Mental Health Coaches
How It Works
This role has been called anything from: Sober Coach to Sober Companion to Recovery Specialist to Recovery Agent. We choose to call them Mental Health Coaches because our coaches are trained to deal with complex mental health issues of which alcoholism or substance use disorder are only a couple. They are also not long-term babysitters. They are trained coaches.
The Role of a Mental Health Coach
A Mental Health Coach is invited into an individual’s life to live with them and support them towards their healing. This can happen in many different situations. Before going to treatment, to help begin the recovery process and ensure they get there safely. It can happen after a 28-day treatment program when a person is newly returning to their life and needs to establish new connections, relationships and practice the tools they have been introduced to and are not fully familiar with yet.
It can also happen in place of inpatient treatment, where the coach becomes a primary support and guides the individual through their day. It can also be situational—for a family vacation or work trip or tour. Mental Health Coaches are also fundamental elements during an in-home detox.
Our coaches can be requested to address a variety of challenges from: substance use disorder to mental health to executive functioning or cognitive impairment to chronic pain to a general sense of being stuck in life. It is not only surrounding treatment for substance use disorder.
The Benefits of Having a Mental Health Coach
Great Mental Health Coaches perform their work on more levels than an individual is aware of. They are always keeping the wellbeing and treatment plan of the individual in mind when interacting with anyone in the loved one’s life, in helping them make decisions, in helping to build habits and routine.
They bring tools of recovery, mental health training, and trauma-informed care to help stabilize someone throughout difficult moments. They administer medication, perform drug testing, are a friend, accompany to difficult or triggering events, connect to activities, resources, recovery groups. They form a relationship that gives the individual strength to adopt healthier behaviors.
We Empower You
In the best cases, they help the individual to identify what they are passionate about and build a life around it. The ultimate goal is to empower the individual to do what the coach has done for themselves, and become their own self-directed resource.
We don’t promote the notion of Mental Health Coaches as “adult babysitters,” “sober body guards” or “shadows.” Anyone can be hired to follow someone around. Coaches who are hired in that role will always be needed because they do not empower the individual to find freedom. A great sober Mental Health Coach will eventually work their way out of the job by empowering the individual to take the reins.
Not just anyone can be hired to do this work. Because of the trust, confidentiality and sensitivity this requires to be effective, Mental Health Coaches need definite skills.
Initially, they are drawn to the work because of their personality and lived experience. These cannot be taught. They also have come from their own recovery journeys which provide the empathy, compassion and understanding necessary to facilitate a successful connection with the individual they are always uniquely and selectively paired with.
Finally, through training, they develop a clinical awareness to be effective on treatment teams and in the complexity of 24/7 coaching support.
SOHL prides itself on its instinct for finding and training the best Mental Health Coaches, as well as identifying the right fit between coach and client.
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