Southern Health has partnered with Andover Mind to support the launch of a new ‘Safe Haven’ drop-in service in Basingstoke, to offer help to those in self-defined crisis.
Based at 3 Vyne Road in Basingstoke, the new service is an out-of-hours walk-in centre, with signposting for other services too - such as GPs, Citizens Advice, Police, Ambulance Service and NHS111. It provides emotional and practical support to adults experiencing a mental health crisis - and all in a safe, calm, comfortable, compassionate and non-medicalised environment.
Karen Cleaver, Southern Health’s Head of Operations for Mid and North Hampshire, explained: “The service has a freephone number and we’re recommending that people call in the first instance. This will allow one of the team to support you over the phone, or to prepare for your arrival, letting you know who will meet you there for support.”
Jody Phelvin, Chief Executive Officer for Andover Mind, added: “Once inside the Safe Haven there are several ways in which support is offered. People are able to chat with others in a similar situation to their own, providing peer to peer support; they can sit by themselves, in the knowledge that support is available and that they are in a place of safety; or they can talk to a member of staff.”
Support workers are on hand to assist with developing a crisis plan and can contact a person’s GP or Mental Health Team if they are already in contact with services. They can also determine whether a formal assessment of the person’s mental health is required, which can then be carried out by a Southern Health clinician.
Karen added: "The Safe Haven collaborative project is an important part of the work we are doing to transform our mental health acute and crisis care. Our aim is to provide more appropriate places for people to access when they are in crisis, avoiding attendance or admission at A&E."
Safe Haven is open evenings, including weekends and bank holidays, 365 days a year between the hours of 6.00pm and 10.00pm. The service covers Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover areas. Visit www.andovermind.org.uk/north-and-mid-hampshire-safe-haven/ or www.southernhealth.nhs.uk/about-us/improving-our-services/acute-and-crisis-mh/ for more information.