A Helping Hand

Recovery from addiction can be a scary path to walk alone. That’s why The HOPE Community Center for Mental Wellness created its peer mentoring program.

The program provides free mentoring for Clermont County residents suffering from alcohol and drug addiction.

Mentors assist with basic needs: housing, clothing, food and insurance. Mentors are also willing to attend 12-step and support meetings, as well as assist individuals with treatment and connect them to long-term sponsors.  

Rhonda Birkhimer, a recovery coach at HOPE, says the personal connection with mentors and sponsors can help an individual’s fear and anxiety when seeking treatment. Each mentor has been in similar circumstances and understand recovery is possible with regular support.

HOPE’s peer support specialists are trained and certified by Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services (OHMHAS). Each Specialist leads classes and helps build a community where everyone is encouraged to share personal experiences. In this community, mentors and mentees support each other.  

“We understand there are many different paths to recovery and each individual is different and will want or need different things,” said Jessica Johnson, a recovery coach at HOPE.

While HOPE services Clermont County, those seeking treatment in Hamilton County can contact the Center for Addiction Treatment (CAT).

CAT assigns mentors to current patients in the women’s recovery pod at the Hamilton County Justice Center. Mentors share personal stories, answer questions and guide patients on their paths to recovery.

Although CAT’s mentor program currently works with the women’s recovery pod, they hope to extend their services to include men’s recovery, detox and veterans’ pods.

CAT added 25 new mentors in July.

“We know what hope feels like because everyone involved with our program has been where an active addict has been,” CAT recovery coach Barb Walkenhorst said. “We know that there is a way out, and we know that treatment works and 12-step meetings work. Abstinence is possible.”

HOPE #: (513) 752-6170

CAT #: (513) 381-6672