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Dedicated to connecting individuals with shared lived experiences.


FolkTime is a non-profit community service agency whose ongoing commitment is to provide a culture of inclusiveness.  As a peer-run, peer-driven organization we have been at the forefront of innovation and systemic change in the mental health system since 1985.

By promoting a recovery-oriented support system that focuses on hope, choice, and connection, FolkTime provides training, support, and advocacy for the most vulnerable in our communities.  FolkTime is a leading organization dedicated to promoting mental health and wellness through peer support services. With a rich history spanning over 4 decades, FolkTime has established itself as a trusted and respected provider of peer support services in addition to training and technical assistance in the field of peer support. Their mission is to create inclusive communities where individuals facing mental health challenges can find understanding, connection, and support from their peers.


At the core of FolkTime's approach is the concept of Intentional Peer Support (IPS), a framework that emphasizes authentic relationships and mutual learning between peers. Through IPS, FolkTime equips individuals with the skills and tools to offer non-clinical support to their peers, fostering a sense of empowerment and promoting recovery. This comprehensive training programs cover various areas, including trauma-informed care, crisis intervention, and cultural competence, ensuring that peer support professionals are equipped to address the diverse needs of the communities they serve.


FolkTime's impact extends beyond our social programs, the clinical organizations we work with, and those we train. We actively engage with communities, organizations, and policymakers to advocate for the integration of peer support services into mainstream mental health systems. By championing the voice and expertise of individuals with lived experience, FolkTime helps shape policies and practices that promote holistic, person-centered care. Through their dedication and commitment, FolkTime has become a catalyst for change, transforming the landscape of mental health support and empowering individuals on their journey to recovery.

The Full History

Founded in 1985, FolkTime was a unique program that was brought to life by Joann Seeger with the Community of Christ Church in northeast Portland and a grant from the Presbyterian Woman’s Association. The program is one of the oldest and longest running peer-in programs in Oregon.  The dream was to provide a space where adults living with mental health issues could socialize and give each other support. Almost 40 years later FolkTime still embodies those simple principles.

Those early gatherings turned into Oregon's oldest peer-run mental health program, Free to Be Me. Our programs now include other social programs, some clinical programs, and encompass three counties in Oregon. We provide in-house peer support for clinics and hospitals as well as bridging peer support for those exploring recovery in the community.


FolkTime is the forefront for innovation and excellence in peer support through our Training and Technical Assistance Center.  FolkTime is the Hub for Oregon and the west coast for Intentional Peer Support, an international best practice in mental health, which qualifies individuals for peer support specialist certification in many states. Peer support has been a growing movement since its roots in the civil rights era, empowering people with lived experience to share their stories in support of others who are going through similar experiences.


That systems are more equitable, person-centered, and trauma aware and individuals with lived experience are respected, honored, and treated with dignity.








Peer Support from those who have "been there"

FolkTime is a peer-run, peer-driven organization.  Our staff are committed to the mission of FolkTime and strive to create environments and relationships that support individuals in moving towards what they want in life, rather than running away from what they don't want.


Peer Connection Centers

Our Peer Connection Center staff curate our peer-run, peer-delivered programs that provide community band relationship building for those with lived experience. 

Clinical Programs

Our clinical programs are peers who support peers engaged in clinical programs.

Training and Technical Assistance Center

The Training and Technical Assistance Center is FolkTime's commitment towards building more resilient communities and trauma competent systems


Susan Palmer, Chair
Leslie Ford, Vice Chair
Nybelle Caruso, Secretary
Ilyse Ball

Catherine Fettig
Braunwynn Franklin

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