Saturday, 6 June 2015

'What the Research Has Told Us About Peer-Run Respite Houses: The Second Story Story' Santa Cruz, California

'What the Research Has Told Us About Peer-Run Respite Houses: The Second Story Story' by Yana Jacobs on Mad in America, 4 June 2015:

view from 2nd Story Santa Cruz
"The Second Story Peer Respite House, located in Santa Cruz, California, is completing their five-year funding cycle with a Mental Health Transformation Grant awarded by SAMHSA. The intent was to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of peer respites in promoting wellness and supporting individuals experiencing psychological distress through community-based alternatives to psychiatric emergency services.

When Second Story opened its doors in the fall of 2011, we were the first peer respite house in California, and the seventh peer respite in the nation. The experience of "transformation" has been alive and well in Santa Cruz County over the past five years as the community joined together, built new collaborations, flattened traditional hierarchies, and embraced the core values of Shery Mead’s model and practice of Intentional Peer Support."

"Here are a few Quotes that were recorded by the evaluators upon surveying the guests at 2nd Story:

"I don’t feel 'less than' in this environment. I feel like across the table we’re all equals. Even though I’m not peer staff, still... [In traditional crisis services] I may have come out of this feeling like somehow I’m defective. You know, if this wasn’t around and there was just the hospital and crisis house, I would feel in those environments very mentally ill. Like, labeled that. Like, ‘These are mentally ill patients.’ And I’m not a patient. I’m a person. And I get treated like a full human being.

"I really like that we [guests and staff] can have a real serious conversation between each other and exchange information from each other. It is not like a one-way talking… it is a two-way relationship and communication, and it’s really genuine… We’re just really real with each other. And they tell me when something’s not working for them… They’re real. It’s like a friendship instead of a very closed, cold-hearted professional support… There’s connection. There’s real connection at 2nd Story."

"I’d say that [Second Story] gave you a sense of identity. It gave you a sense of belonging. It showed me that there are people whose minds work the way mind does who are in control of their minds, don’t let their minds control them—who are hugely intelligent and really run their own lives."

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"Enjoy an introduction to this crisis respite program, operated in Santa Cruz, CA. 

For more information on these and other similar programs, visit: "

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