The Crisis Safe Space team in Bridgwater got some great press coverage over Christmas – a time when its services were needed the most. Both the BBC and ITV interviewed staff including two of our peer volunteers who explained how the service helped them, and how they were now helping others.
Chris Marlin told reporters, “Crisis Safe Space helped me when I was in a bad place… I now work at the service as a peer volunteer. I’m able to say ‘I know how this feels.’”
In 2022, 1,482 people used this life-saving service in Somerset, which was open throughout the Christmas period offering out-of-hours support to anyone over 18 in crisis.
“These sorts of things may be highlighted a bit more at Christmas when you imagine lots of people are with their families, so I think it’s really important that this service is here”, explained peer volunteer Jo Poole. ”And we can tell people what we’ve struggled with, and that makes people feel less alone.”
The service is designed for people who need immediate and short- term crisis prevention and do not require more intensive care from either an emergency or inpatient service, taking the burden off our overstretched NHS services. Crisis Safe Space was co-designed by local people with experience of mental health crisis who wanted more support available in the community rather than at hospital.
“No problem is too big or too small,” said senior recovery navigator Shane Weller. “If it’s playing on your mind it’s really important to get it addressed.”
Crisis Safe Space is run by Second Step in Bridgwater, Glastonbury and Frome and by Mind in Somerset in Taunton and Yeovil. The service is part of the Open Mental Health alliance of voluntary sector organisations with the NHS.
You can find out more about Crisis Safe Space on the Open Mental Health website.
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