Kristian Foden-Vencil of OPB sat down with OPHI client Cliff Bedell and Peer Wellness Coach Sybil Berkley to hear their stories of recovery and support. The interview paints a personal picture of this federal grant-funded program that Cascadia started early in 2013, and shows how essential it can be for people in recovery. Thanks Christian for telling the story!

Here’s an excerpt:

Berkley says this isn’t just a job for her. It has turned her whole life around.

“I was very ill for a very long time and I was on Social Security. I really didn’t see that future. I didn’t have any role models in the community that could show me, ‘Yes you have a diagnosis, but you can still have a rewarding life.’ “

Now she is a role model for her clients. 

So, how’s it working? Vietnam vet, Cliff Bedell says. “She’s been there. She’s done it. She has the insight to be able to see where some counselors, yeah, they’ve had the training and everything else. It’s just they don’t always see past what’s showing. And I’ve had Sybil see past what’s showing.”

Bedell says since he started working with Sybil Berkley in February, he’s less stressed and he’s gone down one whole pants size.

Listen to and read the transcript on

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