National consumer advocate speaks at FHR Clinical Training Day

Published 10/11/2011

Tonier “Neen” Cain educates FHR staff about trauma and recovery at Clinical Training Day

Tonier CainWestport, MA – October 11, 2011 – Tonier “Neen” Cain, a nationally renowned consumer advocate, gave a heartfelt testimony of her journey to recovery at Fellowship Health Resources, Inc. (FHR)’s Clinical Training Day on Friday, October 7. Cain shared personal stories of trauma, abuse, addiction, and recovery, while presenting crisis prevention and trauma-informed training to staff members across the Northeast Region.

“This is probably my fifth or sixth time hearing Tonier speak,” says FHR Director of Clinical Services Pam Daisey. “She presents with so much passion and is an example of the type of recovery that’s possible. I knew she would have an impact on our FHR staff members, so I invited her to speak and attend training days for both the Southeast and Northeast Regions.” Cain presented to FHR Southeast Regions earlier in the week.

“Her message was just so powerful,” says Northeast Director of Peer Recovery Services Bob Rousseau. “She encouraged staff to ask victims of trauma ‘what has happened to you’ instead of ‘what is wrong with you.’ Trauma-informed care invites persons to identify and disclose their trauma history, which is often relevant to the underlying causes of mental health and substance abuse disorders. Tonier reminded us all of the consequences that unidentified and untreated trauma causes individually and in the community, and encouraged us all to be aware of how recovery can sometimes be delayed with unintentional re-traumatization during treatment.”

FHR staff responded to Tonier’s presentation with a standing ovation. “She’s been through so much,” Daisey says. “Abuse, neglect, 83 arrests and 66 criminal convictions… She showed us her very first mug shot and talked about being homeless, struggling with mental illness, in addition to drug and alcohol addictions. FHR staff members were all ears; Tonier had our undivided attention.”

FHR President/CEO Joe Dziobek believes that Cain’s presentation allows FHR members to become more trauma-informed. “She’s an expert,” Dziobek says. “Tonier presented a method called Crisis Prevention Planning (CPP). As she explained, a person’s CPP is individually developed between a consumer and staff before a crisis occurs, which is very important. Tonier also emphasized the value of pairing clinical and peer support during recovery. FHR uses this type of therapy to empower our individuals.”

FHR Artist in Residence Gary Hudson and Studio 35 member Mary Munsell followed Cain’s presentation. As part of FHR’s diverse arts and music recovery program, Studio 35, Hudson and Munsell introduced staff members to a meditative form of art called Zentangle. Rousseau concluded the training by elaborating on Cain’s ideas of peer support, while sharing his own story and information about the Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) courses offered at FHR.

“The first 10-week WRAP course for upper-level leadership and staff members just began,” Rousseau said. “Massachusetts is launching another model, called Peer Support Whole Health and Resiliency. We are making great strides in creating fully accessible peer support, a topic Tonier addressed in her presentation, and one which is a critical component in a person’s ability to recover.”

For more information about Tonier “Neen” Cain, visit http://www.healingneen.com/.