This Christmas people’s mental health and wellbeing are the priority for health leaders in Somerset.
Crisis Safe Space – part of Open Mental Health, an alliance of mental health organisations – is open throughout Christmas offering out of hours support to anyone over 18 in crisis.
With mental health need on the rise as a result of the pandemic and further impacted by the current cost-of-living crisis, these safe spaces are likely to prove a vital lifeline over the coming weeks for people struggling with their mental health.
So far this year 1,482 people have used this life-saving service in Somerset.
Data from April 22 shows that while the main three concerns people have been anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, the range of worries and challenges people are facing is incredibly broad. The most important thing is that no matter what people are struggling with, dedicated mental health support is there for them.
Peter Bagshaw, NHS Somerset’s clinical lead for mental health, said:
“We know that traditionally the festive period can be a very difficult time and this year the rising cost of living is also having an impact on people’s mental health. Often people in need of support struggle to know where to go and who to talk to, but it doesn’t need to be this way.
“Open Mental health is an alliance of mental health organisations who provide a single point of access for mental health support across Somerset, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This support provides everyone, even those who may not feel like they are in crisis, with a place to go no matter their mental health need.
“At this time of year when certain health services may not be operating as normal, making sure people know there is someone ready to listen no matter the time, is especially important. Crisis Safe Space also provides vital out of hours support for those in mental health crisis, providing people with somewhere they can go for dedicated, non-judgemental support.
“We want people to know that there is support out there if they need it and are urging people not to suffer in silence. There are people who care and want to help.”
Chris Malin, who previously went to Crisis Safe Space for support himself, is now working there as a trained peer volunteer helping others in crisis. He said:
“Christmas can be a difficult time. I know in the past I have not enjoyed Christmas; you try to be happy for others, but inside you are crying. Even if you’re with your family, you can feel alone.”
“Crisis Safe Space helped me when I was in a bad place and close to suicide. I felt really listened to and was given support and tools like creating a safety plan and a wellbeing plan and that really helped me.”
“I now work at the service as a peer volunteer, I’m able to say, I know how this feels and I can say you will get there. I love giving back to a service that helped me so much.”
Shane Weller, Crisis Safe Space Senior Recovery Navigator, said:
“Crisis Safe Space is open out of hours throughout Christmas offering zoom or phone support to anyone over 18 in crisis in Somerset. We have 90-minute slots, and you are likely to be able to speak to someone on the day you call.
There is no triage system, if you want support, we are here to give it to you. We’re taking the pressure off our GPs and our A&E services to give you help from skilled workers who all have their own lived experience.”
Mindline – Open Mental Health’s 24/7 helpline – is open all day every day to take your call if you are in crisis. They can refer onto Crisis Safe Space and other mental health services. The number to call is: 01823 276892 or 0800 138 1692
Above image: Our Crisis Safe Space team from left to right: Jo, Chris, Shane, Winston & Robyn
Notes to Editors
To find out more and to organise interviews please contact NHS Somerset Communications team on email@example.com – who can make sure you are linked into the right people.
Crisis Safe Space
Is run by Mind Somerset in Taunton and Yeovil and by Second Step in Bridgwater, Glastonbury and Frome. Both Mind in Somerset and Second Step are part of the alliance of voluntary sector organisations and the NHS in Somerset called Open Mental Health.
Open Mental Health, Somerset
Is an alliance of mental health organisations who have come together to provide 24/7 support to adults in Somerset. They have a shared ambition is to ensure that people living with mental health problems get the right support at the right time. Working together, they support people to live a full life, by enabling access to specialist mental health services, housing support, debt and employment advice, volunteering opportunities, peer support, community activities and physical exercise, to help support and improve their wellbeing and quality of life. Somerset’s Mental Health Alliance – Open Mental Health
Mind in Somerset
We are here to make sure anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support. Our core purpose is to provide services and support to anyone affected by mental illness, improving their quality of life and wellbeing
Through our 24/7 Mindline service, Peer support groups, Garden, Art therapy and much more there is a way in for everyone and a service for everyone. We have an open door and treat everyone as individual, ensuring the right support, at the right time in the right way.
We have offices in Taunton, Yeovil, Bridgwater, Minehead and Shepton Mallet as well as groups and services across the county. Mind in Somerset
Second Step is a leading mental health organisation in the Southwest. We believe that with the right support, everyone can take control of their life and make their future their own. Working hand-in-hand with the NHS and local authorities, we offer practical help and emotional support tailored to each individual and their recovery.
We also look at the blocks and barriers people come across in the system and actively find ways to improve and change the way organisations work together. The people who use our services, our clients, are at the heart of our organisation, and our involvement groups help inform and improve the services we deliver.
Second Step | A Leading Mental Health Charity in Bristol, Bath & Somerset (second-step.co.uk)
Twitter and Instagram @wearesecondstep
Founded in 2010 by peer members, WATCH works throughout Somerset to promote, train and support peer groups and peer support initiatives. In our Open Mental Health partner role, we provide Somerset wide peer expertise, training for peer volunteers and paid peer workers and support to help people connect, improve and maintain greater mental wellbeing through learning forums, courses and independent peer groups.
WATCH facilitates a peer-led project in Chard, two days per week, where members can engage with the support of their peers and Peer Champions to help them navigate their own pathway journey. At WATCH we encourage and support our members, staff and volunteers to reflect, grow and develop their own knowledge, skills and confidence.
“Your potential, your voice, your way” Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info, or visit our website https://watchproject.org.uk/
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