Norma Jaeger has spent more than 30 years developing and managing public mental health and substance abuse programs in the Northwest. She served as manager of offender programs for the Idaho Department of Corrections and as the Idaho Supreme Court’s drug court and mental health court coordinator.
“Throughout my career in addiction and mental health, I have found the most enjoyment through collaboration and group efforts,” she said. “I led efforts to establish Idaho’s 11 mental health courts and six of Idaho’s veterans’ treatment courts and worked to implement a free legal service for veterans.”
After many years in behavioral health treatment work, Jaeger became involved in the recovery arena.
“I co-authored a training curriculum and statewide training program for peer recovery coaches,” she said. “I became the executive director of Recovery Idaho, where I am the cheerleader, advocate, fund developer and administrator. I also manage our AmeriCorps VISTA project, committed to recovery support and harm reduction efforts in addictions and mental illness.”
She plays an enthusiastic role in the greatest change in the behavioral health industry, she said, where resources need to be focused on supporting long-term recovery from mental illness and addiction.
“Recovery is very real, and it is all around us,” she added. “Peers, who have been there, and who can connect people to a strong recovery community and a system of recovery support, will be the game changer in the next decade of behavioral health intervention.”