Peer counseling program helps people cope with mental illness - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Peer counseling program helps people cope with mental illness

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Some counselors are adding their unique perspectives to help people with mental illnesses.

Rachel Dray has anxiety and depression. She puts her experience with these conditions to good use, working as a Certified Peer Support Specialist at a Recovery Center in Waterloo. There, she and her team help people through struggles they've often experienced first-hand.

"It really takes someone who's been there to be able to relate to what they're feeling, because it's their feelings that people don't understand," Dray said.

The mental health care redesign redefines the peer support programs as a core service, which means easier access for those struggling with mental illness.

The Center is located in the Black's Building in Waterloo. Though they have many resources there, Dray said the most important service they provide people is hope.

All the counselors are certified by the state. The program is overseen by the Black Hawk - Grundy Mental Healthcare Center in Waterloo.

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