Plans revealed to bring crisis café movement to Suffolk


Melanie Craig. Picture: GREAT YARMOUTH AND WAVENEY CCG - Credit: Archant

Talks are under way about setting up crisis cafés across Suffolk to provide out-of-hours support for people struggling with mental illness.

Such venues have opened in other parts of the UK and are expected to relieve pressure on emergency and NHS services.

With most help only available in normal working hours, people in urgent need during the evenings and weekends will often end up in a police cell or A&E.

Britain's biggest police force received a phone call relating to mental health every five minutes in 2016, it was revealed last week.

Crisis cafés are safe havens where people can get immediate help from a trained professional, or simply find solace in the company of others.

Health bosses in Suffolk have now revealed plans to bring the movement to the county.

Melanie Craig, chief officer of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said the organisation was working with the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) and the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust on a bid for funding to make it happen.

Most Read

She added: 'We recognise the value of more community-based services for people with mental health problems in crisis – one initiative we have identified which may benefit local people is the introduction of a crisis café.

'Plans are in very early stages and we are looking at a variety of locations across Great Yarmouth and Waveney.'

In response to the financial and cultural difficulties facing the NHS, 44 STPs have been set up across England to create a five-year plan for health and social care in their local areas which will better meet the needs of patients today.

The Suffolk and North East Essex STP has recently released a document laying out some of its ambitions, one of which is to create a crisis café in Suffolk.

A spokesman for the Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk CCGs said: 'Further improving mental health services is an important focus for the area's STP.

'With our health and care partners the priority is to develop and deliver more locally-based services which enable the early identification of mental health issues and offer speedy intervention services so that people can recover as quickly as possible.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter