Last week, Clarity-NSIMHN organised and facilitated a workshop considering the proposed Crisis Café service to be introduced in Weston-super-Mare.
What is the ‘Crisis Café’?
The Crisis Café is a placeholder name for a service that is to be introduced in Weston-super-Mare, serving the North Somerset area. The service will provide support to anyone who is experiencing a period of acute mental distress, or a mental health crisis, by providing a safe place to go and receive short-term support. The final service, when introduced, may bear a different name.
A key element of the proposed service is that it will provide support during ‘off-hours,’ for example on weekday evenings and weekends, when other support options are either closed or not available.
Clarity-NSIMHN supports the introduction of the service, as it will be incredibly valuable to the local population, by providing an option for those in mental distress that has not been previously available locally.
We are inputting into the development of the service by ensuring that the voice and experiences of those with lived experience of mental health are considered and taken into account when the local NHS Commissioning Group (Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group; ‘BNSSG CCG’, who will be ultimately responsible for the introduction of the service) commissions and introduces the service.
What did the session involve?
The workshop had three distinct parts. The first was hearing the current status and information about the development of the project so far from representatives from BNSSG CCG.
Secondly, attendees were invited to discuss and present elements and ideas that they felt were important for the service to include. Amongst the ideas presented was the provision for safe and comfortable facilities, and trained staff that were able to respond both appropriately and pragmatically to a person in mental distress.
Thirdly, the workshop split into groups and discussed potential challenges to the introduction of such a service. Many contributions were made and discussed, including how a person could be supported after they have made use of the proposed service, and how this would tie in with existing services in the local area.
Clarity-NSIMHN will remain involved in the planning of the service, for example by feeding into the formal working groups that meet frequently to progress the service’s introduction.
We will also be working to make sure that the concerns and points raised in the workshop are addressed and considered in future steps of commissioning the eventual service.
We have also invited representatives from BNSSG CCG to attend our upcoming Annual General Meeting, to provide an update. Our AGM takes place on Tuesday 9th April, and is open to all to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!
Finally, we thank everyone who was able to attend the workshop for their time and contributions.