On October 23, several CASES staff attended the graduation ceremony of the Howie the Harp Peer Training Program. This program trains individuals with a history of mental health issues to help others seeking recovery. Participants learn to develop personal and professional skills needed to secure long-term employment within the mental health system. CASES is committed to hiring peer specialists to support participants in our mental health programs, including our Community Case Management (CCM) alternative to incarceration for individuals with a history of low-level criminal involvement and who have mental illness.
Olivia Moishe, currently the CCM peer intern, was honored as the keynote speaker of the most recent Howie the Harp graduating class. Her speech was profoundly moving, topped by a guest appearance by her son. CCM’s current peer specialist, Rafael Ortega, was also honored at the ceremony as Alumni of the Year, an award he accepted with a smile and a shout-out to CASES. The event was a further testament to the hard work and dedication of the peer training movement spearheaded by the Howie the Harp Advocacy Center.