Andrew Moffett: A Voice for Recovery
September is National Recovery month. This year’s theme, Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities, highlights the value of peer support. Peers are individuals in recovery who provide a necessary support system to people struggling with mental illness, substance misuse issues or both. Andrew Moffett is an example of a peer who uses his own experience to help others with similar struggles.
Andrew joined Maine Behavioral Healthcare in 2016 as a peer support specialist at Lancaster Street in Portland. He came to the role having a lived experience with mental illness and is open about a three-year opiate addiction.
It wasn’t until Andrew’s mother almost died after suffering two strokes – a result of her own opiate use – that he decided it was time to get help. “We almost lost her and that was a big eye-opener for me,” Andrew explained. “For many years I battled with severe anxiety and depression. I think drugs were my escape from all that.”
This experience prompted him to move to Portland where he could get the support he needed for his own recovery and ultimately led to the start of a rewarding career. “A lot of people feel they can open up to peer support workers because there is a feeling of mutuality. We’re on the same wavelength and just working toward recovery.”
Andrew has appointments scheduled each day. Some may meet with him weekly, twice a week or even once a month dependent on the needs of the individual. Appointments may be in the office, at a coffee shop or he may even accompany a client to a Doctor appointment if his support is needed. All sessions are focused on building trust and a mutual relationship where both participants help each other.
“The best part of my job is talking to people -- just about every day lives. What struggles are we having? What are the victories we’re having? It’s really about connecting as human beings. I still struggle with things and we’re all human, so let’s just talk about that connection.”