Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683
Wisconsin’s newest drop-in center offering support to adults experiencing mental health concerns is now open in Menomonie. Kaleidoscope Center is managed by the Wisconsin Milkweed Alliance, which received a $30,000 peer recovery center grant last summer from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). Staff are trained members of the community who have experienced their own mental health concerns. They use their experiences to help others through stressful situations.
“We’re pleased to partner with Wisconsin Milkweed Alliance to add another location to Wisconsin’s network of state-funded mental health drop-in centers,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “We know that for many, the peer-to-peer connection offered at places like Kaleidoscope Center is the key for healing and wellness.”
Kaleidoscope Center is located on the lower level of Menomonie City Hall. There is no cost to visit.
The premise behind peer recovery centers is that positive outcomes from mental health concerns are more likely when people talk with someone who has firsthand recovery experience. Peer recovery centers offer alternatives to feeling isolated in the community. This is helpful for people who feel they have little to no support system. Supportive relationships in the community are important for a person’s overall well-being.
People may visit a peer recovery center to cope with a life challenge or maintain emotional wellness. There are opportunities in a safe, comforting, and judgment-free space for one-on-one connections and group activities focused on education, information sharing, skill-building, and socialization with people with similar life experiences.
Kaleidoscope Center is one of eight state-funded mental health peer recovery centers in Wisconsin. The other locations are Cornucopia (Madison), Friendship Connection (Adams), Gathering Place (Green Bay), Rave Recovery Avenue (La Crosse), NAMI Welcome Center (West Bend), Our Space (Milwaukee), and The Wellness Shack (Eau Claire).
Wisconsin’s state-funded peer recovery center network expanded last year to include locations for people experiencing substance use challenges. These locations include Coulee Recovery Center (La Crosse), Lighthouse Recovery Community Center (Manitowoc), and Waushara Shines (Wautoma). The substance use peer recovery centers offer the same types of programming as the mental health peer recovery centers.
People are welcome to visit any of the peer recovery centers anytime during open hours. Each location sets its own hours of operation. View information about all the peer recovery centers in Wisconsin.
The DHS investment in more peer recovery centers is part of an expanded commitment to peer services, which are services delivered by trained people who have experienced behavioral health challenges. In the last year, Wisconsin’s state-funded network of peer-run respites added two locations, bringing the total number of places where people can stay to get peer support to six. Unlike peer recovery centers, peer-run respites are not drop-in centers. People need to call ahead to arrange a stay of up to one week. View information about peer-run respites in Wisconsin. Soon, peer-to-peer connection will be available by phone for all state residents through what’s known as a warmline, a service that offers people someone to talk to before a challenge becomes a behavioral health emergency. The warmline is expected to begin taking calls early next year. The new services are supported by funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.