People in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes are benefitting from access to mental health crisis support 365 days a year thanks to drop-in Crisis Cafés.
Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board (BLMK ICB) funds the Mental Health Crisis Cafés, which are delivered by Mind BLMK, working in partnership with East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) and Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL).
The Crisis Cafés can support individuals with a range of different mental health problems, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bereavement, depression and anxiety.
They are safe, non-judgemental spaces that anyone can drop into if they find themselves in a crisis or mental distress in the evenings. They will be met with a trained mental health worker who will listen and help to identify ways to address any problems they are facing.
“J”, from Milton Keynes, attended her local Crisis Café over the Christmas period needing crisis support. She was suffering from low mood and anxiety. She reported she was on the verge of breaking point.
Following a discussion with a trained and experienced mental health worker, J was able to talk through her problems and the support worker was able to de-escalate and identify the support that she needed. They put a wellbeing plan in place to support J in her journey to improving her mental health. This included making plans for managing her PTSD flashbacks and putting in place coping mechanisms such as cycling, relaxation and socialising.
After attending the Crisis Café, J is now feeling more regulated with her moods, and she acknowledges the benefits of being able to regularly talk through her problems at the Crisis Café.
J said: “This service came at the right time for me and has been very beneficial with not only Christmas but also helping and substituting the support that I usually have but that was closed for the Christmas period.”
What other service users had to say
“Thank you for listening to me, I didn’t know who to turn to, but I know there is a safe space for me here.”
“Everyone is so friendly at the Crisis Café. I know that, however I’m feeling, there is always someone there.”
“I wanted to end my life before coming here. Now I know I’m not alone.”
Where are the Crisis Cafés based?
- Luton Crisis Café: Luton Wellbeing Centre, 46-56 Dumfries Street, Luton, LU1 5BP
- Bedford Crisis Café: Florence Ball House, Bedford Health Village, 3 Kimbolton Road, Bedford, MK40 2NX – – every evening 5pm to 11pm
- Milton Keynes Crisis Café: 226 Queensway, Fenny Stratford, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK2 2TE – every evening 5pm to 11pm
- Central Bedfordshire Crisis Café, Townsend Court, Mayer Way, Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, LU5 5BF – Monday & Sunday 5pm to 11pm
A new Crisis Café will open in Biggleswade soon. Find out more information about the Crisis Cafés and how to access them on the ELFT website.