Mental health provision for vulnerable people across North Somerset

The North Somerset Safe Haven Centre was due to open in Boulevard this week. Picture: CCG

The North Somerset Safe Haven Centre was due to open in Boulevard this week. Picture: CCG - Credit: Archant

A crisis support service has been launched by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to provide urgent mental health support during the coronavirus outbreak.

The North Somerset Safe Haven Centre was due to open this week in Weston’s town centre, in partnership with Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Trust (AWP), to provide a safe space for people in acute emotional distress.

Social distancing measures mean the opening of the planned face-to-face service is not possible.

Instead, staff members have been redeployed to provide a temporary, telephone-based service for the most vulnerable people in North Somerset who have been referred by the AWP Crisis Team.

The centre is run by mental health charity Second Step and was commissioned by the CCG and will open for face-to-face appointments when social distancing measures have been relaxed.

It is the first of its kind for North Somerset and was co-designed with input from service users and clinicians.

The telephone service, which will operate from 4-10pm, seven days a week, will be run by skilled and experienced staff who will contact up to 14 people every evening who are under the care of AWP.

Most Read

Second Step chief executive, Aileen Edwards, said: “We’re delighted to be able to adapt our initial plans to open this week and be able to offer this service to help the most vulnerable people in the area.

“The telephone service allows us to retain recently recruited staff members who have a wealth of experience, passion and skills for supporting people in crisis.

“It means we will be able to support people during this very unsettling time, when people’s mental health could be at an increased risk of crisis.”

The additional support service is available to people over the age of 18 who have been referred by AWP but when the centre opens for face-to-face appointments, it will be open to people aged 16 and over without a referral.

CCG chief executive, Julia Ross, added: “The Safe Haven centre has been designed in partnership with people who have lived experience of mental health crisis, and who wanted to see more support available in the community rather than hospital.”