Finding your way through the maze of social services is a difficult task for anyone. Imagine trying to make sense of these various systems in the middle of a psychotic or manic episode or while clinically depressed. The primary purposes of NAMI-CV's peer advocacy program are:
- to assist consumers in resolving complaints with the human service system and/or support services,
- to protect the rights of consumers,
- to promote empowerment and recovery, and
- to educate consumers about available services.
NAMI-CV's Peer Advocate/Educator, will help the consumer determine exactly what kind of assistance is needed and the type and extent of involvement that s/he wants. Such requested assistance may take many forms:
- Helping the consumer define the problem and some possible solutions/strategies for addressing it;
- Accompanying the consumer to meetings, hearings, appointments, etc.;
- Working with providers of mental health services or community agencies;
- Assisting the consumer with accessing, understanding, and completing paperwork;
- Helping the consumer access and review mental health or other records;
- Working with the consumer to resolve immediate life problems-food, housing, bills, legal issues, etc.; and
- Providing one-on-one support, skill training and encouragement.