Nze Okoronta is the Peer Services Manager for Solstice House, a peer run respite and Warmline operated by SOAR Case Management, a small nonprofit organization in Madison, WI with the mission of serving individuals who have experienced mental health and/or substance use challenges. Nze became a Certified Peer Specialist in Wisconsin in April of 2021, and a Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist Trainer in August of 2021. Nze began her journey in peer support while working as a program specialist for a behavioral health organization in Madison, WI. She earned a certificate in substance use counseling and was given an opportunity to work within a culturally responsive program serving individuals of Black/African descent. Prior to peer support, Nze contributed by providing service as the Intake Coordinator for Journey Mental Health's UJIMA Program and the Sun Prairie Programs Coordinator for Porchlight, Inc. She also has experience in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultation and program development. Nze is passionate about peer support in Wisconsin and views peer support work as a fundamentally restorative practice. She believes peer work has the power to reduce and prevent systemic harm, support marginalized communities in a more complete way, and bring radical acceptance to the forefront of mental health and substance use care. In her personal time, Nze loves to read, write, create art and spend time in nature.
Funding for this initiative was made possible by grant no. 1H79TI083022 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.