After three years of planning and with big support from Genesis Health System, a peer-run mental health respite house has opened in DeWitt. The facility has been named “Rhonda’s House” in memory of local health care advocate Rhonda Shouse. Rhonda’s House uses six trained mental health support specialists, who provide individualized, voluntary care for up to three patients, who may stay up to one week.
The respite house, which is owned by Genesis and leased at minimal charge to Life Connections Peer Recovery Services, serves as an alternative to inpatient hospital care by means of personalized respite services and a preventive, community-based approach to treating mental illness. Ultimately, Genesis, which refurbished the house for its new mission, hopes that the respite house will help individuals caught in a cycle of mental health-related admissions, discharges and arrests within the community.
Staff at Rhonda’s House will focus their efforts on the support and recovery of patients with mental and substance abuse disorders, rather than the treatment process itself. Life Connections Board President Megan Vance emphasized the benefits peer-support will bring to the community: “As a substance abuse counselor, I can see the huge gap that we have in the recovery world. There’s support for treatment but no support for recovery. You get the treatment that you need, but then you have to figure it out on your own after that.”
Rhonda’s House officially began accepting patients on October 18, which coincided with Global Peer Support Celebration Day.Share this story.