At the age of 14, Mark began to self medicate with alcohol to relieve his depression.  Over the years, the self medication escalated to the point where he began contemplating suicide.

“With the help of the staff at Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center,  I was able to get the help that I desperately needed,” said Mark.

Mark has been able to turn his life around.  He is now an advocate for both mental health issues and for substance use disorders.

Jane has been a Peer Support Specialist at Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center’s Peer Support Network since 2015. Peer Support Specialists are people living in recovery with mental illness who provide support to others, who can benefit from their lived experiences.

“You are applying what you know,” said Jane.  “I am helping people but I am also helping myself because they are helping me with my recovery.”

The Peer Support Network is accessible to any adult (18+) with a mental health illness.  There is no cost and participants are not required to be a client of Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center.

When Lana started working with Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center professionals in 2015, she was a stay-at-home mom and unsure in her ability to work in the community.  Through the Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services program, Lana was able to receive the coaching and support needed to navigate the path of her mental illness.  Today, Lana is working and has been given the opportunity to be a fill-in manager.

“I was broken and they have helped me put my pieces back together,” said Lana.  “I am grateful for these services.  They are an important asset.”