Wisconsin Peer Run Respites
Peer run respites were born out of a human rights movement driven by people who have experienced psychiatric diagnoses, hospitalization, or other major life challenges. Many consumers of mental health services found that traditional crisis services, such as those provided by psychiatric emergency rooms and inpatient hospital treatments, were overly restrictive, disruptive, and often traumatic. On the other hand, consumers found that forming mutual and authentic relationships by sharing their experiences and providing support to one another was healing and empowering. In conjunction to the increased awareness and desire for peer support, people began to seek alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization in order to reduce costs and unburden the existing system as well as improve outcomes for service users. As a response, peer run respites started popping up around the country.
The state of Wisconsin began to embrace the push for peer run respites. In 2014, the legislation providing additional funding for peer run respites was codified and grants were awarded to establish three respites in Wisconsin. Monarch House Peer Run Respite, one of the grant recipients, opened its door on December 18, 2018. Monarch House has been welcoming guests from all over Wisconsin since then.
Currently, there are three peer run respites that are funded by the state of Wisconsin; Iris Place, Solstice House, and Monarch House. In addition, a peer run respite specifically for veterans is set to open in Milwaukee in 2019.