What is a peer respite?
A peer respite is an alternative support for individuals who are in distress. A peer respite is a voluntary, short term overnight support that is in a home-like environment—usually a residence—with all trained peer workers. Peer support is the main service provided in a peer respite.
Peer respites also:
- Are voluntary and self-referred.
- Do not provide medical services, such as prescribing medication or medication management.
- Often serve as hospital diversions.
- Offer one-on-one and group peer support, sometimes with additional learning opportunities and supports.
- Empower people to discover what is best for their wellness.
- Are trauma-informed and rooted in recovery values.
How will they be implemented?
Peer respites are being funded by a 2019 bill: House Bill 1394. Although nationally, the majority of peer respites are not funded by Medicaid, the initial peer respites in Washington will be partly Medicaid-funded.
Medicaid funding brings with it clinical requirements that create challenges in implementing a peer respite. These requirements include formal clinical assessments and notes as well as supervision by a mental health professional (MHP) who is a certified peer counselor.
Despite these challenges, peer respites are an alternative that Washington needs. They are a helpful new resource in the continuum of care. We will work with national experts and stakeholders to implement them in the most effective manner.
Stakeholders, including peers, are playing a large role in creating implementation models and their assistance has been invaluable. Peers advocate passionately for non-Medicaid, fidelity peer respite models. Although not all recommendations can be implemented, stakeholders are helping ensure Washington’s first peer respites will be as close to the model as possible.
How can I learn more?
People USA is creating a series of webinars to help people better understand peer respites and peer respite implementation. You will need to log in with a name and email.