January 26, 2023
Hello Summiteers,
Hello Summiteers,
Summit Website Blog, News, and Events Launching
The International Soteria/Peer Respite Summit (Summit) is looking for guest authors to write for our blog. We are looking for articles of any length that can share our stories and/or educate the public on non-medical alternatives to coercive interventions such as peer respites and Soteria houses. We’re especially looking for news from people trying to start peer respites and Soteria houses and to hear from people with lived experience related to crisis/institutionalization, peer respites, and Soteria houses! If you are interested, please reach out through our website for more information. 
“Navigating a Misguided System” Video
There is a new 35-minute video, “Navigating a Misguided System,” filmed at the December 14, 2022, Mentoring Circle meeting. (The Mentoring Circle has been holding monthly meetings, which are helpful for people who are working on establishing peer respites and Soteria houses, or are considering creating these alternatives to traditional services.)
In “Navigating a Misguided System,” people talk about avoiding and even refusing funding from sources that would require the organization to abandon its values. For example, in some places, state funding had to be rejected because it would have co-opted the organization, while in other places state funding might be acceptable. A key topic of discussion was whether and how to accept Medicaid funding. In contrast to the four-video, 11-minute advocacy playlist, The Basics, the 35-minute “Navigating a Misguided System is for people wanting to launch or sustain peer respites and Soteria houses.
Intentional Peer Support (IPS) Overview, February 5, 2023
We are excited to announce the presenters for the Intentional Peer Support (IPS) overview on Sunday, February 5, 2023, at 12 p.m. ET. For the Time Zone Converter, follow this link: www.thetimezoneconverter.com
Closed captioning will be available.
Register now at this link: https://form.jotform.com/230092868650157
This training is sponsored by the Summit and is free, although donations are appreciated to continue the work of the Summit.
Cindy Hadge is an Intentional Peer Support trainer who has provided numerous such trainings over the past six years. Cindy is also a Lead Trainer for the Wildflower Alliance and is an international trainer and keynote speaker. Cindy has her own experience of navigating deep despair and altered states, and has benefited from staying at a peer-run respite. She is passionate about developing and facilitating healing spaces and workshops for anyone interested in more possibilities than are typically offered through the mainstream mental health system.
Tessa Domingus (she/her/hers) has worked for the Mental Health Association of Nebraska (MHA-Ne), providing peer support, since 2016. She has worked as a Project Specialist, playing a key role in the development and implementation of Intentional Peer Support (IPS) within the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS), coordinating the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) provided in all NDCS facilities, and as the Coordinator of a peer-run transitional living house in Nebraska. She has been a facilitator of Intentional Peer Support since 2018 facilitating for MHA-Ne within the Nebraska Department of Corrections, and supporting IPS Central.
As a justice-impacted trauma survivor, she has found that peer support had been the missing link in her personal journey of growth and recovery; she believes that, since it has become an integrated part of the way she lives and how she handles relationships, her journey has been profoundly enhanced. She is a mother of six with four grandchildren. She enjoys spending her free time in nature, traveling, and, most of all, being with her family. 
Ashley Wilksen (she/her/hers) has been practicing Intentional Peer Support for over 10 years at a local nonprofit peer-run organization in Nebraska. She has successfully participated in the development, implementation, and management of Nebraska’s only peer-run respite. Ashley has experience facilitating WRAP in hospitals, schools, and prisons. 
Ashley has been an Intentional Peer Support facilitator since 2018. She has a wide range of experience practicing IPS with a diverse population and in multiple settings, such as in a mental health emergency department, in a peer-run respite, within the Department of Correctional Services, and with individuals reentering the community after incarceration. Her work has included coordinating and operating a peer-run transitional living house.
In 2020, Ashley began working with IPS Central delivering online IPS core trainings. She has lived experience with mental health issues, is a trauma survivor, and considers peer support the avenue through which she is able to find wellness and balance, actively work towards healthy relationships, and find healing. Ashley and her wife have two children. She has a passion for people and social change!
Many presenters during the Summit referred to IPS as being foundational for operating peer respites and Soteria Houses, as well as for improving relationships with family, friends, and others. Taking the full IPS training can be life-changing. We are pleased to offer this overview where everyone can be introduced to IPS and learn its principles. We are confident you will find this well worth your time.
“As peer support in mental health proliferates, we must be mindful of our intention: social change. It is not about developing more effective services, but rather about creating dialogues that have influence on all of our understandings, conversations, and relationships.” – Shery Mead, founder of IPS
Intentional Peer Support is a way of thinking about and inviting transformative relationships. It provides a powerful framework for creating relationships where people learn and grow together. IPS is used across the world in community, peer support, and human services settings, and is a tool for community development with broad appeal to people from all walks of life.
Why IPS? Peers come together around shared experiences and often a desire to change lives. But without a new framework to build upon, people frequently re-enact “help” based on what was done to them. IPS offers a foundation for doing something different. We come from a history of grassroots alternatives that focus on building relationships that are mutual, explorative, and conscious of power.
In this three-hour online overview, participants will learn about the history of IPS as well as the tasks and principles of this transformational framework. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and have interactive discussions with the facilitators and other participants.
This training is sponsored by the Summit and is free, although donations are appreciated to continue the work of the Summit.
Closed captioning will be available.
Register now at this link: https://form.jotform.com/230092868650157
Those who register will be emailed the link to participate before Feb. 5th.
After the three-hour overview of IPS, some of us plan to stay around so we can connect, and share our work and experiences since the Summit.
We look forward to "seeing you" again on Sunday, Feb. 5th. We hope you can join us!
International Peer Respite/Soteria Summit Planning Team
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Be sure to check out the Summit website; it has a great listing of resources.
And we have some very short, powerful videos from the Summit that you can watch here.