Terry Cowan, CPRS, CSPS
I am a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and Certified Supervisor of Peer Specialists. I have lived experience with early childhood trauma and sexual abuse. I have been homeless and incarcerated for years. I am in recovery from alcoholism and substance abuse. I have mental health diagnoses that I treat. Because I treat and continue to recovery from these circumstances I am able to help other do the same. That is why I became a Peer. I started out volunteering at the recovery house that was a client. I then worked or them as a Resident advisor. I also worked part rime at the detoxification center I took advantage of for years. After it was suggested I take the training and exam to become a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, I enrolled in MHA's peer program. After completing their program and passing the certification exam, I began working as a weekend peer for the Bridge Clinic under DSAMH. Gradually I worked up to a full time position and then to a supervisory role. I was the second on their leadership team. I received more training and experience that help me to gain a Certified Supervisor of Peer Specialists certification. Recently it was suggested I interview for a new role within DSAMH as the Peer Services Administrator for DSAMH on the HISD team of Social Determinants. I have since transitioned into this new role and have the honor and privilege to work on a team that focuses on not only helping a broader group of people but allows me to demonstrate the effectiveness of the peer role. In doing this I can hopefully grow the usefulness and application of peer services while maintaining peer fidelity and its core competencies.