How to start a Peer Run respite

One way to work towards being the change is to create safe alternative spaces to hospitals where people can go during crisis:

This webinar addressed specific issues around starting up, maintaining, and sustaining quality peer-run respites. Panelists provided practical tips and suggestions on advocacy, funding, core values and principles, and staffing issues, among others.

For more info, visit the National Empowerment Center online.

Daniel B. Fisher
While researching at NIMH, Dan was diagnosed with schizophrenia. To fulfill his dream of a humanized mental health system, he became a community psychiatrist. To transform national policies, he founded and is now the Executive Director of the National Empowerment Center and was a member of the New Freedom Commission.

Rigel Flaherty
Rigel was born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA, and became familiar with the mental health system during a difficult time when she was 20. She started working as a peer counselor in Mental Health Supported Housing in 2003. Rigel became Program Manager for the SAMSHA funded 2nd Story Peer Run Respite House in January 2011.

Daniel Hazen
Daniel is a survivor of the psychiatric/penal systems. Currently, Daniel is the Executive Director of the peer-run Voices of the Heart in New York. Current projects include the Peer Respite, the Peer Supportline, and the Alternatives Healing Project. He is a Board Member with the U.S. Human Rights Network.

Steve Miccio
Steve is the Executive Director of PEOPLe, Inc., a peer-run organization in NY. Steve is considered an expert in peer operated diversion services and emergency service design. PEOPLe, Inc. has been delivering diversion services for the past 11 years and advocacy services for over 21 years.

PowerPoint presentation here.


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