Could Peer-run Crisis Respites Take the Place of Inpatient Psychiatric Beds?

Could Peer-run Crisis Respites Take the Place of Inpatient Psychiatric Beds?
National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse

Hospital emergency rooms are a “mental health dumping ground,” according to a recent MedPageToday article reporting on an online survey of 1,716 emergency physicians nationwide. Rebecca Parker, MD, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, told MedPageToday that “…almost one-quarter of our poll responded that they have patients waiting two to five days for a psychiatric bed.”

But many people who have experienced psychiatric hospitalization believe that there is a much better alternative: peer-run crisis respites, which have a proven track record. “I believe we have a significant opportunity to promote peer-run respites as a response to the ugly problems that ERs currently face,” said Val Marsh, executive director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, whose membership includes numerous statewide peer-run organizations and others.

For a partial list of studies demonstrating the effectiveness of peer-run crisis services,click here. For a Clearinghouse publication about peer-run crisis respites,click here. For the MedPage Today article,click here.