(October 22, 2021)
Yesterday (October 21) was the 7th Annual Global Peer Support Celebration Day. I was at the National Peer Specialist Conference in Atlanta on the day a Dan O’Brien -Mazza, (then) Director of Peer Services in the VA proposed a celebration day to Steve Harrington, (then) Executive Director of the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS), which has since been renamed as the National Association of Peer Supporters (N.A.P.S.).
The main intent of this day of celebration is to recognize he contributions of peer supporters and to help to raise awareness of the work we do.
Yesterday was the first day of this year’s two-day Virtual National Conference, hosted by N.A.P.S., with a number outstanding presenters (view here) and a special award ceremony that featured Harvey Rosenthal paying tribute to our movement’s two recently lost advocates Darby Penney and Jacki McKinney.
Traditionally, groups come together at noon to take a photograph of how they’re celebrating. The Academy of Peer Services is in the midst of recording a training series on Telehealth Peer Support led by Shannon Higbee and Rusty Foster. At noon, participants were given the option of coming on camera to share in the celebration.
Later in the evening, the APS Virtual Community held an Open Mic night for peers to come together to celebrate the day. DJ What kicked off the evening, which was filled with songs, poems, artwork, dancing, and a lot of laughs. To view selected creative expressions from the evening, click here.