The Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services is starting a monthly Community Spotlight! This is where we celebrate people who have been nominated by YOU for the amazing job they are doing to support our community.
This month’s Community Spotlight is Tanya Wessells!
Peer Support Program Manager at Addiction Recovery Coalition of New Hampshire (ARC NH) in Milford, incoming Recovery Services Supervisor at Harbor Care
Tell us about yourself.
I am currently a Certified Recovery Support Worker (CRSW) through the state of NH and an approved CRSW supervisor. I received some college education in the Human Service Associates program at Nashua Community College and was recently accepted into Granite State College’s Human Service bachelor’s program. I also have my Recovery Coach certificate. I had originally had plans to become a LADC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor), which I may still pursue but I have recently become very passionate about building leaders, and I am interested in going to school for Organizational Leadership. I am currently in the Communities Project Leadership Cohort 2.0, learning leadership skills and how to speak to the leaders in others, which I bring into not only my work with those I supervise, but with my participants/clients, family and other individuals in my life.
My dream is to someday open a transitional living program for people with substance use, as I am a huge believer in providing a safe, supportive living environment for individuals working on their recovery where they don’t have to worry about paying “rent” or fees. I have also thought about becoming a certified doula to provide support to pregnant/postpartum women with substance use disorder. As a woman in long term recovery myself and having struggled with postpartum depression/anxiety that almost caused me to have a recurrence I am extremely passionate about providing support and education to this population as well as providers.
What does community mean to you?
Community to me means a feeling of belonging, feeling supported and nurtured and being able to provide the same to others.
What does public health (or health) mean to you, especially within the context of substance use disorders?
I feel that public health in the context of substance use disorders means providing accurate and non-stigmatizing education to the community about the different the different types of substance use disorders, the impact each type of substances has on the body, has on the community, the different types of ways people develop substance use disorder and what the community can do to support individuals with SUD, their recovery and the family unit.
What motivates you to give back to the substance use disorder community?
Remembering what it was like when I was in active use, the pain and hopelessness that I felt. When I see that same pain, sadness and hopelessness in others turn to light, joy, freedom, that’s what motivates me to give back. When I watch someone who has lost everything, even the ability to laugh become active members of their communities, their families and their life and I hear that first deep belly laugh, that’s what motivates me. When I see parents reunited with their children and the joy and love that child has for their parents, that’s what motivates me to give back. When I look at my children and I know that me being in recovery from SUD is having a positive impact on their world, that motivates me to give back.
What has been one of your favorite moments working or living in the Greater Nashua area?
When we (ARC NH) had our first recovery walk here in Milford last year for Recovery Month, as we walked hearing the car horns and people yelling in support of us, and as we got to the oval all the patrons sitting outside of Station 101 clapping and supporting us filled me with so much joy and happiness.
Who or what is your inspiration?
There are a lot of people who give me inspiration. My family, especially my children, my participants/clients, the people I love that have passed from substance use, but I really think my biggest inspiration is breaking generational trauma.
Click HERE to nominate someone for a community spotlight!
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