DEWITT, Iowa--- Life Connections Recovery Services hosted a community workshop Wednesday, August 9, to introduce plans to start a Peer Run Respite House.
The respite house is a program where people can stay up to five days to receive one-on-one counseling from staff and volunteers who have personally dealt with mental health issues in the past.
““It just becomes a safe environment for people to go take care of themselves and address their mental health and substance use issues,” says Ashley Wilksen from the Mental Health Association of Nebraska.
The project in DeWitt is modeled after a respite care in Nebraska.
Genesis Medical Center in DeWitt gave the program a three-bedroom house behind the hospital to get started.
“Our hopes are that this will be a pilot and we will develop it enough to buy our own house, just like (the respite program in Nebraska) bought and other respites.” says Life Connection’s Todd Noack.
Noack says this will be the first Peer Run Respite House in the state, he hopes to get it up and running in the next six months.
The new program still needs to be approved by city council. Representatives from Genesis Hospital say this project will not need a Certificate of Need, unlike the 72-bedroom psychiatric facility scheduled to be built in Bettendorf, because the respite house is less expensive.