Bazelon Center Highlights Promise Resource Network in Groundbreaking Report

Peer-led Mental Health Crisis Services Play a Critical Role in Their Effectiveness

The Bazelon Center, a leading advocate for the rights of people with mental health challenges, just announced the release of their latest report, “When There’s a Crisis, Call a Peer: How People with Lived Experience Make Mental Health Crisis Services More Effective.” Their research sheds light on the crucial role played by individuals with lived experience in enhancing the effectiveness of mental health crisis services.

Key Findings:

Peer-led Approaches Enhance Crisis Services

The report highlights instances where peer-led approaches have significantly improved the outcomes of mental health crisis interventions. Peer support is shown to foster a sense of understanding, empathy, and connection that traditional services may lack.

Personal Narratives Drive Change

Featuring real-life stories and experiences, the report illustrates how personal narratives can be powerful tools for advocacy and change. By amplifying the voices of those with lived experience, the Bazelon Center aims to destigmatize mental health challenges and promote a more compassionate approach to crisis intervention.

Recommendations for Policymakers

The report includes a set of recommendations for policymakers, urging them to integrate peer-led models into existing mental health crisis services. By doing so, policymakers can create a more comprehensive and person-centered approach to addressing mental health crises.

The report describes many promising programs providing supports that individuals with mental health challenges want and need, including those led by people with lived experience and those in which they are significantly involved, including PRN’s respite, Retreat @ The Plaza.

PRN’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cherene Caraco shared, “With the continued rise in suicide, overdose, and the use of the most restrictive, costly, and harmful responses to people experiencing emotional distress, the demand for non-carceral, non-pathology-based, and effective healing alternatives continues to emerge from local communities, states, and at the federal level.

As PRN advocates for a fundamental shift in the way mental health challenges, trauma, and people experiencing them are understood and treated, one of the primary questions we receive is “what are the alternatives to hospitalizing people?” This report offers comprehensive national models and emerging practices that are currently operating and proven effective throughout the US.

We are grateful to The Bazelon Center for uplifting peer-run alternatives and PRNs efforts to advance healing and recovery through the wisdom of shared lived and living experience.”

Read the full report (PDF):

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is a national legal advocacy organization advancing the rights of individuals with mental disabilities. With a focus on policy reform and litigation, the center works towards a society where people with mental disabilities are fully included and integrated.

About Promise Resource Network:

Promise Resource Network has played a pivotal role in leading the peer-led approach to substance use and mental health recovery for almost 20 years. PRN’s expertise in peer-led initiatives and dedication to fostering a supportive mental health and substance use community have fueled policy and driven local and statewide initiatives. Through peer support, education, and advocacy, Promise Resource Network empowers individuals to lead fulfilling lives.