Advocate and Peer Support Specialist
Through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Charlie has trained to serve as an Advocate for the mentally ill and their families. In June of 2014, he completed his training and state certification as a Peer Support Specialist.
What is a Peer Support Specialist? Wikipedia’s definition is very helpful. To paraphrase, it is someone who has progressed in his own recovery from mental illness and is willing to self-identify himself as such, and work to assist others who are trying to cope with their own mental health issues.
Charlie’s experiences provide him with insights that provide credibility to his peers and their family members, Additionally, he can serve as model to others to demonstrate that there is hope for them through effective coping techniques, therapy, and self-help strategies.
Charlie cannot get back the years lost to his disease, but through service to others he aims to find a meaning to his past as well as his future.
If any mental health professionals would like to arrange for Charlie to speak to their staff or patients, please contact him through this web site.