2021 McLester Award Nominations

Communities for Recovery is excited to announce the opening of the Mac McLester award nominations on May 27,2021. This annual award honors an individual who has made exceptional contributions to our Central Texas recovery community in 2020 and has made an impact through service. As you think about individuals that you want to nominate, please consider the broader recovery community such as the advocacy/policy field, medical field, the judicial and criminal justice field and the sober housing arena, etc.

Nominations for the award are peer-based with the final award being determined by the review and recommendations from a committee of past awardees with the Communities for Recovery Board Chair and Executive Director giving final confirmation of the current year award recipient. Nominees must be people who have been involved in the substance use/mental health recovery community. They may not be current Communities for Recovery employees or board members. Nominations close on July 31, 2021.

Nominate a Peer for the Mac McLester Award Here

Thank you,

Darrin Acker

Executive Director

May Spotlight-Mental Health Awareness Month

May is the month to wear green to show your support of Mental Health Awareness month. What does this have to do with recovery? The fact is that Mental Health Disorders often go hand-in-hand with Substance Use Disorder. The statistics point to as many as 50% of those involved with substances may have a co-occurring mental health disorder. Communities for Recovery understands that people need support in both areas and offers support groups and programming designed to support those individuals.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are excited to spotlight our own Cheryl Friedman, RSPS, MHPS, PRSS, CWF, who has worked tirelessly to promote and develop programming that supports individuals with Co-Occurring disorders. Cheryl is a strong advocate for Dual Recovery supports and has maintained a Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) meeting at CforR for the last four years. DRA is a 12-Step fellowship that supports people with Dual Disorders. Currently, this support group is meeting on the Zoom platform.

Read More

Dual Diagnosis: Substance Abuse and Mental Health

In co-occurring disorders, both the mental health issue and the drug or alcohol addiction have their own unique symptoms that may get in the way of your ability to function at work or school, maintain a stable home life, handle life’s difficulties, and relate to others. To make the situation more complicated, the co-occurring disorders also affect each other. When a mental health problem goes untreated, the substance abuse problem usually gets worse. And when alcohol or drug abuse increases, mental health problems usually increase too.

Co-occurring substance abuse problems and mental health issues are more common than many people realize. According to reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

  • Roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.

  • 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness.

  • Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent abuse alcohol or drugs.

Read the full article by Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.

“I was early in recovery and 12 steps meeting were not satisfying my needs, I found that Dual Recovery support is what I needed. I was given an opportunity to volunteer in Dual Recovery Anonymous meetings through Communities for Recovery.”

~Jerry, CforR Volunteer and President’s Volunteer Service Award Recipient

Your donation helps us provide support for those dealing with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders


Co-Occurring Challenges (Endorsement Training For RSPS/MHPS)

The Co-Occurring Challenges Training is a cross-disciplinary training for Mental Health Peer Specialists and Recovery Support Peer Specialists designed to increase their knowledge and awareness of the relationship between substance use and mental health disorders.

To be eligible for the training, a Peer Specialist must have been employed as a peer specialist at least half time for a minimum of six months.

The Co-Occurring Challenges curriculum has been developed as a resource for experienced peer specialists from the substance use and mental health recovery support communities. The curriculum provides an interactive approach to:

  • Cross-training on substance use and mental health recovery

  • Developing practical skills for working peers who assist those living with co-occurring challenges.

The training consists of the following modules:

Module 1. Introductions/Training Objectives

Module 2. Same Ideas, Different Words

Module 3. What’s happening in Texas

Module 4. Which Door Did You Walk Through? Systems of Care, History, and Cultures of Recovery.

Module 5. The Role of Trauma

Module 6. The Chicken, the Egg, and the Omelet/ Co-occurring Experiences

Module 7. This All Sounds Good/Using Motivational Interviewing in the Real World

Module 8. When the Lines Get Blurry/Boundaries and Transference

Module 9. Moving Forward

Learn More

“What I really needed was a place I could find a purpose and a community that would support me in my recovery and after my first meeting with my Peer Recovery Coach, I knew instantly that this was a place I wanted to part of.”

~ Denise, CforR Volunteer and President’s Volunteer Service Award Recipient

Make a donation to support our leaders like Denise through recovery.


Let’s Get Together!

Central Texas Mental Health Resources

Austin Area Mental Health Consumers, Inc. provides its services at The Self-Help and Advocacy Center (The SHAC). AAMHC provides a safe environment for adults to regain knowledge and skills needed for persons living with mental illness and substance abuse issues through support groups, a resource area, Peer Mentor services, Tai Chi classes, snacks, and camaraderie.

Bluebonnet Trails- Offers an array of health services for all ages, including crisis services, counseling, medication management, developmental disabilities, early childhood interventions, primary care, dental, substance abuse, employment and housing assistance. Services are offered throughout Central Texas Counties.

Austin Clubhouse- Austin Clubhouse is dedicated to the recovery of adults experiencing mental health illness by providing opportunities for our members to live, work, and learn, while contributing their talents through a community of mutual support.

Crisis Planning Guide- A NAMI resource guide for those experiencing a mental health emergency

Hill Country MHDD Centers- Provides mental health services, substance abuse treatment and intellectual/developmental disability programs for a 19-county service area in Central Texas.

Integral Care’s Mental Health Urgent Care- A walk-in clinic for adults and children having a mental health crisis.

SIMS Foundation- The SIMS Foundation provides mental health and substance use recovery services and supports for musicians, music industry professionals, and their dependent family members.

Click Here for a list of 24/7 Crisis Hotlines and Resources

Communities for Recovery Mission

We support long-term recovery for people with substance use and co-occurring mental health issues by partnering with other organizations in the community to provide peer-supported recovery services.

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