Peer to Peer Support Centre in Alamogordo, N.M.

It can be a challenge and stressful for family members or friends living with someone struggling with a substance addiction or behavioral health concern.

It can be an even a bigger challenge and very stressful for someone who is struggling in recovery or working through a behavioral health concern. It can be an even bigger struggle for someone to find someone to talk to about it.

The Otero County Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the Wright House is inviting the public to a planning meeting to start a peer-to-peer recovery center at 6:30 p.m. on Monday in the Granada Shopping Center, 700 E. First St. Suite 748 in the Kid's Bay shop next to Eddie's Burritos.

The peer-to-peer center is an effort by Wright House to reach out to people struggling from time to time with substance abuse, disabilities, mental disorders or behavioral health disorders whether they've been diagnosed with a mental disorder or not.

Brandy Boerner, Second Chances program manager, said she wants to put together a support group for people in the community.

"We want people who are in recovery or who have a family member who's in recovery," Boerner said. "It can be from either substance abuse, addiction or a mental health or behavioral health issue. We want to meet together and come up with plans to help each other. It would be a support group with people who have already been there to help others going through the same issues."

She said she wants it to be a peer-to-peer group because people who have dealt with the issues can give others advice on how they dealt with the same issues and overcame problems to improve their lives.

"We want to help people facilitate the service," Boerner said. "It's a planning meeting. We would like them to be involved in the planning and setup of the center."

She said she has some ideas for the people to try.

"We would like them to set up a warm line," Boerner said. "It's something that people can call in when they're having a hard time. It's not a crisis line. We would also like them to plan community activity nights."

Santiango Rodriguez, Wright House executive director said he would like to have a warm line that's not staffed by psychologists or counselors but staffed by an individual who has dealt with their own mental health issues or addictions and family issues.

"It would be somebody who has dealt with it and been successful with dealing with those issues," Rodriguez said. "People who have already been there. Somebody who understands where this person that may be calling has successfully dealt with it."

He said Wright House will provide a place for the community to have a call-in center or drop-in center to help people.

"It's a place where people can vent a little bit," Rodriguez said. "Teenagers can tell their friends but not their friends. It would be a place where people are free to voice their concerns, stresses and issues without being judged or ridiculed by another person."

Community relations liaison Gloria Blakey said she believes some of the teenagers in the community have issues to discuss and want good sound advice on how to deal with them.

"They can come by and talk," Blakey said. "It's for everybody in the family."