"The experiences of (emergency departments) for persons in emotional distress were characterized by feelings of insecurity, loneliness, intimidation, fear, and discomfort," the study noted. "Participants described feeling unsupported by (emergency department) staff."
"Most patients who came to The Living Room stayed for a few hours, received treatment or help, and left. What makes the space unique is that it is staffed with peer counselors who have experienced mental health issues and are specifically trained to treat the patients, who have responded well to that type of care because they see that recovery is possible," said Shattell, who specializes in mental health and treatment environments.
According to the study's findings, The Living Room helped people with emotional distress or mental illness address their crisis within the context of their life, which helped them utilize their own strengths by talking through problems, calming down and problem-solving to help their illness.
At The Living Room, guests reported being welcomed as "a fellow human being, not like a patient" and that the program was "a helping, not judging zone."
Specific interventions by The Living Room staff were cited in the study as being identified by guests as "helpful and caring." Those interventions included "being understanding, attentive and respectful, exploration of coping techniques, and use of a gentle, calming voice."
One guest, according to the findings, "valued the 'fresh opinions' that were offered in relation to her crisis while another found working with a peer counselor to identify the positive aspects of a negative situation to be helpful."
The study also indicated how scarce these types of treatment facilities were in the United
|Contact: Jon Cecero|