New cafe space provides mental health crisis support amid coronavirus pandemic

A new cafe space will provide support for people experiencing mental health crisis in the borough. P

A new cafe space will provide support for people experiencing mental health crisis in the borough. Picture: Nik Shuliahin. - Credit: Archant

A new café space offering support for people experiencing mental health crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has opened.

The partnership between crisis support charity Hestia and the East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) aims to decrease pressure on A&E and other crisis services and to provide a critical space for early intervention.

It will open every day of the year, at times when traditional services may be closed.

The Together Café, which was launched in Mental Health Awareness Week, is funded by ELFT with Hestia providing face-to-face care for those who are struggling, as well as an option of support via phone and video call.

Trained staff at the café will help people reduce their immediate anxiety, work with them to come up with a safety plan and provide information about resources available to support them moving forward.

The service is available to all adults in Tower Hamlets through bookable appointments.

To access the café, people must be referred by the ELFT crisis response team.

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ELFT’s crisis pathway service manager Melanie King said: “Isolation and financial pressures are making life hard for so many people right now.

“The Together Café staff will listen and offer guidance.

“I urge people to pick up the phone and book an appointment if they are feeling low.”

Area manager for Hestia’s mental health crisis services Elvio Correia added: “Coronavirus is having a huge impact on mental health, with many people finding that they are reaching a point of crisis a lot quicker than usual.

“Our services will enable people to get help with their mental health during the pandemic - there’ll be someone there who can listen to them and offer them support and information.

“Crucially, the services will be open while other traditional means of accessing support are closed.”

The Tower Hamlets Together Café’s opening hours are 5pm to 9pm every Monday to Friday, and noon to 9pm on weekends and bank holidays.

Referrals for the café are made via the Tower Hamlets mental health crisis line on 0207 771 5807.

The service will be open for booked appointments only during the coronavirus pandemic.