The Centre for Suicide Prevention developed and piloted a respite centre in Fort McMurray from March through August 2022. PolicyWise for Children & Families conducted an evaluation of the pilot. Respite House provides a community-based alternative to hospital care for people in suicidal crisis. Through short-term stays in a home-like environment, guests can access 24/7 crisis de-escalation services, respite activities, peer support, and community resources and services.
Readers of this report will learn about the key pilot outcomes of the Respite House model, including:
- De-escalation of suicidal crises through an intake process focused on trust, safety, and relationship building;
- Access to individualized, flexible services, including basic needs and income support.
- Reduced reliance on emergency department or hospital in-patient admission;
- New forms of collaboration among community agencies, health service providers;
- Increased access to timely and appropriate care among guests.
Practice & Policy Implications
- The Respite House model can support guests to learn, practice and strengthen positive coping skills by encouraging rest, recreation, de-escalation skill-building, and building connections.
- Respite House implementation can enhance community awareness and appreciation of peer support models for managing suicidal crisis.