PORTLAND, ME – Kennebunk Savings was pleased to award a $5,000 grant to the Maine Association of Recovery Residences (MARR) for the development of an online training portal and courses for peer recovery supports.

“Our friends at MARR like to say that ‘recovery is contagious.’ And the efficacy of peer-based recovery supports is strongly supported by the data,” said Bradford C. Paige, the bank’s President and CEO. A person with experience navigating their own recovery can in turn be a great help to others seeking it. According to the Recovery Research Institute, people in recovery with these “peer supports” experienced improved relationships with medical providers, reduced rates of relapse, increased satisfaction with overall treatment, and increased treatment retention.

An important peer role is that of the peer leader, sometimes referred to as a “House Manager.” Typically, a person in a recovery residence develops naturally and gradually into such a leadership role among a population, and learns on the job. But with their new training program, the first course of which is now available, MARR hopes to help aspiring peer leaders get a jump on the roles and responsibilities of such a position.

“We love empowering people to lead,” said Paige. “We’ve been coming at substance use disorder from many angles for the last several years, and we get particularly excited about programs which spread critical knowledge and experience among the people who can then directly apply that knowledge in their community.”

Kennebunk Savings’ Spotlight Fund focuses a portion of their charitable giving toward alleviating a single community issue. In 2020, the bank has committed to donating $150,000 to programs aimed at community education and reducing barriers to social determinants of health for those in recovery from substance use disorder. 

MARR’s first training course, “So You Want to Become a Peer Leader in a Recovery Residence,” is geared at persons currently living in a recovery residence interested in becoming or better understanding and appreciating the role of peer leader. It covers the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed, and several experienced Peer Leaders share their personal thoughts and feelings. Future programs will cover specifics like the administration of naloxone, mental health first aid, and proper testing for alcohol and drugs. For more information and to register for a training program, click here.