The Living Room Program is Duane Dean Behavioral Health Center's new initiative to continue providing quality services to the residents of our communities. The Living Room is a community respite program that offers an alternative to Emergency Departments (ED) for people experiencing an emotional crisis. It aims to provide a comfortable and safe, non-clinical space to adults, 18 years old and over, that are experiencing a mental health crisis.
The model recreates the living room in our homes by using comfortable furniture, soft colors, soft lighting, and inspiring artwork on the walls. This, along with reduced stimuli, should help Guests feel safe and at home. The space offers common areas where Guests can socialize with others, as well as private space where Guests can spend time by themselves or working with the team.
Participants are referred to as “Guests” to reinforce the non-clinical aspect of the model. Hours for the Living Room are established based on local community needs; we work with Fire and Police Departments, as well as hospitals and crisis centers to identify hours when the need for mental health services is higher.
The program is free of cost to Guests, and there is no need to have a mental health diagnosis to use the facility. The Living Room is staffed by peers (Recovery Support Specialists – RSS) to help lessen the stigma. The RSS are individuals that have a mental illness or another co-occurring disorder but have achieved a level of recovery that allows them to be of assistance to others. Using their own experiences, the RSS will assist Guests in de-escalating the presenting crisis, establish short-term goals that respond to their specific situation and that are achievable; educate Guests on coping skills, and develop wellness plans to include other resources that may be available in the community at large.
The Living Room will have the following rooms available for the use of Guests:
1) Private Space – A space where Guests will first meet with the Recovery Support Specialist and/or Qualified Mental Health Professional for an assessment to evaluate appropriateness for the program.
2) The Living Room – A common space where Guests can sit down and watch programming selected to help them keep calmed and relaxed.
3) Meditation Room – A space where Guests can retreat to for meditation, deep breathing, or to calm down. This space will have minimalistic furniture, electric candles, soft light, a water fountain, and other items conducive to relaxation, or for calming down.
4) Art Therapy Room – In this room, Guests can use art as a medium to express themselves, play board games, color in adult-themed coloring books, etc.
5) Gaming Room – Research shows that gaming is a powerful tool to reduce stress after a long day. In this room, Guests will be able to play selected games that can help them relax. We will also have computers in this area to be used by Guests for employment-related activities.
6) Library – Reading is also a great tool to escape from the stress of everyday life. In the Library, Guests will have a good selection of books and magazines at their disposal. There will also be board games for the use of Guests.
We will have a kitchenette area full of healthy snacks and beverages for those guests in need of nourishment. The facility will also have showers for the use of guests, and a washing machine/dryer where guests can wash their clothes if needed.
The Living Room will always be staffed by two Recovery Support Specialist and a Qualified Mental Health Professional. All will receive intensive training on various issues related to service provision, including Trauma-Informed Care, Active Listening, Motivational Interviewing, and other similar topics.
The Living Room is a community respite program that offers an alternative to Emergency Departments (ED) for people experiencing an emotional crisis.
Hours of operation:
Mon - Fri 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Where are we located?
367 South Schyler St.
Kankakee, IL 60901
For additional information, contact
John Prince, MA, CADC, CODP 1
Living Room Program
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
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