Otrobando Ave., to a newly renovated 7,000-square-foot space at 111 Salem Turnpike in Norwich (the former Ames plaza).  The new center offers comprehensive and convenient outpatient...

EEE

Second EEE Death in State History As More Towns Report Infected Mosquitoes

The first human case of Eastern equine encephalitis of the season, only the second reported in Connecticut history, has produced a chorus of caution from public health officials, medical professions and local communities. The message: Protect yourself from mosquitoes, which transmit the disease, and limit outdoor activity in the twilight...

Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention: When People Offering Help Actually Need It

Two recent high-profile suicide deaths of men who worked with those at-risk for suicide highlights the increased suicide rate for those who provide services and care. The importance or raising awareness in September, National Suicide Prevention Month, is highlighted by the deaths of Gregory Eells, the executive director of counseling...