About Us

Community Leaders

Nebraska Peer Advisory Board 

The Mission of the Nebraska Peer Advisory Board is to build and maintain cohesiveness and sustainability of the peer movement in the state of Nebraska. They work in a collaborative manner to serve over all six regions.

Jenn Nelson, CPSS

Advisory Group Co-Chair 

Jenn is the Director of Peer Services at CenterPointe, a leading provider of mental health and substance use services in Lincoln and Omaha. She is responsible for continuing implementation of peer support, supervising and advising peers, and supporting individuals in CenterPointe’s many different levels of care which include outpatient, walk-in crisis, community support, recovery support, housing support, day rehabilitation, youth IOP, and both short-term and long-term residential treatment. She earned her Associate of Science in Human Services in 2011 and has been serving individuals receiving substance use and mental health services for over 8 years. Jenn is a Certified Peer Support Specialist and is trained to co-facilitate Nebraska’s Peeriodical certified peer support training, SMART Recovery, WRAP, and RentWise. She has also taken training in Wellness Engagement, Mental Health First Aid, “De-escalating Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere”, and Motivational Interviewing. Jenn currently serves as a Co-Chair of the Nebraska Peer Advisory Board and is a member of the Consumer and Family Advisory Committee. She has been on her own journey of mental health and addiction recovery for 14 years and has a passion for supporting people on their own walk of wellness and recovery. Some of her favorite wellness tools include gardening, cooking, meditation, and spending time with her sons, family, and pets.

Chris Allende, CPSS

Advisory Group Vice-Chair 

Chris started his walk of recovery almost 14 years ago in a faith based recovery program called Youth Challenge based in Hartford, CT.  After going through the process of restoration, he was sent to Guatemala City, Guatemala (in Central America) to start a residential treatment facility, an endeavor he was in for 8 years. Chris was then offered the possibility of coming to Lincoln, Ne to work as the youth pastor at a local church, work he continues to do. However, about 3 years ago Chris felt the need to start working in the behavioral health field through an encounter he had at Project Homeless Connect. Since then, he started working at a local agency, and received his certification as a Peer Support Specialist. Chris is a WRAP facilitator and SMART Recovery facilitator. He is passionate about the work that he does, supporting individuals on their path to recovery, empowering them to recognize their own strengths and inspiring hope!

Tammy Fiala, CPSS

Tammy Fiala serves as the Region 3 Consumer Specialist for 22 counties in south central Nebraska. The primary responsibilities of the Regional Consumer Specialist are to provide for coordination of processes
for working in close collaboration with consumers of behavioral health services as well as professional staff and state administrators within the regional behavioral system, advocating for consumer views, and to achieve meaningful integration of consumers as a priority in the Nebraska Behavioral Health
System. Tammy developed the Region 3 Consumer and Family Coalition which serves to advise Region 3 and gives representation of consumers and family members in our community. She also serves on the board for the NAMI Affiliate of NAMI Central Nebraska. Tammy has been a trainer of Mental Health First Aid and has facilitated the Wellness Recovery Action
Plan (WRAP) training with individuals within the Region 3 service area. She serves as a resource on current local issues regarding recovery and shares that information to provide assistance to consumers throughout Region 3. She also serves as a spokesperson to the general public on consumer initiatives.
Tammy participates in peer support training and organizes peer support co-reflection calls within Region 3. She received her initial Peer Support and Wellness Specialist certification in 2011 and completed Certified Peer Support Specialist certification again in 2019. She promotes the emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of her peers. Tammy is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a B.S in Journalism, endorsement in education, Art Education, and a minor in Telecommunications. She currently lives in Kearney, Nebraska.

Lisa Guell

Advisory Group Secretary 

Tommy Newcombe, CPSWS

Tommy Newcombe is dedicated to the success of peer support in Nebraska and across the nation.  He is a member of the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Advisory Council for Disability Rights Nebraska, the Region 4 Behavioral Health Advisory Board, and formerly sat on the Nebraska Office of Consumer Affairs People’s Council.  Tommy is the Executive Director of The Connection Project, Inc., a peer-run organization in Norfolk Nebraska.  He has practiced, taught, and advocated for peer support in Nebraska since 2014.  Mr. Newcombe is a certified instructor for Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator, Intentional Peer Support, Mental Health First Aid, and Youth Mental Health First Aid.  He is also a Certified Peer Support Specialist through the State of Nebraska.  He has an Associate of Arts in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Management.  Tommy is working towards completion on his Master of Public Administration.  

 

David Jones, CPSWS

David Jones is the Consumer Specialist for Region 1 Behavioral Health Authority.  Region 1 serves the panhandle of Nebraska. David has served as the Consumer Specialist for four years.  The Consumer Specialist is responsible for ensuring the consumers in the region have a voice in the services they receive.  David is a WRAP (Wellness, Recovery, Action, and Plan) facilitator and a trainer of Rent Wise. David is also a member of the People’s Council for the Office of Consumer Affairs through the Division of Behavioral Health.  David earned his Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Ashford University.  

 

Jon Thomsen, CPSWS

Jon Thomsen is my name and hope is my game! I was trained and certified as a peer support specialist in 2015 and soon after began working for Community Alliance at Safe Harbor, a crisis center in Omaha, NE. I spent four years advocating for and providing support and empathy to individuals experiencing a crisis through one-on-one peer  interactions and via the warm line before transitioning to a supervisory role in June 2019. Currently I oversee two programs with 19 peer support specialists in all. One program provides peer support to homeless shelters in our area – the first of its kind in the nation – bringing the gifts of compassion and empathy to an extremely lost and vulnerable population. I have also been able to establish Safe Harbor’s very first support group (Spiritual Recovery), followed closely by its second! During my journey as a peer support specialist I have been blessed to share my experience with others through the facilitation of NAMI Connections meetings, WRAP, Rentwise, Crisis Intervention Training for the Omaha Police Department, and the training of new peer support specialists through Community Alliance. I am grateful for the gifts that peer support brings to my life, and the opportunity to use the darkest parts of my own life to shine a light into the darkness for anyone who still struggles. I maintain my personal wellness by engaging in activities that bring me joy: spending time with my family and pets, connecting with others in my community, practicing daily gratitude and mindfulness techniques, fostering my desire for knowledge and growth, constantly listening to music, and engaging in a strong spiritual connection with the universe around me. It is my goal to be a better person than I was yesterday. I know that I will fail to meet this goal some days, but that’s okay – failure is a part of life and the most effective way to grow, not something to condemn or judge myself for. 

 

Corey Brockway, CPSWS

Corey Brockway has served as a Region 2 Human Services Consumer Specialist since 2007.  Region II serves 17 counties in west central Nebraska.  As Regional Consumer Specialist he is honored to promote wellness and recovery while serving as an advocating voice for consumers at local, regional, and state levels. Becoming a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) facilitator, adding training in Intentional Peer Support (IPS), and becoming certified as a Nebraska Certified Peer Support & Wellness Specialist (CPSWS), have all proven valuable on a professional and personal level.  Serving on the Governor’s State Advisory Committee on Substance Abuse provided the opportunity to observe and participate at the State Behavioral Health level.  Peer Support has played a key role in Corey’s own journey.  The more we can connect people to share lived experience, hope, and human connection, to know they are not alone or unique will have value.  Inside connection encouraging each other to move towards wellness, as they define it, will all contribute to an ever growing more supportive recovery community.  Wellbeing Initiative, Inc. is one of the state leaders in recovery through Peer Delivered Services development and I am honored to serve in an advisory role within their organization. Corey grew up in West Point, NE, before moving to McCook, NE, area in high school.  After living in Colorado, North Carolina, and Tennessee, over 15 years, Corey returned home to Nebraska to be near family, in 1999.  After returning home and being a businessman, in McCook, he followed his heart into the then new Regional Consumer Specialist position, with Region II, where he is honored to offer guidance to the system and continue to carry to message of hope, recovery, and healing, as the individual defines and chooses.

Deb Turner, CPSS

Deb Turner is a certified Family Peer Support Specialist for Independence Rising, where she will be working with families to provide services and supports to families raising a child or young adult who is experiencing social, emotional, addiction, or behavioral health challenges in their home, school, community and/or placement.  Deb has many years of experience working with families that have youth with mental and behavioral challenges and has provided support to the parent/caregiver. Deb graduated from Central Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Human Services and a Chemical Dependency Technician Certificate. Deb completed her studies at Doane College, graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in psychology.  Currently Deb is completing her practicum hours for her PLADC counseling license. Deb lives in Overton, Nebraska with her daughter and two of her three sons. In Deb’s spare time she enjoys spending time with her children, baking, crafting, watching K-State Football, and being with friends. She is a member of the Guardians of the Children Flat Rock Chapter in North Platte Nebraska, advocating against child abuse, and spending time with other guardians riding her motorcycle and taking part in activities for children.

PEER ORGANIZED • PEER DRIVEN • PEER RUN

Stay tuned for more information regarding our website and combined efforts across the state to bring peers and peer support specialists together as one cohesive group. Contact Us for More Info!

(402) 314-9387

NCPDS@winitiative.org

Wellbeing Initiatives, Inc. 3900 Old Cheney Rd, Suite 201-300, Lincoln NE 68516

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