Due to success and feedback from local people, a second Lighthouse location has opened in Bitterne providing a vital layer of support in partnership with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Solent Mind.
The service is a safe, non-judgemental space, staffed by Mental Health professionals as well as Peer Support Workers, who have lived experience of mental health challenges and can therefore offer support and advice to people who feel they are at crisis point.
The Lighthouse offers short term support to de-escalate immediate distress and empower people to self-manage in the longer term or signposts people on to other services if needed. If you are feeling overwhelmed, hopeless or having suicidal thoughts the staff can help by talking to you or you can use the sensory room that helps stimulate calmness and reduce anxiety. People can participate in creative activities such as arts and crafts or simply have a cup of tea and chat with the staff.
Dr Steve Tomkins, Chief Medical Officer at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust officially opened the Lighthouse service in Bitterne last Thursday.
“I am delighted and proud we have officially opened our second Lighthouse in Bitterne.
“Without needing to be referred, people who are struggling can utilise self-care and self-management tools with practical and guided help from professionals. One of the key parts of the Lighthouse and why it is successful in helping people is the partnership working with Solent Mind and the people who visit the service; they are vital in creating this safe space for themselves.
“It is so important to have the Lighthouse, so it can be a beacon of light for people that need it the most.”
Demi-Jo Dawson, Team Leader at the Lighthouse adds “This year we have had over 200 people access the service a total of 1075 times. The Lighthouse is a non-judgemental safe space for people who are in a mental health crisis or who are feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, or confused about where to go for support.”
The Lighthouse is based in Bitterne and Shirley and is open from 4.30pm until 11:30pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It is open to anyone over the age of 18 who feels they are at crisis point with their mental health.
You can find out more information about the Lighthouse here: www.southernhealth.nhs.uk/lighthouse