Massachusetts currently has one peer respite. The funding for this peer respite was achieved through grassroots organizing at the state level through an RFP process. Massachusetts has several Recovery Learning Communities (RLCs) that provide a venue for peer support and advocacy in different regions of the state. The RLCs are primarily funded under contract with the Department of Mental Health.
Afiya strives to provide a safe space in which each person can find the balance and support needed to turn what is so often referred to as a ‘crisis’ into a learning and growth opportunity. Afiya is located in a residential neighborhood in Northampton, Massachusetts and is central to a variety of community resources. It is available to anyone ages 18 and older who is experiencing distress and feels they would benefit from being in a short-term, 24-hour peer-supported environment with others who have ‘been there.’ Typical stays at Afiya range from one to seven days.
The majority of people you will meet (including in leadership roles) at Afiya identify as having lived experience that may include extreme emotional or altered states, psychiatric diagnoses, trauma histories, living without a home, navigating the mental health and other public systems, addictions and more. They have come together because they believe that the wisdom they have gained from their lived experience is invaluable and sharing their story has great potential to create connection and support for others on their own journeys.