Parenting Journey in Recovery Members Graduate!

Pictured here at the PJIR graduation are, Staff -Terri Varney, Volunteer Coordinator & PJIR Facilitator and Heidi Hirtle-Bedard, SHRC Volunteer & PJIR Facilitator.

Terri and Heidi skillfully facilitated our last 14-week PJIR session and they decided to surprise the graduating Parents by wearing caps & gowns to the ceremony!

A special thank you to the dedicated members of Safe Harbor who made us all proud by completing this intensive, 14-week class. We sincerely appreciate all your hard work and look forward to the next PJIR class! Stay tuned for the dates and get your cap & gown ready so we can celebrate your completion of Parenting Journey in Recovery!

When suffering with substance use disorders, individuals’ and families’ worlds become small and restricted—enjoyment of simple life pleasures is lost when the goal to secure alcohol or other drugs is paramount in one’s life. Destructive personal and interpersonal behavior often results in alienation from one’s family and friends who can no longer live with a loved one’s downward spiral. As substance use progresses, individuals may lose their children, their homes and their jobs.

Getting into recovery through treatment is the first step, but it is not always enough. Living in recovery may be a lifelong pursuit, requiring, at times, long-term support through a community of people who understand the unique struggle and daily successes that are part of a recovery lifestyle.

Safe Harbor Recovery Center, located at 865 Islington Street Portsmouth, NH,  offers that support: we welcome individuals seeking recovery or those who want to be part of a community of people living, sometimes struggling, and often flourishing as they build a new, rich and productive life. Safe Harbor also welcomes families and loved ones of those with substance use disorder We offer a wide range of supports for and with individuals and their families. Striving to provide best practices in peer and recovery supports, Safe Harbor continually works to improve its program—from creating a well-ordered, comfortable and welcoming environment, to ensuring that staff are well-trained and responsive to its members. Wellness, personal enrichment and support programs are ever-evolving to meet the diverse needs of those members.

Safe Harbor employs peer counselors, including volunteer peer counselors within all its programs. Peer counselors require a unique form of supervision and support; these are dedicated individuals who are committed to “giving back” by extending a hand to someone on his or her own recovery journey. Basic training is provided at onboarding, and volunteer staff receive guidance, support and supervision to work with individuals toward great empowerment.

Safe Harbor is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Peer Recovery Support Services (CAPRSS).

Safe Harbor Recovery Centers Peer Recovery Services

The goal of each Recovery Center is to create a community by reaching clients where they are in their recovery, assist clients to create life plans based on their individual goals and needs, and provide a wide array of services, including individual and group counseling, in person and telephone outreach and counseling, direct education and referrals into training programs, employment readiness, health, wellness and resiliency skills training and sober social activities. These activities must be designed and changed from time to time to meet the changing needs of the recovery community. Expanding its array of programs and services through staff training and contracting with area professionals will allow SHRC to continue to enhance its current programs and to build new programs to address the emerging needs of Seacoast residents.

As a Recovery Community Organization, the Portsmouth SHRC has provided one on one peer recovery coaching to individuals and family members affected by SUD since 2016. We provide these services in our recovery center and in the community, allowing SHRC to meet members where they are most comfortable. SHRC also provides peer recovery services over the phone from its offices as telephone recovery services (TRS) which allow clients to have access to their peer recovery coach when unable to meet, or during times of needed support and care coordination.

SHRC provides group Peer Recovery Services centered around education, employment, health and wellness, life skills, coping, symptom management and ‘sober’ social activities (See attached program schedule. These groups are held in our Portsmouth location and at the following community locations:

· Portsmouth Regional Hospital Behavioral Health unit,

· Families First Health Center,

· Addiction Recovery Services

· Rockingham County House of Corrections

SHRC balances the monthly schedule with health & wellness activities through our wide array of recovery meetings. We strive to create an environment to welcome and respect all pathways to recovery. We do this by offering programming that incorporates 12-step programs, smart recovery, harm reduction and alternative medicine approaches. We hope with this enhanced program, to add medication assisted treatment to the services we offer. SHRC understands that each client has the autonomy to decide what form of recovery services they are comfortable receiving in a person-centered delivery of care. Safe Harbor currently has 200 people walk through the door each week.

Click here for our schedule of meetings and workshops.

SHRC is open weekdays from 8:30 am until the evening’s programming ends and Saturdays, from 8:30 am-2:00 pm. This range of hours for program scheduling allows us to make our programs accessible for as many clients as possible whether working or not. The evening and weekend options allow clients to attend who may be in school, training, work or may have transportation barriers.

For more information please contact Whitney Brown, Director, at

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