For Immediate Release – April 28, 2020
South Shore Peer Recovery Transitions to Remote Recovery Support & Fundraising
While the whole world fights Coronavirus, the recovery community is simultaneously fighting another condition that is threatening their lives – substance use disorder. How can they stay connected with others who are managing the same chronic disease? How do they or their loved ones navigate the web of treatment options to recover from substance use disorder in the world of social distancing? Where can they go for help? Fortunately, South Shore Peer Recovery in Scituate Center has responded to the challenge by seamlessly switching to virtual programming and phone support to maintain connections with the 500-plus individuals and families in its peer community across the region. Since closing the center in mid-March to support social distancing, their virtual doors have been wide open and not missed a beat.
“Isolation is one of the biggest threats for someone in early recovery,” stated Mark Mulhern, Center Director “We had to find a way to keep our community together.”
With the help of Zoom video conferencing, Mulhern and a staff of 3 plus 28 volunteers launched virtual alternatives to programming within one week of the center’s closing. The remote offerings include peer-led groups for Meditation, Women’s Discussion, Faith Finders, Refuge Recovery, Together We Can, as well as a vital one-on-one Telephone Recovery Support offering. SSPR launched the Telephone Recovery Support program more than one year ago to provide weekly recovery “check-ins” with a trained Peer Support Specialist who can help an individual build their recovery wellness plan and stay on track with objectives including recovery meetings, job search, and other goals. Now more than ever, a friendly call from another peer in recovery means everything.
South Shore Peer Recovery prides itself in fulfilling the need of offering support directly to family members. The Sunday family support group, which began in 2014 and is facilitated by a clinician from Gosnold, continues to operate via Zoom on Sunday mornings. Another option for family members who have a loved one reluctant to consider treatment is called Community Reinforcement and Family Therapy, or CRAFT. This is an 8-week skills group to assist the family member, and normally meets in person. The March group swiftly moved online and a new virtual group will begin soon.
Zoom in particular has also allowed Mulhern and his team to hold its longstanding recovery meetings that he would normally run at the center or satellite locations. “I am pleased that the response has been so positive to Zoom recovery meetings,” Mulhern said. “People are happy to be able to see the faces of those they have come to know. Our community has actually grown during this time, since the online platform has enabled us to reach a greater geographic area and peers who may have had other barriers to getting to a physical meeting.”
Telephone support has taken on an even bigger role as Mulhern answers the calls of individuals or family members who need guidance on detox and treatment options. Mulhern and his team are able to advise and help them understand the resources and facilities in the area. The need is great, and it is critical that South Shore Peer Recovery continues to offer this type of resource navigation over the phone to assist worried family members or individuals seeking help. “I can’t believe Mark and the team were there for me during this time, “ said a member of the peer community recently. “He helped me get help for a friend who really needed it, and he’s been there to answer my questions and hear my concerns…. I don’t know where I’d be without the center!”
As SSPR continues to explore alternative programming options, the organization is evaluating virtual alternatives for its events, including the annual Recovery Rocks music festival in the summer. Current social distancing recommendations will limit the planning of any large gathering of people. Recovery Rocks is the organization’s main annual fundraiser and tallied $200,000 in revenue last year through generous sponsorships, donations, ticket sales, and auction. This revenue is instrumental in supporting the organization’s mission of providing all of its services and programs for free to the community, since the organization is not currently supported by any state funding. At this time, the volunteer development committee is pivoting online as well. A series of small, online events will be planned in order to sustain critical services.
South Shore Bank has generously sponsored the first Facebook Live event, a comedy show planned for May 14th. Please look out for further details!
Please visit www.southshorepeerrecovery.org for more information and additional resources. Virtual support groups are updated daily.
Sign up for Newsletter: https://southshorepeerrecovery.org/newsletter/
Contact: Mark Mulhern, Center Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 781 378-0453.
About South Shore Peer Recovery
South Shore Peer Recovery’s mission is to create a safe space in the heart of the community where people with lived experience join together to build skills, provide support, and find hope in recovery
Founded in 2015, the nonprofit organization provides support for people in recovery and their loved ones at their center in Scituate and at satellite locations across the South Shore. Programs offer opportunities for support, skill building and volunteerism to help create a strong recovery community. Everyone is welcome, and all programs are free. Anyone who is in or seeking recovery, has a loved one in or seeking recovery, or is an ally of recovery, is welcome.