Promise Resource Network is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform the approach to recovery from mental illness, substance use, and trauma, by focusing on wellness, not illness. Your donation will help us live our mission every day through individualized recovery support, education programs and advocacy, allowing us to change lives and change the way society approaches recovery.
We started out in 2005/2006 as a collective of people that have been directly impacted by mental health issues, allies and service providers that were interested in transforming an illness based treatment system to one that promotes, funds and fosters wellness and recovery. We began with training and technical assistance.
PRN was the first example of a mental health “consumer-run” organization in Charlotte, NC. That is, the agency is operated and staffed by people that have been directly impacted by and involved with mental health services and systems. Now, our expanded team has extensive experience as survivors of trauma, suicide attempts, incarceration, houselessness, involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations, substance use, domestic violence, traumatic brain injury and affiliated life challenges. Since our inception, PRN has been an agency operated by and for people with complex life experiences that utilize our wisdom to support others, change traditional treatment systems and advance social justice.
In 2005, PRN designed a mental health recovery immersion experience called Recovery University. It was considered groundbreaking as former mental health “clients” were training clinicians, family members and allies on recovery research, promising practices, dispelling myths, and facilitating mental health recovery. The 68 hour training was required by all service providers and was facilitated in a shared learning environment of people that were service involved, psychiatrists, family members, clinicians and allies, coming together and learning together without the hierarchy of title, educational degree or licensure. “GED to PhD, all valued to me” guided our blended learning approach.
While Recovery University was successful in changing perceptions, building awareness and shifting approaches to mental health services, an urgent need remained.
Our community needed recovery-based alternatives to traditional treatments that were led by people with personal lived experience.
In short, we had communities of people that wouldn’t engage in treatment or services or were kicked out of them due to their history. We had a community of people that systems were not designed for and certainly not designed with. We had gaps and without survivor-led options, those gaps would remain.
With this PRN began incubating innovative peer-led alternatives and has been privileged to do so for 18 years. We now operate 15 local recovery initiatives, a statewide movement to mobilize people impacted by social justice issues called Peer Voice NC, and we incubate survivor-led start-up organizations, initiatives or projects that create recovery alternatives in their own communities.