Consumers, individuals with mental health and substance use conditions, work as peer counselors in Alameda County. They are an essential resource for recovery and work with clients to help them develop new meaning and purpose for their lives. The journey of mental health recovery is a deeply personal and unique process. Peer counselors share how they improve their health and wellness and support others to live a self-directed life.

How did you get started in this work?

Nick Hecht, Intern at BestNow

“I have been greatly helped by the mental health system. I wanted to be a part of that system. I feel empowered knowing I help others.”

What inspired you to do this work?

Mary Hogden, Manager at Pool of Consumer Champions

“I am in recovery from my mental health challenges and like helping others find their way to wellness. I enjoy giving back what was given to me.”

Anh Ta, Regional Practice Coordinator at Trauma Transformed

“My personal experiences with mental health and substance use. I want to understand human suffering, how to journey with people and honor that process.”

What keeps you going?

Shawn Davis, Programs and Outreach Assistant at Youth in Mind

“Having so many positive influences in what I do. My goal is to help someone else who does not think they have a voice. It keeps me grounded.”