Gina Calhoun is a certified peer support specialist and Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator, and has had the opportunity to be part of 16 certified peer specialist trainings, 7 certified peer specialist supervisor trainings and 45 WRAP® trainings. Gina’s unique experience centers around Harrisburg State Hospital (HSH). She used the services at Harrisburg State Hospital for several years before escaping to live on the streets. Gina came back to offer peer support during the closing of HSH and now works on the former grounds of the hospital complex. She attributes her recovery journey to supportive relationships that choose to focus on ‘what’s strong’ instead of ‘what’s wrong’; and for the opportunity to work in a supportive environment where she is part of a team making a difference in PA. Gina was awarded the Distinguished Advocates Award from the PA Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services, chosen as the PA state representative for the National Pillars of Peer Support Summit and had the honor to be the keynote speaker for the National Veteran’s Conference as well as the National Association of Peer Specialist Conference.
In March 2012, Gina won the Timothy J. Coakley Behavioral Health Leadership Award. This award honors consumer and family leaders in the behavioral health field whose work is characterized by the highest degree of integrity and a passion for creative approaches for improving the lives of persons living with mental illnesses, especially in the public sector.