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Monday, 26 June 2017
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Afiya FAQ

 
 
ACCESSING AFIYA:
 
STAYING AT AFIYA:
PHILOSOPHY OF AFIYA:
 
WORKING AT AFIYA:
OTHER MISCELLAENOUS DETAILS ABOUT AFIYA:

ACCESSIBILITY AT AFIYA:

 

Can animals stay at Afiya?

If someone wishing to stay at Afiya has a service animal that has been trained (or is in training) to do work or perform a specific task that that person is unable to do on their own, Afiya can certainly make accommodations to welcome that animal. Unfortunately, however, we are currently unable to accommodate emotional support pets who may offer emotional support or comfort to an individual, but are not trained to do work or perform a specific task in the way that service animals are trained to do so.
 
Due to concerns with allergies and the possible conflicting needs of others staying in the house, we do ask that those wanting to come into Afiya find another place for their pets to stay, and/or someone else to care for them. Since people staying can come and go as they choose, if someone’s residence is close enough and they’re comfortable traveling back and forth to care for their pet, that’s also an option. Sometimes, we may even be able to help find a volunteer to watch over your pet at home if you are not wanting or able to travel back and forth yourself. If there are any concerns regarding your pets or service animals, please be sure to bring them up during your initial conversation about coming into Afiya.  
 
Additionally, we may be able to accommodate visits from pets, though this may be limited to the backyard or other designated areas based on the needs of the others in the house.
 
When service animals do accompany someone to Afiya, they are expected to stay with that person and under their control at all times.

 

Can children stay at Afiya?

While children are welcome to visit you at Afiya (though we may ask you to visit with them in designated parts of the house for the privacy and needs of others), we are not able to accommodate children staying at the house.  If this is a concern for you, please be sure to mention it when you have your initial conversation about coming to stay at Afiya!

 

Can people outside of Western Mass access Afiya?

People who have an address based in Western Mass will have priority in accessing space at Afiya.  We may also be able to offer space to people who have an address based in Central Mass.  Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate people living beyond these areas at this time.  

For cities considered to be in Western Mass, please click here.

For cities considered to be in Central Mass, please click here.

 

Do you have to have a particular diagnosis or receive a particular kind of service in order to be eligible to stay at Afiya?

No.  You do not have to have any particular psychiatric diagnosis (or necessarily have any diagnosis at all) or receive any other particular services in order to stay at Afiya.  How you feel you might benefit from staying in a peer-supported environment is the most important aspect of determining your fit for staying at the house.

 

What is the intake process for Afiya?

We do not use 'intake' language.  In order to decide whether or not Afiya and you are a good fit, we will have a conversation.  Visit the 'accessing Afiya' page to learn more about that process from start to finish.

 

What is the referral process for Afiya?

We do not use 'referral' language.  If you are interested in staying at Afiya, give us a call.  If you are a provider, or a friend or family member, who thinks you know someone who would benefit from staying at Afiya, we'll be happy to speak with you briefly about any general questions you may have.  However, we'll need to talk to the person who would actually be staying at the house to talk about anything specific to them.  Visit the 'accessing Afiya' page to learn more about that process.

 

How is Afiya funded?

Afiya is funded primarily by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

 

How many people work at Afiya in general and/or at any one time?

There are about 10 people who are a part of the Afiya team including a Peer Respite Director, a Peer Respite Coordinator, four Peer Advocates and Per Diem (as needed) Peer Workers.  Regardless of their titles, all paid workers will act in a 'Peer Advocate' role when offering support in the house.  Additionally, volunteers and interns will also sometimes be at the house to help out in a variety of different ways.

Generally speaking, there will be one to three people working at Afiya at any one time.  Typically, that will include one person who is primarily responsible for providing support during that time and a mix of other team members, volunteers and/or interns who might also be helping out.

 

Does Afiya take donations?

Absolutely.  See our donations page for more information.

 

How do I volunteer at Afiya?

We're just getting 'on our feet' at this point, and so haven't had a chance to fully think through how to bring on volunteers.  However, we absolutely plan on having a variety of ways for volunteers to be involved.  See our volunteer page for more information.

 

Do I have to share a room at Afiya?

No.  Our goal is to provide you with a healing environment that is trauma sensitive.  For many people, that means having privacy, particularly when sleeping.  For that reason, we offer private bedrooms to everyone staying at the house.
 

How many people can stay at Afiya at any one time?

There are three bedrooms available at Afiya, and so a total of three people can stay at Afiya at any one time.

 

Does Afiya have a waiting list or take reservations?

We don't always know how long someone will stay at Afiya or exactly when a space will open up, so we do have a short wait list for people who would otherwise be a good match to come to stay.  We do not take reservations, as this runs counter to the idea that Afiya exists to support people in distress who are trying to avoid hospitalization and looking to explore an alternative support.

 

What sorts of community resources are near Afiya?

This list isn't intended to be comprehensive, but should give you an idea of what resources are available.

Within two miles of Afiya:

Supermarket: Big Y, Stop & Shop and River Valley Market are all within a mile of the house.

Pharmacy: The closest pharmacy is located at the Big Y on North King Street, about .3 miles from the house. CVS and Walgreens are within a mile from the house as well.

Gas/Convenience Store: There is a 24-hour gas station and convenience store (Pride) within .3 miles of the house.

 

Bike Path: We are about .6 miles from the Northampton Bikeway.

Employment Support: There is a one-stop career center (the Franklin Hampshire Career Center) located at 178 Industrial Drive, Suite 1, about .6 miles from Afiya.  

Library: Forbes Library is about 2.0 miles (and a 20 minute bus ride) away from Afiya at 20 West Street.  

 

Banks & ATMs: Florence Savings Bank, Citizen's Bank, Easthampton Savings Bank, TD Bank and Bank of America all have ATMs and branch offices within two miles of the house.  

Parks:  Childs Park is about .8 miles away from Afiya.

 

YMCA: The Northampton YMCA is about .6 miles from the house. 

 

What is Northampton like?

Northampton is a small city based in the Pioneer Valley of Western Masschusetts.  It offers an eclectic array of stores and restaurants within an active downtown area.  Smith College is also located right in the center of the city.  For more information on Northampton, visit the city's webpage.

 

Are visitors allowed at Afiya?

Yes, people are welcome to visit their friends and family at Afiya.  However, out of respect for peoples' privacy, there may be limitations on which parts of the house can be used for visiting.  There is a meeting room with a separate entrance that visitors are welcome to use when others in the house would prefer to not be disturbed.  There are no particular visiting hours, though visitors will generally be asked to visit during normal waking hours and for reasonable lengths of time.  We also ask that the focus of the visit be about connecting with and supporting the person staying at Afiya, and not just to hang out or use resources like food, computers, and so on.

People staying at Afiya will also be supported to refuse visitors as they wish.

 

Can I take a tour of Afiya?

Whether you are someone who is interested in staying at Afiya, a provider, or any other person from the community just interested in seeing what it's like, you're welcome to visit with notice.  However, the wishes of the people staying at the house will always be prioritized, so access may be limited or not possible at times.

If you are not able to visit, you will still be welcome to talk with someone who works at Afiya about what the house is like.

 

How long can I stay at Afiya?

The standard stay at Afiya is one to seven days.

 

What sort of paperwork is required at Afiya?

When you first come to the house, you will be asked to review and sign HIPAA paperwork (pertaining to your rights to privacy), and to review and sign a basic entrance acknowledgement that details some important information about the house and your stay there.  You will also be offered some basic information including Afiya's mission and values and local resources that you're welcome to keep and review at your leisure.  Additionally, you will be offered an optional 'Preferred Contact and Support' form that you may complete if you want us to be aware of particular details regarding your own preferences, emergency contacts, etc.  

You are also welcome to bring your WRAP (Wellness and Recovery Action Plan) or other wellness plans if you have them and think it would be helpful to share them with us, though they are absolutely not required.

Additionally, we will work with you to note a basic 'hope for stay' which may be as simple as, "I hope to use my time here to rest and regain my balance."  You will have the opportunity to note your progress on whatever hopes you list as you go.

Generally, it is our value to minimize paperwork.  However, our funding source requires these items at this time.

 

Will you keep a file on me?

It is our value to avoid filekeeping, as we see it as creating a power dynamic that is not in keeping with a healthy peer-to-peer relationship.  However, at present, our funding source is requiring us to keep basic files.  In our effort to minimize the impact of this, we have determined that:

  • Files will only contain a HIPAA signature page, an entrance acknowledgement for each stay, and a 'hopes for stay' form.  
  • You will be in charge of how the 'hopes for stay' form gets developed during your stay
  • You will receive a copy of your 'hopes for stay' form when you leave
  • Any other paperwork created during your stay will be at your discretion and will be yours to keep when you leave
  • Your file will be kept in a manila folder in a locked cabinet in the basement when you are not at the house (and it will be kept in a locked file cabinet on the first floor when you are in the house)
  • People working at Afiya will NOT review your file when you come to stay at the house, and will learn about you only through the connection you develop during your present stay unless you specifically request to review something from a past stay with them.

 

Can I still go to work if I'm staying at Afiya?

Yes.  You decide what is helpful to you during your stay, including when you come and go and why.

 

Does Afiya have a policy about alcohol and drug use?

Afiya is part of the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community (RLC).  The RLC's Defining Principles include creating healing environments that hold an awareness of potential trauma issues and 'triggers' for others.  Thus, people present in any RLC space or at any RLC event or activity are asked to avoid smelling of alcohol or drugs or being visibly intoxicated or high.  They are also asked to not have alcohol, drugs or drug paraphernalia on their person when at an RLC space or activity.  

As Afiya is an RLC space, this same value applies.   For example, that means that someone staying at Afiya would be welcome to have wine while out at lunch with a friend, but if they come back smelling of alcohol they might be asked to have a conversation about that and think about how to address the concern which may include changing clothes, brushing teeth and/or taking a break from common areas for a while, etc.  If they were acting in a way that suggested they were intoxicated or high, that would also be addressed through conversation.  

Repeated concerns and/or unwillingness or inability to hold the values of the house would ultimately result in the person being asked to leave Afiya.

 

Does Afiya use scent-free products?

Yes, Afiya uses scent-free soaps, laundry and dish detergents and other cleaning agents.   However, though we encourage people staying at Afiya to use scent-free products where possible, we cannot guarantee that all people who enter the house have used scent-free products at all times, and will not exclude those who are unable to do so from staying in the space.

We will make every effort to have scent-free personal care products available for people staying and working at the house.  Donations of scent-free products are also particularly appreciated!

Please note:  We have only had the house since April of 2012 and a great deal of work, including painting has occurred there.  Furniture is also all new.  We have learned that these factors may also make the space difficult for people who are sensitive to chemical smells and hope that that will become less of an issue as smells of these sorts wear off over the coming months.

 

Is Afiya fully accessible for people in wheelchairs or with other mobility concerns?

Afiya offers an accessibility ramp leading to the rear and side doors of the house.  The walkway to the front door is also on a slope and accessible for people with walkers and other mobility concerns.  Doorways to most rooms on the first floor have also been widened to 36 inches, and the shower in the first floor bathroom has also been made accessible.  The bed in the first floor bedroom has an open frame and stands at between 20 and 21" inches from floor to the top of the mattress.  (Risers are available to raise the bed height to between 24 and 25" to those who find a higher bed to be more accessible.)  

The laundry room is on the basement level and not accessible, but people working in the house will be happy to support those who need it in getting laundry done.  

We are also still learning about how to make the house more fully accessible, so please feel free to give us feedback!

 

Is Afiya accessible for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing?

At this time, none of the people working at Afiya are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).  However, we do have volunteers and consultants who are deaf and/or fluent in ASL and will work with them (and interpreters as needed) to be available to support the stay of anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing.  We will also be working on getting a Video Relay phone set up as soon as possible.  Fire alarms are equipped with strobe lights.

We welcome input from people about how to make the house more fully accessible to people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, as we are still learning!

 

Is Afiya accessible for people who speak Spanish or other languages?

Two of the people working at Afiya on a Per Diem (as needed) basis speak Spanish, and we will work with them and other volunteers to provide support as needed when people who speak Spanish are staying in the house.  We are also working with a translator to make sure that all of our written material is available in Spanish.  

We don't presently have people working at Afiya who speak languages other than English or Spanish, but hope to work with our broader community to enlist volunteers who speak other languages and to explore other resources that may help us communicate when someone comes to Afiya who speaks another language.

We welcome input from people about how to make the house more fully accessible to people who speak other languages, as we are still learning!

 

Will you call Emergency Services or 911 on me?

We believe strongly in self-determination and avoiding forced treatment.  If you are having a very hard time, we may talk about emergency services as one option but it will be your choice to call or not call.  The only circumstances during which we would call 911 ourselves would be during a medical emergency or similar immediate situation where someone was hurt or threatening to hurt someone else.  

Our policy is also that - if we were ever to get to a point where we felt so stuck that we called emergency services or 911 against someone's will - that would require an immediate review and debrief of the full situation (including a conversation with the person for whom 911 or emergency services was called) so as to better understand it, and explore how to avoid it in the future.

 

Will you help me take my medication or provide any other medical care?

No, we do not provide any medical care or medication administration.  This is for several reasons, but primarily because the focus of our support is based in mutuality.  Medication administration, in particular, brings up complex issues and power dynamics that are not healthy for us to get involved in as they get in the way of our real purpose which is to help you have your voice heard in regards to what you want with medication and a variety of other issues.  

If you take medication, we will provide you with a locked box to store them in (and other medical supplies or personal belongings) so that you can be responsible for taking them on your own.  If you don't feel confident in taking them on your own, you can also get support from friends or family who are welcome to come to the house to help you.

 

Do you have a particular stance on medication in general?

We believe in self-determination and access to information.  If you are someone who has never been on medications and doesn't want to start, or if you are someone who uses medication and wants to reduce or get off of them, we will support you in getting the information and resources you need to have your voice and choice heard.  If you do want a particular medication and you want to know more about it or talk with your doctor about it, we'll also support you in doing that.  Support may include attending (or supporting you to find someone to attend) appointments with you as an advocate, offering access to books and information about specific types of medications and/or reducing/getting off medication, partnering with you to find resources and groups that will support you in your choice, thinking through the supports you need in place to reach your personal goal, and so on. 

 

What are Afiya's values?

We are a values-based organization (as opposed to a rules-based one).  Afiya is a part of the Western Mass RLC and shares the RLC's values which include genuine human relationships, self-determination and personal strength, mutuality, optimism, healing environments and respect.  For more on these values, please see our Defining Principles

 

 What is Afiya's mission?

Afiya strives to provide a healing space within which each person can find the balance and support needed to turn what is so often referred to as a ‘crisis’ into a learning and growth opportunity.

 

What sort of training do people who work at Afiya have?

People's training will vary somewhat depending on when they started with Afiya and what their role is.  Members of our team have been through a variety of trainings including Intentional Peer Support, Trauma Informed Approaches, Emotional CPR, Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) and more. 

Although we do not believe in working within any one training model, we most closely follow the values of Intentional Peer Support (IPS), and all people working and volunteering at Afiya will have had some exposure to IPS approach.

 

What is the relationship between Afiya and the Western Mass RLC?

The Western Mass Recovery Learning Community exists throughout Western Mass and is not based in any one space.  Instead, it is defined by people; and so wherever people from the RLC community gather, that is where the RLC exists.  However, within that community, the RLC holds several spaces including the Holyoke Center, Springfield (Bowen) Center, Greenfield Center, Pittsfield Center and, most recently, Afiya.  Although Afiya has its own team of people who work and are connected there (similar to the RLC's centers), those people are also a part of our larger Western Mass RLC network.

 

Can I smoke when staying at Afiya?

Yes.  You may smoke when at Afiya, though we ask that you smoke only in the back of the house and that you use the smoking receptacle provided in order to keep the space neat and safe.

 

Is there access to computers and Internet at Afiya?

Yes, there are two house computers that you will share with others who are working or staying at the house.  We also offer Wifi, so you are able to bring your own laptop and connect to the Internet that way, if you prefer.

 

Can you help me get to Afiya?

Although we do not have enough people working at Afiya to be able to guarantee that personal transportation will always be available, we will work with you to come up with a plan.  This may include supporting you to think through resources you have on your end, using the bus (there is a bus stop less than a tenth of a mile from the house), taking a taxi (we may occasionally have funds to help with this), or finding a volunteer or RLC worker who can help. 

 

Do you provide transportation for people staying at Afiya?

We do not have enough people working at Afiya at any given time to be able to guarantee transportation.  However, we will work with you as needed to explore potential resources.  These may include supporting you to think through resources you have on your end, using the bus (there is a bus stop less than a tenth of a mile from the house), or finding a volunteer or RLC worker who can help.

 

Is there public transportation near Afiya?

Yes, there is a bus stop less than one tenth of a mile from the house in one direction and another stop .3 miles from the house in the other direction.  There are also several stores and resources within walking distance from the house.

 

What should I bring when going to stay at Afiya?  

For the most part, you should focus on bringing what will make you most comfortable during your stay.  Things to think about bringing may include:

  • Enough clothing to be comfortable (you will have access to a washer and dryer)
  • Personal care items (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, brush, etc.)
  • Books, computer, cell phone, ipod or anything else that you would miss if you didn't have it (we do offer access to books, music, etc. as well)
  • Any medications you take regularly and/or medications you might need and want to have on hand such as Tylenol (we are not able to offer access to even over the counter medications)
  • Food items you can't live without (we do have some food, coffee, etc. at the house but the selection is limited as is our food budget)
  • Wellness or WRAP plan (if you have one and only if you think it would be helpful and want to share it)
  • A special pillow or blanket that would add to your comfort (we do provide all bedding, but sometimes having your own pillow just feels better.)

 

What sort of food do you have available for people staying at Afiya?

We try to stock up on basics like bread, peanut butter, coffee (considered a basic by many!), tea, nuts, tuna fish, soups and so on.  We will also go shopping weekly or bi-weekly for other items, but have a very limited budget.  It's hard to promise what will be available during your stay, because items will vary - but we try to make sure we have something for everyone, including people who are vegetarian or vegan.  As much as possible, we'll also try to consider the preferences of people staying in the house when we are doing food shopping, but our flexibility will be limited by our budget.  Ultimately, it's a good idea for you to also bring food with you if there are particular items you want to make sure to have on hand.

 

Do you cook for people staying at Afiya?

No, there is no regular preparation of meals by people working at Afiya.  However, at times, people working at Afiya will welcome those who are interested to prepare a meal together. Someone working or staying at Afiya may choose to prepare food for others if they wish. Group meal preparation or cooking for others can occur as desired by the people staying and working at the house.  In general, though, you will be responsible for preparing your own food.

 

Are there meetings I'm required to attend while staying at Afiya?

No.  House meetings may occur as desired by the people staying and working at Afiya, but there are no required regular meetings.

 

Are there any restrictions on when I can come and go at Afiya?

No.  You can come and go as needed from Afiya, including within the first 24-hours of your stay.  However, if you think you will be gone for an extended period (24 hours or more), we do ask that you have a conversation with someone about your plans so that we can discuss whether or not you still want/need to be staying at Afiya and so we can not worry about you while you're away!

 

During what hours can someone come in to stay at Afiya?

We do not have any specific hours during which people can or cannot come in to stay at Afiya.  However, we do avoid overnights whenever possible in order to make it less likely that others staying in the house will unexpectedly wake up to a stranger down the hall.  In general, timing will be based on the needs and wants of the person calling to come in, the needs of the house, transportation and other resources available to support a person before they arrive.

 

Do you provide any tactile items for people staying at Afiya?

Yes, we have one weighted blanket, several stress balls and other tactile items available to people staying at Afiya.

 

What sorts of resources are available at Afiya?

We are an intentional community offering supports that are geared toward your learning from your experiences and seeking a way to find balance and move forward.  We believe that peer support and building connections is a key element to that process, so peer support and resource information is a main focus of what we offer.  However, we also recognize that many people find healing and balance in a variety of other ways, so we also provide many options for ways to spend your time while at the house. House resources include:

  • Outdoor activities like volleyball, frisbee and soccer balls
  • An array of books (including those related to emotional and physical health and general fiction, art, music and so on)
  • Art supplies
  • Tactile items (weighted blanket, stress balls, etc.)
  • Musical instruments (guitars, drums, etc.)
  • Yoga supplies
  • TV and video games
  • Ping pong

 

Who CAN'T stay at Afiya?

We don't really have a list of people who 'can't stay' at Afiya and most of who does stay at the house is determined in conversation.  However, there are a few things to be aware of in terms of who is unable to access the space, including:

  • People staying at Afiya must be 18 or older
  • People staying at Afiya may be limited to particular geographical locations
  • People staying at Afiya must know that they have a home to return to upon entering the house
  • People staying at the house must be able to take of their own medical needs including medications (or have friends or family who can provide adequate support during visits)
  • People staying at the house must be able to be reasonably independent in basic personal care needs including food preperation and evacuation of the space in an emergency (fire, etc.)
  • People staying at Afiya must not be restricted from being in an area that is near a school (Afiya is .3 miles from a school)

Most importantly, people staying at Afiya are asked to work with others staying and working there to 'live within' our values including genuine human relationships, mutuality and respect.  Thus, people who are not able or willing to work with those values would not be able to continue staying at the house.  For more on our values, see our Defining Principles

 

Are people who are living without a home able to stay at Afiya?

Unfortunately, people staying at Afiya must know that they have a home to return to before they enter the house.  This is a determination from our funding source.

 

How long has Afiya been 'around'?

Afiya opened its doors on Saturday, August 4th, 2012.  It is a part of the Western Mass RLC which was 'born' in June of 2007.

 

Can you come do a presentation on Afiya and/or the RLC for my group/organization?

Sure.  E-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to schedule a presentation on Afiya and/or the RLC for your group or organization.

 

Do the bedroom doors lock?

You will be able to lock your bedroom door from the inside if you wish.  However, Afiya is set up as a house and bedroom doors do not lock from the outside.  Please consider this when deciding what you bring with you to the house, as we can not be responsible for lost or broken items.  We will provide you with a safe in your room in which to store items of your choice.

 

Will I be able to do laundry at Afiya?

Yes, we have a washer and dryer on the basement level, as well as unscented laundry detergent.  (If you are not able to access the basement level, someone working at the house will help you do your laundry as needed.)

 

Will someone always be available to answer the phone when I call?

Although we will do our best, we will not always be able to answer the phone.  This is because the majority of our focus is spending time with people staying at the house.  If you call and do not get an answer, please try us back in a little bit.

 

Do you provide clinical services (therapy, psychiatry, medication, etc.) at Afiya?

No, we provide no clinical services.  However, if you have a therapist or doctor you like nearby, you're welcome to still see them while staying at Afiya.  If you do not have a therapist or doctor and would like one, we can also help you look for one.

 

How much support and 1:1 time can I expect when I'm staying at Afiya?

Our philosophy is that support can be offered from a person working at Afiya to a person staying at Afiya, as well as between two people staying at the house and so on.  However, what that looks like will vary from day to day.  

In terms of support from people working at the house:  In general, there will be one Peer Advocate working at a time (with some extra hours provided by others working at the house, interns and/or volunteers).  That person will have a few different responsibilities including helping with the house upkeep, answering the phone and spending time with people (with the last piece being the priority).  How 1:1 support time looks and fits into the day will depend on several factors including the needs and preferences of you and others staying at the house, whether the house community prefers to get together as a group or spend time separately, other demands and so on.  Overall, it's realistic to expect some 1:1 support time, but how that looks and how many hours it amounts to will vary.

In terms of support between people staying at the house:  If you happen to be staying at the house with someone else who is primarily there because they want to rest and regroup on their own, the likelihood of developing a connection with them might be much lower than if you stay there with someone else who really wants to spend time with others.  Inevitably - as with any situation in life - there will also be times when people staying at the house really click with one another and other times when they would prefer to go their separate ways.  Overall, there's no way for us to predict how people will or won't connect with one another, so experiences will vary.

 

Does Afiya have interns?

Yes, Afiya does sometimes have interns working with us.  We have had interns join various parts of our RLC community from a variety of colleges including Holyoke Community College, Springfield College, Western New England University, Cambridge College and the University of Massachusetts.  Interns have been at the Associates, Bachelors and Masters levels of education and have been working on a a number of different degree concentrations.  However, all interns - just like any volunteers or Peer Advocates - have been interviewed and have expressed a genuine interest and investment in our community.  No one - interns included - will be invited into Afiya or any other part of the RLC to simply sit back and 'observe' or take notes on people.  Most interns will also identify as having their own lived experience with a psychiatric diagnosis, trauma and/or extreme states.  If you have any questions or concerns about the presence of interns at Afiya, please contact us!

 

Does everyone who works, volunteers and/or interns at Afiya identify as having 'lived experience'?

The vast majority of people who work, volunteer and/or intern at Afiya will identify as having some sort of lived experience (with psychiatric diagnosis, extreme/altered states, trauma, navigating the mental health system, addictions, etc.), and it is our priority that all people in leadership roles identify in this way.  That said, we are also open to working with people who identify as allies and who share our values and are willing to relate to others from a human experience perspective.  

 

What does it cost to stay at Afiya?

Staying at Afiya is free.  You do not need insurance and there is no charge for being in the space or taking advantage of any of the resources available at the house.

 

Can I drop by Afiya to talk to someone without calling first?

Afiya really isn't set up for people to just stop in.  The vast majority of our time is spent connecting with people staying in the house, and so we're really not able to talk with people stopping by without having made a plan ahead of time.  If you're interested in staying at Afiya, please give us a call rather than stopping in so we can have a conversation and talk about what would work best for you and for the house.

 

Do I need to be 'medically cleared' before I can stay at Afiya?

No.  While we understand that this is often required before staying at a traditional respite or hospital, it is not something that is expected in a peer respite setting.

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