Two new café spaces offering support for people in mental health crisis are open to people that live and work in Tower Hamlets and Newham.
Crisis support charity Hestia and the East London Foundation Trust are working together to support vulnerable people across the borough in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The collaborative partnership aims to decrease pressure on A&E and other crisis services and provide a critical space for early intervention.
It will open at times when traditional services may be closed.
‘The Together Cafés’ are funded by ELFT via the Crisis Transformation Funding made available thanks to Newham & Tower Hamlets CCGs. Hestia provides the face-to-face care for those who are struggling, with an option of support via phone and video call too.
Trained staff at the cafés help people to reduce their immediate anxiety, work with them to formulate a safety plan and provide information on local resources to support them moving forward.
Those looking to access the café will be referred via the East London Foundation Trust’s crisis response team.
Shakil, who has used Hestia’s mental health services and is now a volunteer at another of Hestia’s cafés in London said: “I was referred by my local mental health service. I was in a terrible way and I was welcomed by a member of staff who gave me a cup of tea, took my information and helped me put together a support plan. I began to attend regularly and after a while I could feel my loneliness seeping away and my emotions begin to calm. Over this past year I have found purpose and regained stability in my life.”
“Taking this concept to people in east London is a fantastic idea.”
Melanie King, ELFT's Crisis Pathway Service Manager said: "ELFT are delighted to be working with Hestia to support Newham & Tower Hamlets residents.
“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.”
Elvio Correia, Area Manager for Hestia’s Mental Health Crisis Services, explained: “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 mental health services will enable people to get help with their mental health during the pandemic; they’ll be someone there who can listen to them and offer support and information. Crucially, the services will be open while other traditional means of accessing support are closed.”
The Together Café in Tower Hamlets is open every Monday to Friday from 5 pm to 9 pm, and weekends and Bank Holidays 12 pm to 9 pm, 365 days a year. The referral route for the Tower Hamlets Together Café is via the Crisis Line, telephone number: 0207 771 5807.
The Together Café in Newham is open every Monday to Thursday and on bank holidays from 5 pm to 9 pm and on Fridays and weekends from 5-11 pm. 365 days a year. The referral route for the Newham Together Café is via the Crisis Line, telephone number: 0207 771 5888.