Mike Weaver is a person with many years recovering from mental illness and is dedicated to advocating for the right of those with similar barriers to achieve their full potential and to be treated with dignity and respect always. He has promoted the advancement of a living wage, good working conditions and long-term wellness and quality retirement for peer support specialists. He advocates for a recovery-oriented system of care with for all providers and funders of mental health services which includes full integration of peer support specialists.
Previously Mike served as the Executive Director of the International Association of Peer Supporter and prior to that tenure he was the Co-President. A teacher initially by trade, he used his lived experience with daunting challenges for many years to encourage others after reinventing his life consequential to its interruption by mental health challenges and incarceration. Mike’s motivation and understanding not only comes from his own experience but also from that of his father and many of his thirteen siblings who were challenged with difficult mental health issues.
Mike served in clinical capacities such as: Mobile Crisis Counselor, Day Treatment Director, Operations Manager for an ACT and CST Team, a liaison to State Hospitals and Substance Use Facilities, housing programs such as Transitions to Community Living (Adult Care Homes), Transitional Housing and Member Engagement for a Managed Care Organization. He also has served in peer organizations, Program Manager for MHA Greensboro, Executive Director of MHA of the Tar River Region in Rocky Mount, NC and ED of iNAPS.
He serves on numerous national and international committees and organizations. He is one of the United States representatives on the International Initiative on Mental Health Leadership and co-hosted a Peer Leadership at Yale in 2019 with Larry Davidson, PhD, and Michael Ryan of Ireland.
Mike served six years on the NAMI National Board of Directors, Chairing the Policy Committee and believes policy is important as it affects practices. He served as a CIT law enforcement instructor for ten years and is an expert on criminal justice initiatives. He is also a Global Goodwill Ambassador.
He believes that peer support has been one of the most important emergent practices over the past two decades. SAMHSA said in 2005, “When people do not see recovery as a possibility in their lives, they need to be surrounded by many possibilities of recovery.” Evidence of that is the approximately 25,000 peer support specialists in the US alone. They are the evidence!
Mike is an expert peer support facilitator and Advanced WRAP facilitator and is the author of “Helping Others Heal”, a peer support training manual and he has been recognized for excellence with numerous state and national awards. His years of living in recovery serves to inform his speaking engagements nationally and internationally on a broad range of topics. He believes the best way to decrease stigma is for those who have recovered their lives from the severity of mental health and addictions is to live a life consistent with principles of recovery such as courage, self-empowerment, self-management and full of meaning, purpose and joy.
Patient Affairs Coordinators “Build Bridges to the Community”
The Patient Affairs Coordinator develops initiatives to promote recovery for people diagnosed with mental illness – such as coordinating regional trainings for certified peer support specialists; providing mental health trainings across the state; and presenting anti-stigma presentations to the community.
The Coordinator also fosters empowerment among all patients to tell their own recovery stories and advocates to stakeholders concerning mental health issues.