Spotlight: Recovery Coach Program

Published: September 27, 2018

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With September marking National Recovery Month, Bridgewell is pleased to announce the expansion of its Recovery Coach Program to Salem Hospital. Launched in March 2017 at Union Hospital in Lynn, the program is the newest addition to Bridgewell’s comprehensive portfolio of recovery services, which includes a combination of outpatient treatment, community and recovery housing, and more.

Bridgewell’s Recovery Coach Program works by dispatching recovery specialists, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to local emergency departments when a person is treated for an overdose or requests assistance with recovery. All of Bridgewell’s recovery coaches are certified and have achieved at least six years of sobriety. Though Bridgewell doesn’t require its recovery coaches to be in recovery themselves, it highly values the connection that manifests from a shared experience like addiction.

Once connected by emergency department staff, the relationship between the individual in need of services and the recovery coach can vary greatly. Depending upon the situation, the meeting can be brief or lead to a scheduled program of support. At minimum, the recovery coach acts as a sympathetic ear following a traumatic event. At maximum, the recovery coach is the facilitator of a specialized program aimed at a patient’s recovery.

“Unfortunately, due to the nature of the environment in which they work, hospital staff often lack the time and resources needed to address the long-term issues of people who overdose,” said Wendy Kent, Director of Behavioral Health and Prevention Programs at Bridgewell. “For a population so used to being dismissed, offering them the chance to create a one-on-one connection with someone who understands what they are going through at such a critical time can make all the difference.”

Since its launch, Bridgewell’s Recovery Coach Program has grown to include eight recovery coaches. To date, the recovery coaches have made a total of 682 visits to the emergency room  and have seen 455 individuals. Of those, approximately 25% have been at least initially connected to treatment services, including outpatient and/or medication assisted treatment, residential services, detox, behavioral health services or case management and recovery coach support.

For additional information about Bridgewell’s Recovery Coach Program and other recovery services for those struggling with substance use disorders, please call 781.593.1088.

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