About Peer Respites
Peer Respites such as Serenoa House provide sanctuary and an opportunity to connect with fellow members of a community that self-identify as peers. In this context, a peer is a person who has experienced overwhelming mental or emotional distress and seeks to form meaningful relationships with others. Peer Respites have been recognized nationally as an effective means for providing support services that fortify traditional mental health programs. Through practices such as intentional peer support, nonviolent communication, and mental health first aid we seek to create a community wherein experiences are shared openly. By connecting with peers (such as our staff) who have 'walked the walk' of mental health recovery, we walk arm-in-arm toward individual empowerment, self-determination, and resiliency that enables us to adapt to life's challenges. Gainesville Peer Respite is a peer support community that offers alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization in a non-clinical homelike environment. Together, and with an inclusive perspective on how we pursue wellness as individuals, we at the Gainesville Peer Respite are working to transform experiences of distress into opportunities for learning and life enhancement.