Mental Health Help and Empowered Peers Through Straight Up Care – An Interview with Whitney Menarcheck

Recovery Conversations: Dr. Mo Interviews Whitney Menarcheck

Mo interviews Whitney mental health help and empowering peers

There is no separation. There is no us and them... I'm a person who is not in recovery from substance use. And it would be wrong of me to see you as an other. I respect your lived experience and I see you as a human being, just like I'm a human being with a different background.

Mental health help has evolved beyond traditional therapy sessions, embracing innovative platforms like Straight Up Care, where lived experiences are honored, individuals are empowered to shape their own journey, and obstacles are eliminated to accessing addiction and mental health help. Far from being just another organization, Straight Up Care is dedicated to empowering individuals with lived experience and breaking down the barriers surrounding mental health and addiction stigma.

In this episode of Recovery Conversations, the tables are turned with Dr. Mo interviewing Whitney Menarcheck, Chief Innovation Officer at Straight Up Care. Whitney shares her journey to Straight Up Care and the mission behind the platform. Straight Up Care is not just another organization; it’s a beacon of hope, dedicated to empowering individuals with lived experience and shattering the stigma surrounding mental health and addiction.

Whitney’s journey with Straight Up Care began with a realization – a realization that the organization’s mission aligned with her personal mission of eliminating barriers and providing opportunities for others to achieve their self-defined success, fulfillment, and purpose. Having grappled with experiences of depression, grief, and trauma herself, Whitney empathizes with the struggles faced by many individuals seeking mental health help.

As Whitney reflected on her journey, she highlighted the importance of unlearning biases and embracing empathy. Starting her career in a methadone clinic, Whitney confronted her own misconceptions about addiction and witnessed firsthand the power of peer support in transforming lives. Her experiences propelled her towards a deep commitment to supporting individuals with substance use disorder, laying the foundation for her work at Straight Up Care.

At Straight Up Care, Whitney’s role goes beyond conventional boundaries. As she engages with peer specialists, she fosters a culture of empowerment and provides tailored support to help them thrive. From assisting with profile setups to offering guidance on marketing strategies, Whitney is dedicated to unlocking the full potential of every peer specialist.

One of Straight Up Care’s groundbreaking initiatives is the PeerPreneur Program, spearheaded by Whitney and Straight Up Care co-founder and CTO, Jonathan Lewis. This program aims to redefine the narrative surrounding peer support by empowering individuals to become entrepreneurs. By providing tools like customized websites and mentorship, Straight Up Care is paving the way for peer specialists to chart their own paths and shape their destinies.

Behind the scenes, Whitney and the team at Straight Up Care are tirelessly working to secure grants, forge partnerships, and expand their reach. Their commitment to remaining bootstrap ensures that the organization stays true to its values, prioritizing the needs of peers above all else.

As they look towards the future, Whitney envisions Straight Up Care as a leader in destigmatizing and revolutionizing the way we approach mental health and addiction. By amplifying lived experiences, challenging societal norms, and advocating for inclusive practices, Straight Up Care is paving the way for a more compassionate and understanding world.

In the fight against stigma, Whitney’s message is clear: center the voices of lived experience, foster empathy, and continue the journey towards a more supportive and inclusive society. With platforms like Straight Up Care leading the charge, the future looks brighter than ever.

Learn more about Whitney: Welcoming Whitney Menarcheck to the Straight Up Care Team

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