March 15, 2024 at 8:47 a.m.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR

The need for peer-run respites


By Mark Jacobson, Peer Support Specialist Winona, MN | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

   A Peer-Run Respite is a voluntary, short-term overnight program that provides community-based, non-clinical crisis support to help people find new hope and ways to move forward. It operates 24 hours per day in a home-like environment.

   Peer-Run Respites engage guests in mutual, trusting relationships with peer staff. Peer support involves a process of mutual helping based on the principles of respect and shared responsibility. Peer support includes interactions in which individuals help themselves and others through fostering relationships and engaging in advocacy to empower people to participate in their community.

   Peer-Run Respites were designed as psychiatric hospital diversion programs to support individuals experiencing or at-risk of a psychiatric crisis. The premise behind Peer-Run Respites is that psychiatric emergency services can be avoided if less coercive or intrusive supports are available in the community.

   What is at issue is the lack of intermediate support for adults with mental health and/or addiction issues who are now seeking help through local hospital emergency rooms, experiencing interventions via local law enforcement, often learning there are no services that meet their needs until they experience a higher level of crisis in order to access more intensive residential treatment services, or face incarceration with jails or prisons. Lack of access to early community-based interventions such as peer respite services contribute to unnecessary, damaging trauma experienced by the person and often their loved ones. This often results in unnecessary loss of housing, education and employment, community life, and established mental health services.

   Peer respite in Minnesota will offer pre-crisis supportive service to individuals who are experiencing challenging emotions. People will be supported without insurance barriers or the need for previous mental health diagnosis. Peer respite has proven to decrease Emergency Department visits and Psychiatric Hospitalizations by 40-70% with people served by peer support. Rural Minnesota will benefit from additional choices for individuals who want and need support.

   When will the citizens of Minnesota realize that Peer-Run Respites are needed, as well as a benefit to the state? (Currently, there are no Peer-Run Respite facilities operating in Minnesota.) How many more people will have to suffer because of the lack of mental health services such as Peer-Run Respites? 

   Unfortunately, I do not foresee any Peer-Run Respite facilities being built due to the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health and addition.  Our communities have to be willing to step up and put an end to this stigma and discrimination. Is there anyone willing to step up and help someone in crisis and establish a Peer-Run Respite facility in their neighborhood?

   If you would like to express your views and opinions, I may be reached at [email protected] or by letter to 559 West Broadway St., Winona, MN. 55987.


Comments:

You must login to comment.

LONGVILLE WEATHER

WEATHER SPONSORED BY

Events

April

SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.

Facebook