Teana Edwards, PWS
Peer Wellness Specialist for Multnomah County Mental Health Court
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have” –Bob Marley
Teana is a Peer Wellness Specialist who is excited to be apart of the MHAO team because this gives her the opportunity to use her lived experiences to support others. Teana has dealt with a lot since a young age, from growing up with a grandmother who was addicted to crack cocaine and diagnosed with schizophrenia, to a father who was shot and killed over a drug transaction gone wrong. All of this has taught her to be strong as a child and expect the unexpected. She hit a rough point when her mental challenges started around age eleven after her grandfather died, which is the same time her mother was facing thirty years to life in prison. The criminal justice arena had been present in her family majority of her life and she thought it was the norm for all families. These interactions with law enforcement through her family members led to her interests in Criminal Justice. Along with that, she was always interested in human services, which led to her degrees in human services, health care studies and social & criminal justice. After many volunteer hours working with homeless youth, sex-offender adolescent boys, teen parents, juvenile youth, and a team focused on preventing school bullying and gang participation, she realized there was a gap between troubled youth and the vulnerable adult population.
Teana is ready to bridge the gap and bring hope to our vulnerable adult populations. Teana is on a road to recovery because she feels with mental challenges there is no full recovery, just management of symptoms and a lot of self-care with a support system. She believes recovery from criminology and mental challenges looks different for each individual, but her goal is to come alongside her peers in order to show them what health and success looks like according to their definition. She is excited to work with the Multnomah County Mental Health Court team.