Leicester Crisis Café
Rewind to July 2019.
In the summer sun that now feels a little distant, Turning Point launched a Crisis Café in Leicester City Centre. Working closely together with the local NHS, we set out to create a safe space out of working hours for people experiencing a mental health crisis.
We wanted to set the space up as an alternative to A&E. When people feel so distressed that they arrive at the doors of accident and emergency, it is so important that they have access to appropriate support. People seeking help from A&E who do not meet the threshold for admission to a psychiatric ward may find themselves faced with returning home after lengthy waits and no immediate help. It is those outcomes that can feel so difficult and troubling, in different ways, for both service users and professionals.
Turning Point’s Crisis Café in Leicester, and a growing number of services nationally, are providing recovery-focused crisis support, available in the moment of dearest need. Our hope is to continue establishing a trusted and consistent space for people to access mental health support out of hours. In particular, we aim to give a meaningful choice for those needing the support of clinical staff at A&E, to retain this option with reduced demand, while people who simply need a containing, emotionally supportive and responsive atmosphere to have a meaningful alternative.
Since starting out last year, we have seen over 80 people come through the doors of St Martin’s House in Leicester. For each of these individuals we have been a safe and supportive space in mental health crisis. Many people have contacted us directly before coming, while others have been referred by a range of professionals and support staff. Our 24 hour crisis helpline will continue to be a route in for further information and to book 1:1 support.
We believe deeply in this way of offering support to people in crisis and are keen to do more. Since November we have increased the café’s provision to two nights weekly and sought to improve accessibility by moving to open access. Practically, this means between the hours of 5-11pm each week service users, friends, family and carers can drop-in to our social space for support without needing to book an appointment.
Venue: St Martins House, 7 Peacock Lane, Leicester, LE1 5PZ | View on Google Maps