Consumer Operated Services (COS) encourage personal contact and social relationships to alleviate isolation and loneliness, a persistent and recurring problem among people in the public mental health system. Additional activities include educational and employment opportunities, as well as peer support and leadership building to promote self-advocacy. Peer support is a process of giving and receiving support and education from individuals with shared life experiences. Through the promotion of sharing personal experience and knowledge, individuals engaged in peer support play an active and vital role in laying the foundations for sustained recovery.
The Main Place, a Consumer Operated Services (COS) organization, developed a non-proprietary curriculum and training materials that can be used by COS organizations statewide to address issues related the impact of poverty on the recovery of adults experiencing serious and persistent mental illness, as well as encourage consumers in obtaining employment. The working title for the Tool Kit is "Livin' the Dream". The Main Place trained staff and consumer volunteers as facilitators to implement the curriculum in Licking and Knox Counties. Consumers throughout the state can now have access to the workbooks for programming and services in their own communities.