Peace Zone’s mission is to promote mental health wellness and recovery, and to educate the community about mental health issues.
Peace Zone was founded in 2012 by Beth Barchet and Rick Paul of Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. They had the vision of empowering individuals living with mental health issues by supporting the startup of a peer-run recovery center. Upon receiving a grant from the State of Indiana (Division of Mental Health & Addiction), the process of starting the first and only recovery center in Evansville began.
Peace Zone opened on February 28th, 2013 and had over 1,200 visits in the first four months. The center is classified as a peer-run organization (also known as a Consumer Operated Business), meaning that individuals in recovery are active in running the organization, including staff and volunteers. The Peer Advisory Council helps provide direction for the day-to-day operations of Peace Zone and the Board of Directors provides strategic and financial oversight.
The core programs when Peace Zone first opened included peer support and arts engagement. Peace Zone started offering the job readiness program in October 2013 through a partnership with Employment Zone, a program of Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare. Community Education and Outreach was added in late 2013, and Wellness Recovery Action Planning was added as a program in early 2014. Current programs include:
- Community Education and Outreach
- Support Groups
- Wellness Recovery Action Planning® (WRAP)
- Arts Empowerment
- Peer Mentoring
What is Peace Zone?
Peace Zone is a peer-run recovery center, run for and by its members, that helps individuals struggling with mental health issues or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues. Our members find comfort in knowing that their journey is not being traveled alone. We strongly believe that while each individual’s recovery process is unique, recovery is possible (and expected) for everyone. We offer holistic, recovery-oriented programming that is open to anyone in the community with mental health issues, regardless of where he/she may receive professional mental health treatment. Our program is not a form of treatment and is non-clinical.
- To help individuals achieve their full potential in their recovery journey.
- To provide a welcoming community of peers where members can find support to help them in their journey of mental health recovery.
- To empower members to participate in skill-building, recreational, and holistic recovery programs.
- To decrease stigma in the community by educating the public about mental health issues.