A New Alternative for Times of Distress

Monday, October 19, 2015

Iris Place

Employees from SECURA Insurance toured Iris Place to learn about United Way's work with NAMI Fox Valley.

Contributor: Karen Iverson Riggers, Iris Place Peer Run Respite Director, NAMI Fox Valley

“This was a sanctuary, a place for me to process, a place of hope & encouragement. I felt like I belonged, could be myself and grow through my own strength. I couldn’t have done it without this place.” A recent guest shared this quote as she reflected on her experience at a new resource in our community, Iris Place Peer Run Respite.

For many people struggling with mental health, substance abuse, or healing from trauma, the only places to which they can turn in times of distress often are emergency services like the police or emergency rooms. Our community now has a new alternative called peer run respite, which offers a home-like, healing environment staffed by peers who utilize their lived experience to support others on their path to wellness and recovery.
Iris Place Peer Run Respite, the first of its kind in Wisconsin, offers a short-term stay and is free to all Wisconsin adults who want and need peer support to navigate a crisis or time of increased stress. Iris Place is a program of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Fox Valley, a United Way Fox Cities partner agency that provides education, support, outreach and advocacy programs to people affected by mental illness. Wisconsin’s Peer Run Respites are funded by the state’s Department of Health Services – Division of Mental Health & Substance Abuse.
Iris Place provides hope and healing through 24/7/365 peer support that is self-directed, strengths-based, and holistic and is offered both individually and in groups. Activities within the house support wellness and recovery, and the program also provides connections with community resources. Iris Place has five bedrooms and is located on the south side of Appleton. Since opening in April 2015, Iris Place has served more than 40 guests and provided more than 900 contacts peer support. Individuals interested in learning more about Iris Place or a potential stay can call (920)815-3217 or email irisplace@namifoxvalley.org.