New crisis support service opens in town centre

Safe Haven Centre opened in Weston town centre.

Safe Haven Centre opened in Weston town centre. - Credit: Second Step

A new crisis support service for mental health patients across North Somerset has opened its doors for face-to-face support for the first time.

Safe Haven Centre, run by mental health organisation Second Step and launched by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG), in partnership with Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Trust (AWP), opened in Weston town centre on February 27.

Second Step is still offering digital and phone support, which it has been doing since the new service launched in May.

The centre in Boulevard provides a safe space for people in acute emotional distress.

The service opened in May but due to the pandemic, it was repurposed to provide remote support. The team have been providing a telephone support service for vulnerable people as referred by AWP’s community teams.

Until the end of January , the Safe Haven team has supported 246 people through 1,538 phone contacts.

The centre is the first of its kind for North Somerset and was co-designed with local service users and clinicians. Their feedback informed the naming of the Safe Haven Centre and helped with the design of the centre’s shop front.

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The new service will be a mix of remote and face to face support, and will be able to support 12 people every evening.

Health and safety continues to be of utmost importance for both clients and staff with strict Covid-19 safety measures in place at all times.

The new centre will include test and trace and operate with a thorough cleaning schedule. It also has been fitted with specialised air conditioning to ensure air flow throughout the building.

Second Step's chief executive, Aileen Edwards, said: “The Safe Haven team has been doing some amazing work supporting people in crisis over the last few difficult months.

"We’re delighted to be finally opening the centre, albeit in a limited way, and to offer face to face support in a Covid-safe environment”.

The centre is open seven days a week, between 6pm and midnight. People aged 16 and over can self-refer to the service or be referred by a relevant professional – such as a GP, police officer, paramedic, social worker or voluntary organisation.

Additionally, parents and carers are able to contact the centre if they have worries about a loved one. While ongoing social distancing restrictions are in place, the centre will operate on a bookings only basis with no drop-ins to the centre.

Referrals can be made by emailing refer.safehaven@nhs.net or by calling 01934 313480.

To find out more log on to second-step.co.uk/safehaven

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