Tonopah resident Boonn Hem is working to bring mental health support to the community through her work with [Foundation for Recovery’s Recovery Corps project].
The nonprofit organization provides mental health and substance abuse services to any adult age 18 and older in Nevada.
“Community is what I’m working on in Tonopah right now,” Hem said. “Everyone is in their own little world because of the pandemic.”
Hem is the only Foundation for Recovery peer in Central Nevada. Her work takes her to Nye, Lincoln, Mineral, Elko and Esmeralda counties.
In contrast, the organization has 11 peers in Clark County and two in Washoe County.
“I’m fighting to get Foundation for Recovery here, even if I’m the only one.” Hem said. “It’s my passion.”
According to the CDC Overdose Data to Action program, suspected drug-related emergency room visits increased by 189 percent from December 2020 to December 2021 in Nye, Lincoln, Esmeralda and Mineral counties.
What sets Foundation for Recovery apart from traditional therapy is its use of mentorship and lifestyle coaching. Every recovery plan is tailored to individual needs.
All peers in the organization have experience with drugs or mental health disorders and have been in recovery for at least two years.
“Our approach is different because we know how it feels,” Hem said. “Every recovery story is different, but we have mutual respect.”