Capital Region man honored for work as a young adult peer specialist

Schenectady County

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York is recognizing Tele Rabii, a 24-year-old peer specialist, with the 2020 “What’s Great in our State” Youth/Young Adult Award. New York’s Office of Mental Health announced the distinction Thursday afternoon.

Rabii uses his life experience to help counsel young people trying to recover from mental illness and addiction.

He has been in recovery for five years, and he’s lent his voice to provide peer support at local programs like the Hope House Adolescent Inpatient Program, the Living Room Crisis Diversion Program, and the Ellis Hospital PROS program. He’s an active member of the Advisory Council for Youth Voices Matter- NY, a youth recovery community organization, is a board member for New Choices Recovery Center, and talks about mental health issues at local schools. Alongside other young people from Schenectady, he also established a local Youth Voices Matter group.

“Tele Rabii shows us ‘What’s Great in Our State’ by being a shining example of how people in recovery with mental health and substance use disorders can be vital in the recovery of others,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “Tele is using his personal experience to help young adults navigate their own mental health struggles and serves as an example of what recovery can be with treatment and peer support. We thank him and all our honorees for their hard work and commitment to children’s mental health.”

They presented Rabii with the award at virtual version of the annual ‘What’s Great in our State 2020’ event on Thursday.

“I feel very, very honored and grateful to be able to receive and accept this award. Working in the human services field allows us the unique opportunity to work with individuals on a deep level,” Rabii said. “The road to recovery is not an easy one, and to be able to work with people to obtain and sustain their recovery—whatever it means to them—is a blessing and a gift that is indescribable.” 

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