New crisis and recovery centre to open in Weston town centre in the spring

Colin Bradbury and Dr Mike Jenkins of the CCG and Aileen Edwards of Second Step. Picture: CCG

Colin Bradbury and Dr Mike Jenkins of the CCG and Aileen Edwards of Second Step. Picture: CCG - Credit: Archant

An innovative service for people needing urgent mental health care and support is set to open in Weston town centre in the spring.

The crisis and recovery centre will be open seven days a week in Boulevard and will offer a welcoming, community-based alternative to A&E for people experiencing emotional distress.

The service was designed in partnership with patient representatives and forms part of the local NHS Healthy Weston plans to enhance and improve healthcare services for people in North Somerset.

The centre has been commissioned by the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and will be delivered by mental health charity Second Step.

MORE: Plans for crisis centre announced.

Colin Bradbury, CCG area director of North Somerset, said: "People with urgent mental health needs often end up in A&E but we know that it isn't the best place for people to receive the specialist care and support they need at such times.

"This new centre aims to bridge that gap by providing a safe, welcoming and community-based environment that people can walk into for help, seven days a week.

"The crisis centre approach will be better for people seeking urgent mental health support, while also relieving pressure on our busy local hospitals."

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The centre will be open from 6pm to midnight, seven days a week and will able to provide support for hundreds of vulnerable people each month.

Its approach is a nationally-recognised model which provides a more proactive, person-centred service to support people experiencing emotional distress or a mental health crisis.

Similar crisis and recovery centre models have been created in other parts of England with great success.

Research from the CCG indicates people living in Weston and the surrounding areas have a higher than average experience of mental health problems.

The service will provide a safe, welcoming place for people in acute, emotional distress and offer support to prevent them suffering a crisis.

Second Step chief executive, Aileen Edwards, added: "The crisis and recovery centre is a much-needed service for North Somerset and we're really excited to be starting the important work of creating a safe and accessible place for people in crisis."