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New mental health ‘safe haven’ opens in Northumberland

A new mental health safe haven is expected to help more than 2,000 people a year with immediate, practical support for their mental health.

Set up by Everyturn Mental Health with support from North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) and NHS England, it offers a dedicated, comfortable space for people to receive specialist mental health crisis support.

‘The Bothy’ on Laburnum Avenue in Ashington will be open from 2-10pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year, making it easier to find and receive mental health support and reducing pressure on emergency services. ‘The Bothy’ will host local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations including Northumberland Recovery College to provide additional services.

Like other charitable organisations across the region, Everyturn has seen a surge in demand and referrals to its services due to various social, environmental, and economic factors. Everyturn’s ‘Together in a Crisis’ service has seen a 24% increase in people accessing its specialist mental health crisis support in 2023, with 41% of people citing financial issues.

A further two safe havens are expected to open in North Tyneside and Newcastle later this year.

Adam Crampsie, chief executive of Everyturn, said: “It’s wonderful to get this project off the ground and give people in Northumberland a place of comfort and support if they are experiencing mental health distress in any way.

“Increased pressure on support services can leave people feeling like they have nowhere to turn - that’s why we want the safe haven to be a beacon of hope for the community.

“These safe havens show how vital investment and partnerships between the NHS and non-profit community organisations like Everyturn are in easing pressure on our emergency services and giving people access to the right mental health support at the right time in an accessible, comfortable way.”

Levi Buckley, executive area director at the NHS’s North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), said: "Good mental health is important to all of us, and we need a range of services to suit different people’s needs. The new Northumberland safe haven offers a different type of support for patients.

“The most important thing is to get support when you need it. That might be from a GP, the mental health crisis team’s 24-hour helpline, or accessing the new safe haven service. The safe haven offers out-of-hours care and in-person support to those in need. The aim is to provide support when it is most needed, that's easily accessible and based in communities.  The safe haven will help people manage their mental health crisis and offer support with issues that may be causing distress.

These are often common issues that can affect any of us - like relationship breakdown, financial difficulties, housing problems or alcohol dependency. If someone needs more specialist crisis support, the team has links in place with other services so that additional suitable support can be accessed quickly.”

The Northumberland Safe Haven is open to people aged 18+ who are experiencing a mental health crisis or distress. Support is available in-person at The Bothy, or virtually via phone or video call, without the need for a referral. It is part of a range of services in Northumberland and links in closely with existing mental health and wellbeing services.

For more information, visit www.everyturn.org.

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