Peer-run respites are for individuals living with mental health or substance use concerns. These places offer a supportive, home-like environment during times of increased stress or symptoms. Guests schedule overnight stays. Most guests stay for no longer than one week.
Peer-run respites provide opportunities for support from people who have experienced similar life struggles. Staff are trained in how to help others improve their quality of life.
Guests share their recovery goals, which may include connecting with community resources, engaging in wellness activities like art or exercise, or finding a safe space for healing. There isn’t a doctor on staff, and there’s no medication management or therapy. Staff assist guests in accessing community behavioral health services, if desired. Guests are free to come and go for school, work, family, and other responsibilities.
The goal of this program is to help people avert crises and avoid hospitalizations.
Peer-run respites serve adults. Individuals self-refer. 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 are not drop-in centers. Prospective guests must contact staff themselves prior to their stay. Providers may encourage clients to contact a peer-run respite, but can't initiate a stay for an individual.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services supports the operations of three peer-run respites.
The Parachute House in Milwaukee serves Milwaukee County residents. It is not funded by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has awarded Mental Health America of Wisconsin a grant to develop and manage a peer-run respite home for veterans. This home is expected to open soon in Pewaukee.