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The Climb

Peer Recovery Coaches: Mentorship in Monitoring

Jan 9, 2019 2:06:35 PM / by Ascension Recovery Services

Once a person suffering from addiction has gone through treatment, he or she may need additional after-care treatment in the form of monitoring services. Monitoring services can help a person in recovery develop positive family relationships, transition into a supportive living environment like a sober living home, foster accountability and more.

At Ascension, we believe mentorship within a monitoring program can increase the chances of an individual’s lifelong sobriety. Continue reading to learn about these services and hear from our Peer Recovery Coaches (PRCs) and mentees.


According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

“Knowing their drug abuse is being monitored can be a powerful incentive for patients and can help them withstand urges to use drugs. Monitoring also provides an early indication of a return to drug use, signaling a possible need to adjust an individual’s treatment plan to better meet his or her needs.”


At Ascension Recovery Services, our relapse prevention and monitoring services consist of a 10-step process, which provides guidance and accountability that an individual needs to stay on track.

  1. The person in recovery transitions to after-care. This is critical. Statistics for long term sobriety increase substantially the longer one stays engaged in a managed therapeutic plan.
  2. ARS mediates the relationship between the person in recovery and the family.
  3. The person in recovery transitions to an appropriate housing situation, which may include residence in a sober living home.
  4. Twelve-step programming and sponsorship are facilitated and tracked.
  5. Accountability is managed through regular check-ins and drug testing.
  6. Ongoing counseling is coordinated for the person in recovery and the family.
  7. Family meetings and ongoing therapeutic assignments support the family in their recovery.
  8. Progress reporting benefits sustained recovery and family healing.
  9. Integration is supported with job placement assistance (and more).
  10. The person in recovery is equipped with sober living tools and a solid plan. The family and person in recovery continue a long-term healthy lifestyle.

We rely on a customized process based on the care team’s monitoring program, including:

  • Extended care transitions
  • Development of after-care plans
  • Accountability management
  • Case management
  • Coaching with a state-certified peer recovery coach (PRC)
  • Progress reports and family correspondence
  • Toxicology screenings



Our PRCs connect with individuals that struggle with Substance Use Disorder SUD to help them find the services they need to live a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle. PRCs work with individuals in the monitoring program to develop a mentorship dynamic that fosters accountability.

A PRC is an individual in recovery themselves. They understand the situation at hand. After extensive training that involves working 500 clinical hours, PRCs can be certified.



At Ascension, we have many PRCs who work within our monitoring program. We sat down with them and asked some questions about their thoughts on mentorship in monitoring.

Stephanie-KlempStephanie Klemp is a state-certified PRC, peer mentor specialist and house manager of an 11-bed sober living home. Stephanie has dedicated her life to long-term recovery and is an active member in the recovery community.

Why do you think mentoring is important in monitoring?

“Mentorship is important in monitoring because everyone needs a cheerleader and that’s a huge part of mentorship. Being there to cheer someone on, hold their hand, give them a little push to face their fears and grow with them when they succeed is important.”

What does being a mentor mean to you?

“Being a mentor means being able to give back. To share my experience in such a way that helps others grow in their recovery.”

 What are some skills a mentor should have? 

“A mentor should practice active listening, patience, tolerance, honesty, compassion and show unconditional love.

Do you have a mentor? If so, what have you learned from them?

“I have a mentor. I’ve learned how to work with others, and I’ve learned the kind of mentor I want to be.”

 Krista White is the West Virginia Sober Living Intake Coordinator, women’s house manager Krista-White-House-Managerand PRC. Krista managed a 16-bed halfway house, 10 apartment complex, and a women and children’s residence in Charleston West Virginia, for women struggling with substance use disorders. Krista is also a person in long-term recovery.

 How do you feel about being a mentor?

“I really enjoy being a mentor and have a great passion for it. I love being able to give back and help others and to be able to connect with others and help them get connected with whatever it is they need to help with - the steps to making their life better.”

Why do you think mentoring is important in monitoring?

“A person in recovery gets a connection with someone who has been exactly where they have been.”

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned as a mentor?

“You have to have open mindedness. And, I am going to make mistakes.”

Dan McCawley, PRC and interventionist. Dan’s experience as a person in long-term recovery is invaluable in his role as a PRC and a manager of a 19-bed sober living home in Morgantown, West Virginia.


 How do you feel about being a mentor?

“I love it. It is rewarding to be able to share my journey in recovery.”

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned as a mentor?

“Every individual has their own path. It is not my job to push any path but to help them accomplish their recovery goals.”

 Do you have a mentor? If so, what have you learned from him/her?

“I do, and I learned about my job, and I continue to hone my art with him on a daily basis. He is really the reason I work in this field and owe most of what I know to his mentorship.”

What should someone in recovery look for in a mentor?

“They should look for someone whose dedication for recovery is evident in their daily life.”

How do you know you’re ready to mentor someone?

“There is a time when your head, heart and gut sign with recovery. It can be a bit scary when someone is struggling, but a great support system through work and an active recovery program can be just the push to become the mentor an individual needs.”

Russell Wyatt, a PRC and peer mentor specialist in West Virginia, is a house manager in a 14-bed sober living home Morgantown, West Virginia. He currently works with the WV Peers initiative and his job duties include peer recovery coaching and community outreach. He graduated from Webster County High School in Upper Glade, West Virginia. He successfully completed Mon County Drug Court Program in 2014 and continues to lead by example for others who go through their program. He is also deeply involved in serving the 12 step fellowship he is involved in. He sponsors other men and helps them navigate their path of recovery. He is very passionate about helping others find a new way to live. 

Why do you think mentorship is important in monitoring?

“I think mentorship is important because if I had nobody to guide me to a new life I would still be trapped in the old one or maybe dead because that is the ultimate destination of active addiction. I needed somebody to show me what happy recovery looked like.”

Did you have a mentor? If so, what have you learned from them?

"I have had a lot of mentors in my recovery. I learned how to live life again and to work on myself from the inside because that's where the problem was. I have learned to be courageous and face my fears in life. I continue to learn from them every day.”

What does being a mentor mean to you?

“Being a mentor means a lot to me. In my active addiction, I created a storm of hurt and destruction for myself and everything around me. Being a mentor is one of the ways I can make amends to myself and society. Everyone needs a light to shine when they are living in darkness. I believe as mentors, we are that light.”

 Some individuals in the monitoring program opt to have a mentor. We sat down with some of our mentees and asked a few questions about their thoughts on mentorship in monitoring.

 Chris A., a mentee.

 Do you like having a mentor?Chris A

“Yes, having a mentor is a great opportunity to grow and learn under supervision. It’s
like having a ‘life sponsor.’ I can reach out about anything that I need help with, and in turn, I receive guidance.”

 What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from your mentor?

“I think one of the biggest and most important lessons I’ve learned from my mentor is that it’s important to have goals. My mentor reinforced the belief that I am capable of anything. I can accomplish anything if I put in the leg work and continue to stay clean.”

What did you look for when seeking a mentor?

“I was mostly looking for stability and comfortability. I wanted to find someone that has a secure sense of self, that has a stable life and lived comfortably. Those are some of the things that I wanted for myself, and I hoped a mentor could show me how to attain those things.”

What does having a mentor mean to you?

“Having a mentor provides me with some security. It gives me a sense of peace. I know that I am not alone, and I have someone to turn to when I have questions or problems arise in my life. There is reassurance in knowing that there are others around me with my best interest in mind. I need a mentor in my life, and it means a lot to have mentoring services.”

Mr. Baer, a mentor to our founder, Doug Leech, talked about his time mentoring Doug: 

In what ways do you think Doug needed guidance, and how do you feel you assisted/guided him?

"Doug is strategic in developing prospective treatment centers. They begin with needs assessment, type required (continuum of care) including front-end assessment including staffing, marketing, and front to back door procedures,” Baer said. “I helped him develop a course of action such as beginning to set goals, understanding the importance of team building and growing, as well as hiring individuals best for the job.”

Can you talk about the success of his business so far, and where you think it will go? What it means to our community?

“I think in the Morgantown area, as well as communities around our country, Ascension is providing a service by helping people back into the workforce, as well as being held accountable in the recovery process,” Baer said. “It’s giving them a second chance, being there as support and giving encouragement.”

“Sometimes people don’t have the ability or skill set, and part of what these programs do is help get them to the next level.”

What does being a mentor mean to you?  

“For me it’s a privilege to be able to give advice and to help someone develop strategies to help grow their personal and business life,” Baer said.

What does the success that Doug has had with Ascension mean to you?

“I think that the thing that is really exciting is to watch Doug’s growth,” Baer said. “He has passion for what he does, he is dedicated to giving back and he carries the message that we don’t have to be what we always were.”


 At Ascension Recovery Services, it is our goal to give a person in recovery all the tools they need to have lifelong sustainable sobriety, including an aftercare plan involving:

If you would like to learn more about our monitoring services, give us a call: 304-241-4585.

Topics: monitoring services

Ascension Recovery Services

Written by Ascension Recovery Services

Ascension Recovery Services is a team of experts and specialists with years of experience working with individuals and organizations aiming to open behavioral health organizations.

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