March 10, 2015
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683

Peer Run Respite Services Begin This Month

Three Places for People with Mental Health and Substance Use Concerns to Hold Open Houses This Week

MADISON—The Department of Health Services (DHS) announced today Wisconsin’s first Peer Run Respites will open to guests this month, following open houses this week. 

Peer Run Respites serve adults having difficulty coping with mental health or substance use concerns. The homes offer a safe, supportive environment managed and staffed by individuals who have experienced similar stress and symptoms and who themselves have been successful in the recovery process. Each home has at least four beds and as many as five. The average stay is between one to five days.

Governor Scott Walker included Peer Run Respites in the 2013-2015 biennial budget. “These Peer Run Respites are another way to help those in the community who may be living with mental illness or battling substance abuse,” Governor Walker said. “Services like this can be key to helping people live happy, healthy, and prosperous lives.”

Peer Run Respites are open to all adults in emotional distress no matter where they live in Wisconsin. Individuals self-refer. Together, the prospective guest and staff at the Peer Run Respite determine whether the environment suits the individual’s needs. All services are voluntary and provided at no cost to the guest.

“Peer Run Respites promote recovery through the use of peer supports,” said DHS Secretary Kitty Rhoades. “Staff and guests are equals, each have something to offer, creating relationships that are mutually supportive. These settings are non-medical alternatives to emergency rooms and hospitals.”

Wisconsin’s Peer Run Respites are operated by non-profit organizations with support from DHS. The following is information regarding each home, including the dates and times for the open houses. The public and media are encouraged to attend each open house.

Solstice House (SOAR Case Management Services)
1301 Wayridge Dr.
Madison, WI 53704
Open House: Tuesday, March 10, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Iris Place (NAMI-Fox Valley)
1213 S. Matthias St.
Appleton, WI 54915
Open House: Thursday, March 12, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
(Ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m.)

Grassroots Wellness (Grassroots Empowerment Project)
2727 Blackberry Trail
Menomonie, WI 54951
Open House: Friday, March 13, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
(Ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m.)

Funding for the development and operation of Peer Run Respites was included in Governor Walker’s package of mental health initiatives in the 2013-2015 biennial budget and legislation enacted as part of the Speaker’s Task Force on Mental Health. In June 2014, following a competitive application process, each non-profit organization received $441,666. The program is overseen by a staff person in the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.