Karaya

Karaya Logo   KARAYA PEER RESPITE

ABOUT US

Karaya offers rest and reflection for all people experiencing emotional distress. We support people through what is called ‘crisis’ to find healing. Karaya is a statewide Massachusetts-based initiative. Karaya Peer Respite has a team of Mobile Peer Respite Advocates that will offer support to you wherever you are in Massachusetts for up to 4 hours at a time multiple days a week. Our Karaya Peer Respite in addition to its mobile component has a 6-bedroom house based in Worcester, Massachusetts the second largest city in New England. Within our Karaya Peer Respite Home, we offer 24/7 peer support with a team of Peer Respite Advocates, we hold a brave space for depth and navigating trauma and/or emotional distress. All Peer Respite Advocates who work at our Karaya Peer Respite have lived/living experiences that may include mental health diagnoses, trauma, emotional distress, and substance use recovery.

To recommend a guest for Karaya Peer Respite, please complete the recommendation form below.

To recommend a guest for Karaya Peer Respite, please complete the recommendation form below.
ON-SITE RESPITE RECOMMENDATION FORM
For the Mobile Peer Respite (a visit or call, not on-site), lease use the form below.
Mobile Recommendation form

What are peer respites?

A peer respite is a voluntary, short-term, overnight program that provides community-based, non-clinical crisis support to help people find new understanding and ways to move forward. It operates 24 hours per day in a homelike environment.
Peer respites are staffed and operated by people with psychiatric histories or who have experienced trauma and/or extreme states. This means that…

Staff

  • 100% of staff have lived experience of extreme states and/or the behavioral health system.

Management

  • All individuals in program/house management positions have lived experience of extreme states and/or the mental health system
  • Job descriptions for program/house management positions require lived experience of extreme states and/or the mental health system

Governance

  • The peer respite is either operated by a peer-run organization OR has an advisory group with 51% or more members having lived experience of extreme states and/or the behavioral health system.

Peer-run Organization

  • A program or organization in which a majority of persons who oversee the organization’s operation and are in positions of control have lived experience of extreme states and/or the mental health system.
  • People with lived experience of extreme states and/or the mental health system constitute a majority of the board or advisory group, and the director and a majority of staff, including volunteers, must identify as people lived experience of extreme states and/or the mental health system.

Why are there peer respites?

Peer respites were designed as psychiatric hospital diversion programs to support individuals experiencing or at risk of a psychiatric crisis. The premise behind peer respites is that psychiatric emergency services can be avoided if less coercive or intrusive supports are available in the community.

How do peer respites work?

Peer respites engage guests in mutual, trusting relationships with peer staff. Peer support involves a process of mutual helping based on the principles of respect and shared responsibility. Peer support includes interactions in which individuals help themselves and others through fostering relationships and engaging in advocacy to empower people to participate in their communities.
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