The Peer Recovery Support Center, a collaboration between MV Community Services and the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital opened in February after receiving a multi-year grant from the Department of Mental Health. 

Benita Dobel & Kelly McCarron,
PRSC Staff. PC: Mila Lowe

At the close of February’s ribbon cutting, members of the recovery community, MV Community Services and MV Hospital staff, law enforcement and state representative Dylan Fernandes joined together for a moment of silence to honor those who have lost their lives to addiction. 

While no one could have predicted what the next few months would bring after opening, the current pandemic has hit the recovery community hard and forced the Center to close in March. 

Despite five months of closure, staff at the Center continued to come up with new and creative ways to support the recovery community.  From utilizing the space to host virtual yoga classes and writing groups to connecting the community with online support groups, staff continued to respond to the increasing needs of the Island’s recovery community. 

After approval from the state, the Center re-opened in August and is an incredible resource for anyone seeking support. We connected with Peer Recovery Support Center’s Program Coordinator, Kelly McCarron to learn more about the Center, upcoming events and more. 

Q:  What is the best way for someone to become involved with the Center? 

A: The best way is to call us directly at 508-693-2900, where you can reach any of our three staff members. We are also on Facebook as the Martha’s Vineyard Peer Recovery Support Center.  We’re here to connect with and be here for the recovery community, so we encourage people to please reach out with any questions, concerns, ideas, or comments! 

Q:  What advice do you have for someone who might be hesitant about reaching out for support? 

A: All of our staff have lived through our own forms of addiction and are all following our own recovery paths.

I want people to know that we are here because we care and can understand. 

Q: What are two things you want people to know about the Peer Recovery Support Center? 

A: When most people hear the word recovery they think of groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.  While both groups are possible pathways to recovery, there are several others. To name a few – SMART recovery, Refuge Recovery, faith-based recovery, Wellbriety, Women for Sobriety and groups designed for people who live with a substance use disorder and a mental diagnosis. Everyone’s journey is different,  what works for you is very personal and could be any combination of things.

Similarly, when people hear the word recovery, they think of it as abstaining from drugs, alcohol and sometimes other addictive behaviors. In reality, stopping is just the beginning, and this is good news because what you make space for is your hobbies, values, and goals. You explore new passions and discover talents, you create and recreate a life you love.

Recovery is a process of discovery.

Q: Any upcoming events people should be aware of? 

We will be hosting a vigil in honor of National Recovery Month on Tuesday, September 29 at 5pm at the Red House at 12 Beach Rd in Oak Bluffs.

Those who attend in person can decorate a luminaria bag, and those who want to dedicate a bag to someone can contact McCarron at

As the isolation and social distancing measures continue to take their toll, the vigil event is an opportunity to come together with a group of like-minded individuals – in many recovery communities this group of people is simply referred to as a family or “my people”. In a small community like ours, the death of someone in recovery touches many, at the vigil, we will be able to honor the lives and memories of loved ones we have lost as we reconnect with each other. We want people to know that you are not alone.

Kelly McCarron, Peer Recovery Support Center Program Coordinator

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