FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2024

CONTACT: Victor Clark, Director, R.I.S.E. Center, 6 Gramatan Avenue, Suite 206, Mount Vernon, NY 10550. (914) 664-3444.

MOUNT VERNON, NY: The Mental Health Empowerment Project (MHEP) is proud to announce the highly anticipated restart of the Peer Bridger Program at the RISE Center in Westchester County. This groundbreaking program – a beacon of hope introduced by The Alliance for Rights and Recovery (formerly NYAPRS) – in 1994, is dedicated to supporting individuals with serious mental illness as they navigate the critical transition from inpatient services to community living.

“Transitioning from hospital to home shouldn’t feel like walking a tightrope without a net. The Peer Bridger Program is here to ensure that no one has to make that walk alone,” said Victor Clark, Director of the RISE Center. This sentiment captures the essence of the program’s mission to provide a safety net through comprehensive support, including outreach and engagement, crisis stabilization and the development of wellness and self-management skills.

The Peer Bridger Program addresses the significant challenge many individuals face upon discharge from psychiatric services. “We’re not just bridging gaps; we’re building pathways to recovery and resilience,” commented Amy Colesante, CEO of the Mental Health Empowerment Project. This innovative approach aims to reduce the rates of rehospitalization significantly, thereby underscoring the effectiveness of peer support in promoting long-term recovery and reintegration into the community.

New York Certified Peer Specialists (NYCPS) from the RISE Center – individuals who have firsthand experience with mental health recovery – play a crucial role in fostering trusting relationships with individuals still in the hospital, collaborating to set goals and action plans for life post-discharge. The program’s unique strength lies in its ability to address the persistent stressors that often lead to hospitalization, providing ongoing support to navigate these challenges successfully.

As MHEP reintroduces this essential program, our commitment to empowerment, recovery and community integration remains steadfast. MHEP looks forward to making a continued impact on the lives of individuals navigating the journey from hospital to home.

For more information about the Peer Bridger Program at the RISE Center or to learn how you can support our mission, please contact us at Together, we can make a profound difference in the lives of those we serve.