News + Events

The Value of Shared Experience

PROS Program and Peer Support: Tools for Recovery from Mental Illness

Unity House’s is proud to announce that Chris Hastings, a staff member in the Personalized Recovery Oriented System (PROS), will be a speaker at the upcoming SUNY School of Social Welfare’s event, ‘Experts by Experience’ on Thursday, April 7th. The evening features personal narratives of recovery in mental health and will have a dynamic panel of individuals sharing their personal stories on the lived experience of recovery from mental illness.

Chris Hastings began her personal recovery path with treatment at a community-based hospital program. She received housing/case management services through Unity House. Once Chris established a solid recovery program, she attended Hudson Valley Community College and obtained an associates degree in Human Services.

Chris’ personal experience and education were paramount in becoming a highly regarded Unity House employee more than 6 years ago. She began in the Unity House Drop-in Center before transitioning to the Bethany Community meals program, where she was skilled in helping meet the needs of consumers. Chris’ promotion to Case Manager in one of Unity House’s Community Residences was due in part to her dedication and commitment to the well-being of residents living with persistent mental illness.

In the summer of 2015, Chris completed a 6 week training program, and became a New York State Certified Peer Specialist, a designation that recognizes her as a qualified professional working with individuals in the mental health system based on “The Shared Personal Experience” paradigm. In December of 2015, Chris joined the Unity House’s PROS program as Peer Specialist Case Manager. Chris currently runs the PROS intake office, oversees a case load, and facilitates PROS classes focusing on the development of positive coping skills using a variety of methods including creative arts activities. Chris is valued by her peers and colleagues for her expertise, dedication and professionalism in all she does.

You can learn more about Chris and her personal journey at the Experts by Experience event on April 17th. The event is free and open to all at the UAlbany Uptown Campus located at 1400 Washington Ave., Lecture Center 20. For more information contact This event is sponsored by the Albany Internships in Mental Health Program.