Experiencing Interruptions?

Afiya House: Peer Respite

A film about a peer-run respite house, as well as the national history and evolution of this ever-growing movement.

Afiya House opened on August 4th, 2012 in Northampton, Massachusetts. At the time, it was one of only 13 'peer' respites in the country. (That number has now grown to closer to two dozen.) It was and continues to be the only 'peer' respite in Massachusetts.

The house is intended to provide an alternative to hospitalization for individuals who are experiencing emotional and/or mental distress, and who feel they would benefit from staying in a community-based environment that offers peer-to-peer support focused on turning 'crisis' into a learning and growth opportunity.

The house offers individual bedrooms, community spaces (a living room, a finished basement, a meeting room, a kitchen and a sitting room), a variety of supplies (yoga, art, weighted blankets, etc.), and resource information for up to three people at a time. Stays generally range from one to seven nights.

Everyone who works at Afiya (as with the rest of our community) identifies as having 'been there' in some way. Experiences of various team members range from histories of psychiatric hospitalization to trauma to living in residential programs to living without a home to dealing with addiction and so on. No clinical supports are offered, but people who stay at the house have free access to the community where they can keep (or get) connected to clinical supports as desired.

  • Evan Goodchild
    The Virtues of Non-Compliance
  • Sera Davidow
    The Virtues of Non-Compliance, Beyond the Medical Model
  • Evan Goodchild
    The Virtues of Non-Compliance
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 56 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 29, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Evan Goodchild

Co-Director of Best Short Film at Mad In America's International Film Festival (" The Virtues of Non-Compliance), Evan is a relative newcomer to the film world but has been working in creative-based advocate roles for the past five years. He is one half of Western Mass Recovery Learning Community's filmmaking team alongside Sera Davidow. Together they make films that challenge the mental health status quo and give voice to the people who have been affected by a struggling system, through their work with the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community

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