A peer respite is a voluntary, short-term, overnight program that provides community-based, non-clinical crisis support to help people find new understanding and ways to move forward. It operates 24 hours per day in a homelike environment. 

Peer respites are staffed and operated by people with psychiatric histories or who have experienced trauma and/or extreme states. This means that...


Staff

  • 100% of staff have lived experience of extreme states and/or the behavioral health system

Management

  • All individuals in program/house management positions have lived experience of extreme states and/or the mental health system
  • Job descriptions for program/house management positions require lived experience of extreme states and/or the mental health system

Governance

  • The peer respite is either operated by a peer-run organization OR has an advisory group with 51% or more members having lived experience of extreme states and/or the behavioral health system

Peer-Run Organization

  • A program or organization in which a majority of persons who oversee the organization’s operation and are in positions of control have lived experience of extreme states and/or the mental health system.
  • People with lived experience of extreme states and/or the mental health system constitute a majority of the board or advisory group, and the director and a majority of staff, including volunteers, must identify as people lived experience of extreme states and/or the mental health system.
  • See works cited at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201400080

Consensus panel on inclusion criteria:

A panel of experts in peer support research, training, advocacy, and program administration developed these specific criteria. This consensus panel examined program structures and policies and considered the tradition and history of the consumer/survivor movement in creating and operating alternatives to traditional mental health services. All of the panel members have experience working in or with peer respites and peer-run organizations in the U.S. 

The panel included:

Special thanks to Keris Myrick of SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services for her input.