A rousing keynote from Melissa Butts


I’ll stand by you. I am waiting to present on certified peer specialists and it will certainly be tough.Just before the break Melissa Butts a fiery advocate who is originally from West Virginia spoke very deeply from the heart and song. She effectively awakened the motivation in everyone to be leaders. And she will be a tough act to follow.

I recall that we were in the same first training group of peer specialists in the winter 2004. We survived the cliches about being pioneers. Another woman from that group Jackie McKay is here and she is truly a survivor. We all embody the spirit of not being stopped by a few setbacks, even major ones. I have the confidence that seemingly had vanished and which forced me to seek help from the VA years ago. I have a profession and hope and my voice. I have the power to make changes that effect my recovery and as a certified peer specialist I am here to help others gain that same confidence. I will stand with consumers.

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