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National Empowerment Center

Resources for Starting a Peer-run Crisis Alternative in Your Area

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Archive of A Future for Early Intervention webinar now available!

We apologize for some technical difficulties. The slides do not become visible until 10 minutes in to the presentation, however you can also follow along by downloading the slides here (PDF, 2.7MB, 32 pages).

This webinar explored contemporary practices in specialized early psychosis services with an emphasis on service gaps in the areas of trauma, ethnic/racial disparities/cultural humility, and peer support. The presenters covered current practice innovations and described an agenda for increased peer leadership and transformative change within early intervention.


Nev Jones, PhD is the director of research for Felton Institute's Client Center Outcomes Research in Public Mental Health and for Felton's Prevention and Early Intervention in Psychosis programs. She is also a board member of the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network and longtime HVN organizer.

Dina Tyler is the Director of Peer and Family Support for Felton Institute's Prevention and Early Intervention programs, and co-founder and board member of the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network.

B. Bonner is a peer specialist at Felton Institute's San Francisco PREP program, where they facilitate peer support groups and coordinate activities and youth engagement.

F. Asha Passalacqua is a peer support specialist for PREP Alameda, through the Mental Health Association of Alameda County. At PREP, he offers individual peer support to participants, facilitates mutual peer support and WRAP groups, and coordinates youth leadership and advocacy opportunities.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions, and content expressed in this presentation do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Improving Relationships Between Police and the Mental Health Community: Archive Now Available

Please note there are technical difficulties for about the first 20 minutes which get resolved.

Click here for PowerPoint Presentation (2.96MB)

We Are the Evidence: Evaluation of Peer Programs

Also available as a PowerPoint Presentation (2.3MB)

Short Film about Afiya Peer Respite

We recommend you use this short film to educate yourself and others about the values and best practices of peer respites.

Toolkit for Evaluating Peer Respites Now Available!

The National Empowerment Center supported Live and Learn and the Human Services Research Institute to develop a Toolkit for Evaluating Peer Respites that is now available on our website by clicking here.

This toolkit can be useful not only for peer respites, but also for anyone who wants to evaluate their organization or program. Click to download the toolkit (PDF, 841KB, 85 pages)

New Manual for Starting Peer-Run Respites Now Available for Free Download!

Thanks to the experience of Rose House, the work of PEOPLE, Inc., and the support of Optum Health, a new manual is now available for people interested in starting hospital diversion services, which are crisis alternatives that include peer-run respites. Thank you to PEOPLE, Inc. and Optum Health for making this document free and accessible! The manual has several interactive pieces and is user friendly. We are proud at the NEC to be able to showcase this manual and make it available for free download. If you do copy it, please make sure to give proper credit. The manual is available here:

Hospital Diversion Services: A Manual on Assisting in the Development of a Respite/Diversion Service in Your Area (PDF, 1.11MB, 56 pages)

Hospital Diversion Services - Developing a Peer-Respite Diversion Service in Your Area

Are you interested in starting a hospital-diversion service or peer-run respite in your area? Based on the experience of Rose House, the work of PEOPLe, Inc., and the support of Optum Health, a new manual is now available for people interested in starting peer-run hospital diversion services.  Steve Miccio, author of this manual, presents the key concepts. The manual is available here: 
http://www.power2u.org/downloads/OH-Hospital-Diversion-Manual.pdf (PDF, 1.1MB, 56 pages)


Webinar: Building the Foundation for a Successful Peer-run Respite

The presenters will discuss their first-hand experience with building connections with the community while opening and running a peer-run respite, including how to: lay the groundwork, educate the community, and establish relationships; address common community misconceptions and avoid the "Not in My Backyard (NIMBY)" phenomenon; and maintain positive connections in the local community while operating a peer-run respite. (NOTE: Due to some technical difficulties, there are a few recording glitches in this webinar) 

PowerPoint Presentation (3.68MB)
PowerPoint Presentation as a PDF file (2MB, 32 pages)

Webinar: So You Want to Start a Peer-Run Respite?

Archived presentation and audio-video available now!
The purpose of this webinar was to address specific issues around starting up, maintaining, and sustaining quality peer-run respites. Topics covered included practical tips and suggestions on advocacy, funding, core values and principles, and staffing issues, among others. 

Also available as PowerPoint Presentation and a PDF version:

PowerPoint Presentation (47.2MB)
PowerPoint Presentation as a PDF file (4MB, 48 pages)

Video: Introduction to Peer-Run Crisis Respites

By Daniel B. Fisher and Cathy A. Levin (23 minutes)

For a larger video visit: Peer-run Crisis Respite Programs - an Introduction
from National Empowerment Center on Vimeo.

Bringing Peer-run Respites to Massachusetts

Concept paper used to persuade decision-makers at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health to fund peer-run respites. This concept paper follows a sequence of headings, 1) What our goals are, 2) What we know, 3) What we propose to do, and 4) Why NEC is uniquely able to be successful. It can be used as an example of how to write a successful concept paper.”

Click to view Concept Paper for Peer-run Respites (PDF, 32KB, 3 pages)

Western Mass Recovery Learning Community

The Western Mass Recovery Learning Community (RLC) is driven by values rather than rules. The Guiding Council of Western Mass (GCOW) - advisory board to the RLC - developed this set of defining principles through a participatory process to guide the community and support its growth and vibrancy. The defining principles are posted in all RLC spaces and are considered to be one of the community's foundational documents.

Click to view Defining Principles of Peer Support - Western Mass Recovery Learning Community (PDF, 43KB, 2 pages)

Peer-Run Crisis Respites (PRCR) Fact Sheet

Click to view PRCR Fact Sheet (PDF, 57KB, 1 page)

Webinar: Peer Support Wellness Respite Centers

Produced by the SAMHSA/HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) 

Eight states currently fund Peer Support Wellness Respite Centers promoting mind-body wellness, whole health, and resiliency. Join us for this free webinar that will address how these innovative Centers are supporting wellness and demonstrating outcomes that include reduced hospitalization for people in recovery from addiction and mental illness. Click here to view a recording of the webinar.

Do-It-Yourself Peer-run Crisis Alternative Center

A beginner's guide by Lenora Kimball (PDF, 136KB, 4 pages)

Recovery from Crisis Through Peer Run Respite

A presentation by Daniel B. Fisher and Cathy A. Levin

PDF, 2.11MB, 5 Pages
PowerPoint, 10 Pages, 7.1MB

Combating NIMBYism (not in my backyard): What a Difference a Community Makes


Articles by Shery Mead on Peer Support and Peer Crisis Alternatives


Peer Respite Services: Transforming Crisis to Wellness

PowerPoint Presentation by Steve Miccio, August 2011 (3MB)

Steve Miccio describes Rose House model

Click to view Steve Miccio describes Rose house model. Presented at Alternatives 2010 (PDF, 698KB, 11 pages)

Performance Measurement: ROSI-A tool to measure mental health recovery in local mental health systems

Presentation by Priscilla Ridgeway, May 2009 (PDF of PowerPoint, 251KB, 8 pages)

Peer Led Crisis Alternatives

Presentation by Dr. Jan Wallcraft, 2009 (PDF of PowerPoint, 1008KB, 18 pages)

Crisis Hostel User Guide and Policy/Procedure Manual

Designed for a crisis program in Ithaca, NY. | Crisis Hotel Manual (PFD, 360, 12 pages)

Likert scale survey about recovery

Click to view Likert scale survey about recovery (PDF, 62KB, 6 pages)

Sample job posting for new peer-run respite

Sample job posting for an individual or organization to create a new peer-run respite, based in Vermont (PDF, 53KB, 4 pages)

Description of a class for peers to write about their recovery

Description of a class for peers to write about their recovery, held at the Crisis Hostel in Ithaca, NY. (PDF, 259KB, 8 pages)