Vital helpline: new Safe Haven crisis service has 655 conversations in its first three months

A telephone crisis support service launched in May has helped to provide urgent mental health support during the coronavirus outbreak.

The service named ‘Safe Haven,’ has given 499 hours of vital listening support to people in distress since it opened twelve weeks ago.

The Safe Haven Centre was due to open in May in Weston Super Mare’s town centre to provide a safe space for people in acute emotional distress. Due to Covid-19, the Safe Haven team became telephone-based offering support to people from North Somerset and South Gloucestershire referred by the Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust community teams.

The Safe Haven crisis and recovery service is run by mental health charity Second Step and is the first of its kind in North Somerset. The service was co-designed with local service users and clinicians. It operates seven days a week from 4pm-9.45pm with a team of five experienced support workers or recovery navigators. Calls are booked into the Safe Haven clinic diary by AWP Care Coordinators to give people much-needed support and to help them keep safe in the community.

Safe Haven manager Tammie Hemmett said:

“We’re doing some really important work supporting people in distress, and I’m so proud of my team and the commitment they’ve given to getting us up and running.”

Laura is a client of Safe Haven and receives regular calls from the team.

They have been amazing and really supportive during this difficult time. As soon as I have spoken with them, my mood lifts. They are an amazing team.

Dr Mike Jenkins, North Somerset GP and Clinical Lead for Weston, Worle and Villages Locality, said:

“This out of hours service has been a crucial element of crisis support in the area, during what has been an especially difficult time for many people suffering from emotional distress.

We know that further challenges lay ahead as the impact from coronavirus on mental health is realised, but it is reassuring to know that we have services like Safe Haven in place to help.”

The service will continue to operate as a telephone service until circumstances allow for face-to-face support to commence. When the centre opens in Weston Super Mare, it will be available to anyone over the age of 16 within the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area without referral. However it is expected to be largely used by people from North Somerset, and predominantly Weston, given its location.

The Safe Haven crisis and recovery service was established by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG), in partnership with Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Trust (AWP),

To find out more about The Safe Haven Centre, visit here.

Ends

Contact

PR & Communications Manager Jane Edmonds 07841 777401 jane.edmonds@second-step.co.uk

Notes to editors

Second Step is a leading mental health charity that’s been putting mental health first for people in Bristol and the South West for over 30 years. We believe that with the right support, everyone can take control of their life and make their future their own.

Our mission is to promote mental health and wellbeing by supporting people and communities to build brighter futures. Working hand-in-hand with the NHS and local authorities, we offer practical help and emotional support tailored to each individual and their recovery. The people who use our services are at the heart of our organisation, and our involvement groups help inform and improve the services we deliver.

Website: www.second-step.co.uk

Twitter and Instagram @wearesecondstep

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