COPE was developed based on the premise that, as with any health diagnosis, support is often sought out by others with shared experiences. Helping people dealing with mental health issues to immediately feel they are not alone, establishing a sense of companionship, camaraderie and support that often significantly assists in their recovery process.

Our team is comprised of Florida Certified Recovery Peer Specialists employed by NAMI Collier County, who have lived experience of mental illness and have gone through training and certification preparing them to serve as a role model to other people in recovery from mental health and/or substance abuse issues. Peer support is an evidence-based practice that is considered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to be one of ten guiding principles of recovery.

COPE peer specialists can serve as a sounding board, actively listening to your needs and offering understanding and support through shared experience. Peer specialists advocate for peers, teach coping skills, and help peers access the services and supports that will help them attain their individual recovery goals.

In addition to the individual peer support we provide to high-need persons with serious mental illnesses in Collier County, our outreach efforts also include extensive community partnerships:

  • David Lawrence Center (DLC) Crisis Stabilization Unit Liaison: The COPE Liaison visits peers in the DLC Crisis Stabilization Unit to offer support. Persons served on the unit are also offered post-discharge meetings with a peer specialist. The meetings emphasize (but are not necessary limited to) peer support, goal setting, and linkage to services at NAMI and the Sarah Ann Drop-in Center.

  • FIRST Peer Specialist: The Forensic Intensive Reintegration Support Team (FIRST) project is a collaboration between NAMI, DLC and Collier County Sheriff’s Office. Our FIRST Specialist serves clients assigned by one of our partners to participate in this program.

  • Community Outreach: Our COPE team also facilitates a NAMI Connections group at the Willough of Naples, develops customized educational presentations for community agencies and is also developing projects to serve individuals through partnerships with the Mental Health Court and Park Royal.

For more information, please contact Cindy at 239-963-5708.

Click Here if you are interested in becoming a Certified Recovery Peer Specialist.