Poetry for Personal Power (P3) Receives $100,000 from the Health Forward Foundation Mental Health Fund

Poetry for Personal Power (P3) recently received a grant for $100,000 from the Health Forward Foundation Mental Health Fund to support the Stars Among Us program.

The Stars Among Us program will match 30-60 peers with a behavioral health peer support specialist for peer support and mentoring in the community. Each peer will receive 25 hours of one-on-one peer support from a trained peer; unlimited access to P3 peer workshops and groups; and access to P3’s trainings, resources, and events such as advocacy events, webinars, the peer information campus (PIC), and connection to community resources. Peer support, including connection and referrals to other community service providers that are part of the peers’ recovery plan, will aid in solving social determinants and will increase the likelihood of success in achieving mental health and substance use recovery milestones.

There is a lack of access to culturally competent behavioral health services and a limited number of peer recovery support service workers available to support those in recovery in the Kansas City metropolitan area. A rising number of individuals in recovery from incarceration, substance use disorder, trauma, or inpatient psychiatric hospitalization is creating an additional burden on mental health agencies, peer-run support organizations attempting to provide support services, and the behavioral health workforce overall. Furthermore, the already limited behavioral health system is not equipped to ensure that training, recruitment, and retention of peer support workers leads to a workforce with enough numbers, knowledge, and skills to offer consistent culturally competent services that help peers build resiliency considering the socio-cultural determinants of health that exist in our area. P3 is uniquely positioned to deliver certified peer support services and strengthen the behavioral health workforce infrastructure in the Kansas City region.

As a result of participation in project activities, supported peers will improve in mental and behavioral health outcomes including decreased hospitalization and increased individual resilience and make positive progress towards their individual goals for stability including avoiding re-arrest, increasing personal income, and pursuing education or employment.

Poetry for Personal Power (P3) is a nationally recognized expert on trauma and resilience, incorporated and headquartered in Kansas City, Kansas (Wyandotte County). P3 was formed in 2009 to address stigma-reduction and social-inclusion needs. P3’s mission of “using art to show that emotional distress is temporary and transformative” uses a combination of art, peer support, and artist/advocates to promote recovery and true healing from emotional distress. P3’s evidence-based programs provide individuals with the tools to overcome adversity and make sustainable changes to support continued growth in overall wellness. P3’s programs promote three main messages: everyone goes through adversities; sharing how you overcome helps others overcome; and find your personal power.