Crisis Alternatives

In times of crisis, people feel alone with their anxiety, panic, anger, frustrations and depression. One of the goals of peer-run crisis respite is to provide connections and relationships that can lessen the intensity of these feelings. These non-medical alternative programs offer a comfortable, non-judgmental environment in which one might be able to process stresses as well as explore new options. The hope is that these interactions will result in fresh, short-term solutions and a wider array of options for handling future crises.

As people have an opportunity to stay connected to peers while moving through challenging thoughts, feelings and impulses, the need for external intervention is diminished. This alternative approach to handling crisis teaches people healthier attitudes about themselves and others. With increased skills, individuals can reduce or even eliminate their susceptibilities to the pressures that cause overwhelming emotional distress.

The National Empowerment Center recommends two core trainings when it comes to supporting people in emotional crisis: Emotional CPR and Intentional Peer Support.

Please browse the information we have below and if you are interested in ongoing networking, please consider joining low volume googlegroups on peer support lines (warmlines) and/or peer run respites by emailing

Alternatives to Suicide: Lessons from the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community

Webinar archive now available!

Alternatives to Suicide peer support groups exist because the opportunity to talk about feelings of hopelessness to empathic ears can decrease the inclination to act on suicidal feelings. This webinar, held on April 24, 2013, discussed the need for and development of peer-run support groups for people struggling with suicidal feelings and thoughts. Presenters: Janice Sorensen and Sean Donovan.

Rose House Peer-Run Hospital Diversion Program – Tour and Introduction

Peer-run Respite Programs: An Introduction