UMATILLA COUNTY — The Mental Health & Addiction Certification Board of Oregon recently highlighted the leadership of Amy Ashton-Williams, the director of Human Services in Umatilla County, and her team of Certified Recovery Mentors.
According to a statement from the certification board, Ashton-Williams has worked diligently to integrate recovery mentors in the agency’s intensive alcohol and drug outpatient program over the last four years. Also, part of the success of Umatilla County’s recovery mentor program is attributed to Tiffany Thomas, the peer mentor supervisor.
In addition to supervising peer mentors with the county alcohol and drug program, Thomas also offers free group supervision for peers working at local mental health agencies, outpatient substance use disorder facilities and residential facilities. The county provides assistance to the local agencies in an attempt to better coordinate services and build a strong peer community.
Also, in collaboration with the State Opioid Response Grant, Ashton-Williams recently added recovery mentors to emergency rooms. The mentors are available to provide brief interventions with individuals who are experiencing consequences from their use. Ashton-Williams and Thomas said that the addition of June Kilgore and Marvella Ugarte has improved the county’s ability to connect with and provide support to community members during and after an emergency room visit.
Clients who have recovery mentors, Ashton-Williams said, have a higher retention in treatment, are more likely to stay clean and sober, and have less recidivism. Timmy Clark and Megan Torres have been working in this capacity during traditional work hours. With the addition of more grant funding, Ashton-Williams said peers could be available during evening hours as well.
For more information, contact Ashton-Williams at email@example.com or 541-278-6330.