About the Coalition

The Wellness Workforce Coalition Mission Statement is to create a statewide coalition of peer-run organizations which supports training and advocacy for Vermont’s peer workforce while preserving the autonomy, character, and contributions of each member organization.

The Coalition facilitates a range of support and training opportunities by and for its 13 peer-run organization members from the mental health and substance abuse recovery communities and for peers working in Vermont’s community mental health agencies. This collaboration between the peer community and the designated mental health agencies continues to grow and expand to meet the needs of Vermonters seeking support for psychiatric disabilities and addiction issues.


A Brief History of the Wellness Workforce Coalition

Hurricane Irene devastates much of Vermont. Severe flood damage to the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury results in its closure. But in the wake of the flood, crisis becomes an opportunity.

To provide support statewide, the Vermont Department of Mental Health directs $1 million in emergency funds to peer services. Vermont begins shifting from a medical model to a recovery model.

Representatives of groups including peer-run organizations and the Vermont Department of Mental Health meet to discuss a new model for a peer network in Vermont. The new network will be peer run and peer governed.

The Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) is awarded the grant to develop a Vermont peer network to support the expansion, coordination, and quality improvement of peer services across Vermont.

After discussions with stakeholders regarding the feasibility of coming together to provide training, advocacy, and workforce development, the Vermont Peer Network Wellness Workforce Coalition is formed. The organization is funded using a portion of the $1 million the state had appropriated in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Vermont’s community mental health organizations join Coalition members in sending peer workers to trainings in Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP), Intentional Peer Support (IPS), and other Coalition sponsored trainings and information sessions.

The Year in Review
The Wellness Workforce Coalition is evolving to meet the needs of Vermont’s peer workforce. Its activities include, advocacy, the creation of a website and scheduling meetings, trainings, and workshops statewide to enhance the array of services available to Vermonters seeking peer support.

The Wellness Workforce Coalition launches its website. The site is a source for information regarding trainings, conferences, and workshops. Additionally it features a list of resources and support groups.