Peer Respite Programs for Mental Health and/or Substance Use Disorder Crises
Voluntary, short-term programs, some of which may be available ovenight, that provide community-based support in homelike settings for individuals who are experiencing or at risk of a psychiatric or substance (drug/alcohol) related crisis. Peer respites provide an alternative to involuntary psychiatric hospitalization or inpatient substance use disorder treatment which may create trauma in addition to the mental health or substance use related challenge. Programs are staffed by people with psychiatric or substance use histories who have experienced trauma and have "lived experience" of the mental health or substance use disorder treatment systems, and may treat both both mental health and substance use disorder patients or specialize in services for one or the other. Peer respites do not provide clinical services but focus instead on creating a healing space where peer staff engage guests in trusting relationships within a process of mutual helping based on respect and shared responsibility.