peer support

Cancer-Coaching Grandmothers Hold Hands, Lift Spirits

Oct 26, 2017
Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio

When a new friend threatened to cancel her mastectomy, Ella Jones’ mothering instincts kicked in.

“I went over to the bed, and I rubbed her and talked to her, and explained in general terms what was going to happen,” said Jones. “If she had gotten up out of that bed and left, she would have never done any treatment.”


In Texas, People With Mental Illness Are Finding Work Helping Peers

Jul 12, 2017

Recovery coaches and peer mentors – known in Alcoholics Anonymous as "sponsors" — have for decades helped people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Now, peer support for people who have serious mental illness is becoming more common, too. Particularly in places like Texas, where mental health professionals are in short supply, paid peer counselors are filling a gap.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

Deana Kilpatrick smoked crack for the first time when she was 13 years old. “From there,” she says, “I really just spiraled down hill.”

For the next 30 years, drugs and alcohol were part of her life. Then last November, at the age of 43, she moved to Branson, Missouri looking for a new start. It was going pretty well until loneliness drove her to relapse a few months ago. She got a fourth DWI and faced up to four years in jail.