Pirate FM News 4 minute read

13 people a day helped by mental health charity

13 people a day helped by mental health charity

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:39am 21st December 2018. (Updated at 8:19am 21st December 2018)

A mental health service supports around 400 people in crisis in Cornwall in its first year.

The charity is currently a pilot project and offers emergency out-of-hours support for people in distress.

Since its launch, the crisis service has seen around 400 people; that is the equivalent of 13 people a day.

Nearly 100 of those that Valued Lives has helped said that without it, they would have taken their own life.

Manager Shoni Haswell was introduced to health and social care as a young carer and went on to work within a range of hospital and community settings as an adult.

Alongside her professional skills gained whilst working with people affected by mental health difficulties, she has also struggled in the past with her own.

"What really stood out for me professionally and personally was that there was support missing in the community, where people can access help at short notice.

"You only have to look at the number of emergency hospital admissions to see the huge numbers of people in severe distress; many of those people feel like there is no way out.

"Valued Lives is here to stop people reaching crisis point and requiring admission into hospital to keep them safe by responding to them out of hours, either in their own home, or at our crisis café".

Manager Shoni Haswell

The Crisis Café is based at the top of Fore Street and is open from 5pm to midnight, seven days a week.

People who are in distress and contact the service are invited to meet with a wellbeing practitioner for an initial one-to-one session, usually on the same day.

People can also be referred to Valued Lives by their GP, health partners and other agencies, including the police, colleges, councils and voluntary and community sector organisations and charities.

"It's not just people who are in crisis that have been thankful for the service, GPs have been really supportive too. They see the very real value of being able to refer people in crisis to the service, which is free and easy to access.

"There are three stages to the crisis café, and people move through these stages at the pace which is personalised.

"The first stage is when the person meets a wellbeing support worker and together they will draw up an action plan to help address the stresses that are contributing to the crisis.

"We use a solution focussed model to help them become empowered, and take control.

"Stage two is about peer support and therapeutic activities. The first part of the session is quite structured, hosting workshops in topics such as confidence building or mindfulness, and the second session is a chance to relax and support each other.

"Stage three is for people who have used the service to progress and would like to become peer mentors. This is for a great way for people, to regain confidence and self-worth, and to build skills and new experiences, which could lead onto employment and educational opportunities.

"The peer mentors are also very important for those who have just started using the service, who have somebody who can inspire them to move through their own recovery journey".

Manager Shoni Haswell

You can read more about the Crisis Cafe and the support available through Valued Lives here.

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