Name of Innovative Program:
Holland House Drop-In Center
Peer Support Resource Exchange (PSRE)
Name of Innovative Program Lead:
E-mail Address of Innovative Program Lead:
Holland House is a volunteer peer run drop-in center for adults with mental illness and/or substance abuse to meet and talk with their peers, obtain resources in the community, hang out when traditional service providers are not open and a safe place to be among friends and people who care. It was started in May 2012 to fill a gap in services and to help alleviate the high number of behavioral health patients presenting at the local emergency department. The center is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 1-9pm because weekends are when people tend to go into crisis and are unable to see their regular behavioral health providers. Rutherford County Commissioners allow us to use their building rent free. Programs offered include Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP), peer specialist training, support groups, 12-step meetings, movie nights, ping-pong, arts & crafts, library, music room, and peer support. In the first 6 months of operation, 628 attended with an average of 89 per month and an unduplicated count of 84. We filmed a video of participants talking about why they attend. Future plans include yoga for mental health, a fitness room, and a transportation program.
Creativity and Innovation:
Holland House is the only MH/SA drop-in center in western N. Carolina and was started by Rosemary Weaver, a peer who recognized the need. She has encouraged many peers in their recovery and continues to advocate for improved MH/SA services. She inspired a friend to open a drop-in center in Winston-Salem. Rosemary organized a local DBSA chapter which partners with the center. She reached out to those in recovery for substance abuse to start a 12 step meeting. She has applied for several grants including one for CIT training for law enforcement and paid peer specialists to operate the center 7 days a week. She is working with the Winston-Salem center for funding thru the N.C. Dept. of Justice settlement. Since the center has opened, behavioral health admissions to the ER have decreased, 8 WRAP classes were held, and three regular attendees have become certified peer support specialists.
Numerous Holland House attendees have become stron advocates for improvements in the treatment of both Mental Health and Substance Abuse disorders. These peers are now not just attendees and Holland House volunteers, they are attending city and county council meetings, advocating with the local MCOs and with North Carolina State Department of Health and Human Services and lobying their elected representatives for a deeper incorporation of good evidence based practices.
There is really not a lot to say here other than there is a stron core of individual peers supporting this operation and though the current facility might have to change, they are committed to continuing this effort. The "Holland House" will remain open in whatever form that financial support will allow but it will not go away or close its doors to the peers who need it.
As mentioned earlier, there is already a sister organization in Winston-Salem started by a friend of the founder, Rosemary Weaver. This program could easily be replicated to any locality as long as it is lead by people who truely undersatand the needs of those in the community who would make use of it, in other words recovering peers who have already been there and done that and reach out to others.
I believe this was already touched on in the first paragraph.