When someone seeks treatment and commits to a life of recovery, a network of supportive peers can be one of the most gratifying additions. These new relationships bring fresh perspectives, growth, and strength for the journey; however, it may take an effort to develop connections.
Mentorship is one way Rosecrance encourages healthy interactions in the first months of recovery, knowing that an expanded support system can make a significant difference. Throughout the organization, people new to the journey find valuable friends and resources from the help of those who have gained wisdom from extended time in recovery. Unlike sponsors, who serve as long-term coaches and 12 Step accountability partners, mentors are short-term bridge-builders with a wealth of firsthand knowledge.
“It’s important for clients to get plugged into the amazing communities wherever they are,” said Kim Hurd, Mentor Coordinator for Connections Counseling, a division of Rosecrance. “This is how they get the support to start well and establish a foundation for the rest of their lives.”
Connections Counseling’s robust program has touched the lives of thousands since its founding a decade ago with the goal of providing each client with a guide. These one-on-one and small group relationships typically last a few months until a client is successfully integrated into activities and fellowships that best fit their needs.
In addition, mentors are actively engaged in the community. They share stories with clients, speak to students about experiences with substance use and recovery, and lead event-planning for sober events throughout the year to encourage positive relationships within the recovery community.
Though the focus is on helping others, mentors discover personal growth through the experiences, as long-time leaders gain life wisdom to share with newer mentors as well as mentees. As mentors become dedicated to the program’s success, they develop deeper relationships and stronger self-confidence.
For Rosecrance staff, the program provides a unique perspective on people’s lives as they journey from treatment to early recovery, then gain wisdom and maturity to focus on engaging the world around them.
“I’ll never grow tired of watching people’s journeys,” said Rosecrance Alumni Director Colleen Fry. “One of the greatest joys is seeing someone who had been helped become the person holding a hand out to help the next one in line.”