Mental health and substance use challenges can take many forms. There’s depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, addiction and the list goes on. Some of these challenges are more visible and you might recognize them immediately. Others can be harder to see when you’re not looking for them. But, they are still there.

These statistics provide a look at how many people face a mental health or substance use challenge, whether we see it or not:

  1. In the United States, almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.
  2. 5 percent of adults (18 or older) experience a mental illness in any one year, equivalent to 43.8 million people.
  3. Of adults in the United States with any mental disorder in a one-year period, 14.4 percent have one disorder, 5.8 percent have two disorders and 6 percent have three or more.
  4. Half of all mental disorders begin by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24.
  5. In the United States, only 41 percent of the people who had a mental disorder in the past year received professional health care or other services.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year approximately one million people die from suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. It is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds.



WiseMinds was established to address a very serious need in mental health support. Following Partial Hospital Program (PHP) treatment/therapy or Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) treatment/therapy, where does one go from there? A huge gap currently exists for those that are no longer eligible for PHP or IOP therapy, many times caused by the termination of insurance coverage. Statistics show that nearly 8 out of 10 PHP/IOP discharges are premature, according to those having been discharged. In many instances, the patient is in significant need of continued mental health support however, there exists very limited resources available. This is where WiseMinds can offer post PHP/IOP support, or can be a supplement to current PHP/IOP therapy. We exist to provide group peer-based support to those individuals seeking continued help. We are here to help! Many studies provide solid evidence that participation in peer support groups reduces reliance on formal services for those in recovery. Unlike hospitalization or institutionalization, peer support groups give participants a sense of exercising control over the quality and direction of their lives. By developing a relationship of trust with their peers, they will work with one another to create plans for responding to challenges and taking care of themselves beyond the group. After all, succeeding beyond the group is the ultimate goal of peer support. 



According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five Americans are affected by mental health conditions. Although millions of people in the United States face issues with mental health, stigma remains a huge barrier to people receiving the care and attention they need. Globally, more than 70% of people with mental illness receive no treatment from health care staff. Evidence suggests that factors increasing the likelihood of treatment avoidance or delay before presenting for care include (1) lack of knowledge to identify features of mental illnesses, (2) lack of knowledge about how to access treatment, (3) prejudice against people who have mental illness, and (4) expectation of discrimination against people diagnosed with mental illness.

Many who have spent time in the mental health system have learned how to be “patients” instead of people. After someone has been given a “mental illness” diagnosis and begun to use services designed for people with “mental illness,” they may feel inferior to other people, and begin to think about all aspects of their life as if they were a “mental patient.” One might become, in their own mind and the mind of others, a diagnosis rather than a person and feel separated from others or devalued.

The hope is that, through using WiseMinds Peer Support, people can move past these old views of themselves, and begin seeing themselves as the same as everyone else. This supports them Moving Forward in their life, as they recover and do the things they want to do and be the way they want to be. This is done by practicing relationships in Peer Support in ways that may be less familiar, but that help them remember who they really are and what they are working toward.

WiseMinds is a organization welcoming any and all individuals to participate in our peer-based support program. We operate in a non-judgment environment and strive to better the lives of those who participate in our program. Peer Support is not about being given answers, but rather about finding answers that work for each of us as individuals.  

WiseMinds Peer Support


The Mission of WiseMinds is to put a positive face on recovery and reduce the impact of mental health disorders in our community.  

We will accomplish this by:

  • cultivating an environment of acceptance and inclusion 
  • by linking peers to existing community resources 
  • by utilizing the success, skills, and support of volunteers who have lived experience with mental health challenges to deliver peer-led and peer-delivered services, and 
  • by being an advocate in our community that educates and reduces the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

We offer hope, support and advocacy for those seeking recovery so that we can build resilience and thrive in our lives and communities.


In Peer Support each person is the expert on her or himself.  And yet, when discussing things with others about  using Peer Support, we  can open the way to considering, and even trying, new ways of doing things and being that make it easier to feel better, get well, stay well and move forward in our lives.  With WiseMind Peer Support, the possibilities are endless. We envision a world where we have an abundance of recovery options and are supported in our right to decide our recovery pathway.  


Instead of taking care of each other and thinking of each other as “mentally ill,” in WiseMinds Peer Support we build a sense of community where we are responsible to each other, and where we focus on learning together, on recovery and wellness, moving forward in our lives, and on working toward our dreams and goals.

Peer Support is different from the support you get from counselors, doctors and case managers. It is more than just being friends. In WiseMinds Peer Support you understand each other because, although everyone has their own unique stories, you have similar experiences that can create a bond that allows you to learn together, figure out how to change the way you do things and the way you think, and to figure out how to move forward in your lives. By sharing your experiences and building trust in each other, you learn to go forward in new ways that move you away from seeing yourself as “mentally ill” and the limitations of such a view. In WiseMinds Peer Support, you can safely try out new ideas and new ways of being through “learning” rather than a “treatment.”