|Regional Peer Support Initiative|
Through grant funding secured from the Department of Justice’s Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP), the Hyde County Health Department is leading the charge for peer support efforts in Northeastern NC. This Regional Peer Support Program has been designed and formatted to bring peer support services to the 2nd Judicial District of NC which includes Hyde, Beaufort, Martin, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties. This regional project will also assist individuals in obtaining peer support training as a means to increase the number of Certified Peer Support Specialists in this five-county region.
The Leadership Team for the Regional Peer Support Project is made up of representation from Hyde County Health Department, Beaufort County Health Department, and Martin-Tyrrell-Washington Health District. This Leadership Team and local Certified Peer Support Specialists partner with various agencies across these counties to ensure the enhancement and development of Peer Support in each respective area.
WHAT IS PEER SUPPORT?
Peer support occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, emotional, social or practical guidance and support to one another. A peer support specialist is a person with “lived experience” who has been trained to support those who struggle with mental health, psychological trauma, or substance use. Their personal experience of these challenges provides peer support specialists with expertise that professional training cannot replicate.
BIO OF JD REA
Hello, I am JD Rea. I am a certified peer support specialist and the new Regional Peer Support Coordinator for the 2nd Judicial District of NC. At the age of 19, I started down a road of partying and drug use. For 11 years, I made that my lifestyle. I experienced everything from incarceration to homelessness to broken relationships everywhere I turned.
It was not until the year 2017 that I decided to start changing my life’s path. It was 2 o’clock in the morning and I was rustling with the two small blankets I had received from the Salvation Army, trying to stay warm as rain leaked through the shelter I was sleeping under. I had turned 30 a month prior, and I was starting to feel exhausted. I was simply tired of running. It was at this time that I started to ask myself, “What is it that I am doing?”
I contacted a preacher from a church that I went to when I was younger, and we started the process of looking for a rehab facility that I could go to. After going to that rehab for 8 months and completing the program, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. I decided to stay and live in NC and start a new, fresh life. After living through that experience, I became passionate about talking to people and helping those who have walked the same path that I have.
In 2019, the Hyde County Health Department sent me to training to became a Certified Peer Support Specialist. I soon began holding group peer support sessions in Hyde County. After a year of providing those services, I then applied to be the Regional Peer Support Coordinator for the 2nd Judicial District of NC. I am now in a fulltime position with a career that I am very passionate about. If you would like to hear more of my story, visit: https://youtu.be/IqGsaMhapOg?t=1
If you are interested in taking advantage of peer support services in our region OR if you are interested in becoming a Certified Peer Support Specialist, please reach out to us using the contact information listed below.
- JD Rea
- Regional Peer Support Coordinator (Hyde, Beaufort, Martin, Tyrrell, & Washington Counties)
- 252-422-1581 (cell)
- 252-926-4371 (office)