Two new wellbeing cafes to open in Northamptonshire for mental health support
Two similar drop-in cafes are opening in Northamptonshire this week to further support people battling mental health.
The first cafe, Crisis Cafe For Young People, has been launched by The Lowdown, for those aged 12 to 18 years old, which has been set up in partnership with St Andrews Healthcare and funded by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
It will work on a drop-in basis where youngsters are invited to head along, find a 'safe space' and get help from NHS professionals, without calling ahead to make an appointment.
Clinical manager Laura Simms at The Lowdown said the idea is to divert patients away from the hospital who need 'acute' beds in A&E.
"The idea is it's coming out of winter pressures funding for the NHS," she said.
"There's already the adult crisis cafe at MIND in Regent Square so this is for the younger age group, which is going to be piloted until the end of March."
The cafe will be held every Monday from 4pm to 8pm at Cafe Track in Northampton's Market Square and every Thursday from 4pm to 8pm at Youthworks in Rockingham Road, Kettering.
The second wellbeing and health cafe is set to open on Monday (January 20) in a former toy store in Watling Street, Towcester, and is welcome to all ages across South Northamptonshire.
The cafe is being run by Renew 169 - who are a part of the faith community - but it is not essential that those wanting to access the cafe should believe in a faith.
The opening of this cafe coincides with Blue Monday, a day which has traditionally been given the gloomy title as it marks a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights, financial worries and failing New Year's resolutions.
Chris Davison of Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is the brains behind the idea, which will give those people dropping in for a coffee a chance to talk to Age UK, Home-Start, the public health team at Northamptonshire County Council and Northamptonshire Carers - among others.
The Towcester Renew 169 wellbeing cafe also offers stop smoking advice, blood pressure checks, low-level mental health support and is a hub to reduce social isolation.
Chris, and other professionals, last summer screened 40 people when they took over Body Shop in Newlands Shopping Centre in Kettering.
He said: "We hope to provide a less clinical environment, reduce NHS waiting times and invite people to come along and enjoy the company, a coffee, and a chat.
"There will be a chance to talk to healthcare professionals with tips and advice about physical and mental wellbeing.”
Cafe users can be further supported and signposted to help with early intervention.
The cafe will be open every Monday and Tuesday from 1pm to 4pm.