Moms stable in recovery help other moms in treatment with new program
In an effort to help mothers struggling with addiction, the Metro Drug Coalition started a program called Hands of Hope. The program pairs mothers together who have gone through similar situations.
"We just want to reach out to them and have someone available to talk to and to get them through that moment of frustration with either baby or recovery or anything else going on with their life," Program director Courtney Nieman said.
Moms who are stable in their recovery journey are paired with a new mother currently going through pregnancy or going through treatment.
"It brings me back and reminds me where I was at and what I'm doing to offer that little bit of hope to them," said Julie Thurmer, one of the four mentors in the program.
Thurmer battled addiction for years and was arrested several times before going into treatment in 2013. She was later served divorce papers and her children were taken away.
"I was desperate. I knew I didn't want that life. I just wanted to be happy. I could get clean time under my belt but with that clean time, I had such tremendous stress and anxiety and depression and I didn't want to leave the house," she explained.
Eventually, Thurmer decided to make a change to go into treatment so she could work on herself and work on being a mother.
"Having other women in recovery when I was in treatment around me really helped me and when I left treatment I didn't have that support," she said.
Yearning for what she missed, she ended up finding the Hands of Hope program and found the help she needed. She is now working to get custody of her kids back.
Now she is using her experience to help with mothers who used to be in her shoes.
"It makes me feel really blessed that I got through all of that and can still use my pain to help them," Thurmer said.
It's therapeutic for Thurmer and for Neiman, it's motivating to see mothers reach out to help.
"I just don't want these babies to be born starting off life on the wrong foot," Neiman said.
To learn more about Hands of Hope, including applications to become a mentor or mentee, click here.