Sarah Halls-Lucero has worked for Axis Health System for two years. She started at La Plata Integrated Healthcare working at the front desk for a year. Her current position is Peer Recovery Coach at Columbine Behavioral Healthcare in Durango.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines a peer support worker as someone with the lived experience of recovery from a mental health condition, substance use disorder, or both. They provide support to others experiencing similar challenges. They are “experientially credentialed” by their own recovery journey. The role of a peer support worker complements – but does not duplicate or replace – the roles of therapists, case managers and other members of a treatment team.

“I do not treat or diagnose. I meet people right where they are at,” said Sarah. “I love watching people work on themselves. I like to spread positivity!”

Peer support workers can help break down barriers of experience and understanding. The peer support worker’s role is to assist people with finding and following their own recovery paths, without judgment, expectation, rules or requirements.

“Axis helps a lot of people,” said Sarah. “I get to see this daily in my work. It definitely makes my heart smile.”

Sarah grew up in Durango and moved to the Bay Area of California when she graduated from Durango High School in 1990. She moved back home in 2014. Sarah and her wife have five children and ten grandchildren. They enjoy watching them grow and learn all kinds of things. They love to fish, spend time outdoors, and watch amazing sunsets in Colorado. “There is no place like home!” she said.