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​Trusts create a Harbour for mental health in the community 

Doctors open new mental health cafe The Harbour.jpgMental health is extremely important to us and we recently commissioned a new service to help the Lewisham community. On the 24 January 2019 Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and Certitude (a mental health charity) partnered to open The Harbour.

Based at University Hospital Lewisham, The Harbour will provide peer support to people experiencing a mental health crisis. Offering a relaxed, non-clinical environment and staffed by a range of experts. Including people who have experienced mental health distress themselves.

The service will be open from 14:00 to 06:00, seven days a week. However, similar to GPEA, this is not a walk-in service. Referrals can be made via hospital and community from SLaM for those aged 18 and above.

Dr Alex George, Emergency Department Doctor, University Hospital Lewisham said: 
“I’m really excited to be supporting this fantastic initiative for local people and to reduce the stigma around mental health. I see many people every day in A&E experiencing mental health needs, such as anxiety and depression. This café will be a safe place for them to come, take some time out, talk about their concerns and give them access to specialist support.”

Liz Durrant, Director of Mental Health for Certitude, said: 
“We are delighted to be involved in this great new partnership. We believe in the power of peer support and the need for alternative places for people to get support when they are experiencing crisis.”

Donna Hayward-Sussex, SLaM Lewisham Service Director added: 
“We are pleased to be supporting people in Lewisham, who are experiencing mental distress, to get the help and advice they need and are referred to this new crisis café service. Working in partnership with local health partners, as well as people who have experienced mental health problems in the past, those feeling vulnerable and no longer able to cope, will be seen by the right expert people, in the right place at the right time.”

A short video about The Harbour has been created and can be watched on YouTube