Tennessee Recovery Navigators Celebrate Another Successful Year of Service

Peer addiction specialists increased patient contacts despite pandemic restrictions
Friday, October 29, 2021 | 07:56am

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The Tennessee Recovery Navigators are celebrating another successful year of delivering life-changing interventions for people living with addiction.  The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is releasing a new annual report which details the program’s successes despite a full year of pandemic-related restrictions.

Tennessee Recovery Navigators use their own personal experience of addiction and recovery to talk with patients at Tennessee hospital emergency departments and try to connect them with treatment resources.  The patients they see have recently overdosed, are experiencing active withdrawals, or have presented with a substance use disorder.

The Navigators’ new annual report details accomplishments in state fiscal year 2021 including:

  • Increased patient interactions over the previous year 2,967 in FY21
  • 76% of patients placed into treatment
  • Four hospitals added for a total of 42

“Prior to the pandemic, so much of behavioral health service delivery was based on face-to-face contact.  With restrictions brought on by the pandemic, that norm was challenged, and yet our Tennessee Recovery Navigators found ways to maintain contact, increase their numbers served, and still get an amazing amount of people into treatment,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW.  “The Navigators continue to be an amazing success story showing the power of peer support to reach out to someone who’s struggling and show them a new path forward.”

Watch Below: Program Director Discusses FY21 Adaptations and Achievements

Now in their fourth year, the Tennessee Recovery Navigators have worked with more than 6,700 patients statewide.  Some of the program’s earliest patients are in recovery themselves and are working in behavioral health as detailed in a recent video series produced by the department.

To learn more about the Tennessee Recovery Navigators, visit this link: TN.gov/recoverynavigators