Article Abstract: The University of Florida Counseling and Wellness Center (UFCWC) has implemented peer support and professional training programs to address human rights identified within advocacy groups comprised of individuals who have, themselves, been diagnosed with mental illness. These programs are moving the UFCWC toward fulfilling a 2017 United Nations report emphasizing rights-based professional training, provision of genuine informed consent, and availability of non-compromised peer support alternatives. Collaborating with student peers, four UFCWC faculty members have facilitated forms of peer support developed within service-user movements, while openly identifying experiences of reclaiming their own lives from the impacts of adversity, intense mental distress, and traumatizing responses of others to their distress. In the wake of the current pervasive health, economic, and social justice crises, professionals have a collective opportunity to recognize the human experience and rights of those suffering mental distress. These UFCWC programs offer one example of steps taken toward that goal.
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