“Recovery is like doing push-ups,” Marc Lee Shannon, an author, musician and certified Ohio peer recovery support supervisor, explains. “No one can do 50 the first time they try, but they can do one, and that first one is the essence of ‘willingness.’ ‘Willingness’ is the key to helping others help themselves – to find their path of wellness and a reclaimed self-directed life in a community.”
Marc’s 30-year career as a songwriter, musician and former member of Ohio-based band The Resonators has made him a well-known figure throughout northeast Ohio.
In 2022, he released his book Sober ChroniclesTM: My Journey of Discovery on the Road to Recovery.
As an OhioMHAS certified peer recovery support supervisor, Marc works with organizations in northeast Ohio, like our ministry, sharing his story and serving as a living example that recovery is possible, as well as training and mentoring other peer recovery supporters. Through his skill as a musician and storyteller, Marc connects with others to form a sense of camaraderie and togetherness, breaking down barriers through music and opening a pathway for a new perspective on recovery and healing.
“The ability to share my story of discovery along the path to recovery and my own unique talents has been a game-changer,” he says. “So many of us struggle with mental health issues and substance use disorder, and having the skills to help others reinforces my practices.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 20.9 million adults in the United States who have ever had a substance use problem consider themselves to be recovering or in recovery.
Peer support programs are an important tool in addressing the opioid crisis in our communities.
These programs connect individuals with peer supporters who have experience living with mental illness or addiction and have been trained on how to provide recovery support to others. These programs complement and strengthen recovery treatments and medication, empowering individuals to overcome obstacles on their healing journey by reminding them that they are not alone.
“We are not physicians, we are not counselors, we are peers who are sharing their own experiences and struggles and acquiring the skills to help others,” Marc explains. “We never tell someone what to do or what to think because we have been through it. ‘Because’ and ‘why’ are the two most powerful words when working with someone who has gone through trauma or is struggling with mental health.”
Our Peer Recovery Support program began eight years ago at Mercy Health – St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital but has since grown to include all three Mercy Health hospitals in the Youngstown area. It’s funded by a grant from the Mahoning County Board of Mental Health as well as the Mercy Health Foundation.
We’ve also teamed up with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center through a strategic initiative known as the Healthy State Alliance.
This partnership is dedicated to addressing pressing health care issues in Ohio. With the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic on communities, the alliance is committed to combating this crisis through research, education and patient care initiatives. By leveraging the expertise and resources of both institutions, the Healthy State Alliance aims to develop innovative strategies for prevention, treatment and recovery support.
If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health issues or substance abuse disorder, help is available. To make an appointment at Mercy Health Belmont Recovery Services, call 330-480-2840.
If in crisis, please seek help at an emergency department near you. If struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the suicide prevention hotline by dialing 988.
Learn about the health care services we provide at Mercy Health.