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Peer Run Respite Centers

Governor Walker's Peer Run Respite Mental Health Reform Package

NOTE: The Peer Run Respite Grant, RFP# G-0284 DMHSAS-14, has now been posted under the Grants section of the DHS RFP site. Due Date for Proposals is May 16, 2014 at 3:30 PM CT.

As part of the 2013 Budget, Act 20, funds have been authorized for the creation of Peer Run Respite Centers in Wisconsin. Peer Run Respite Centers are an innovative service delivery designed to improve quality of life and reduce emergency room visits. The services are delivered by people who themselves have been successful in the recovery process. The services are community based, residential settings that offer a small number of beds to people before or during a crisis situation, or to those people having difficulty coping with mental illness and/or substance use disorder.

What are Peer Run Respite Centers?

Peer Support

  • An evidenced based mental health model of care.
  • Individuals who have lived with and experienced mental illness and/or substance use disorder, provide support to other individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorder.
  • Assists individuals to more easily manage their illness and promote personal growth.
  • Positive impact in the mental health and substance use disorder system as an alternative to traditional mental health and substance use disorder treatment.

Peer Run Organization

  • Services that are operated and provided by peers who have lived with and experienced mental illness and/or substance use disorder.
  • There are many such organizations in Wisconsin.
  • Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (DMHSAS) supports eleven peer run organizations who provide peer support and leadership development.

Peer Run Respite Centers (PRRC)

  • Incorporate both peer support and peer run organizations.
  • Fill an unmet need for supportive alternatives to hospitalization during times of crisis for consumers.
  • Centers are located in the community and offer a homelike environment.
  • Have a three to five bed capacity.
  • Short term stay.
  • Offer additional services to respite such as warm lines, wellness activities and programs.


  • Adults with mental illness and/or substance use disorder who are experiencing an increase in symptoms, stressors or exacerbations and are in need of support and supportive services, to aid in their recovery.
  • Individuals who don’t need the level of services provided by the traditional mental health system.


  • Individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorder self-refer to the PRRC.
  • Mutual decision between the PRRC and the individual if admission is appropriate.


  • PRRCs offer a variety of peer support services in a warm and open environment.
  • Peer support.
  • Self-directed learning activities.
  • Recreational activities.
  • Social activities.
  • Services are voluntary, individualized and build upon the individual’s specific strengths and needs.
  • Peers are experts in their own recovery.
  • Offers hope to peers that recovery is possible.


Last Revised: April 17, 2014