Mental health crisis cafe could open next summer

More details for the new service in Reading have been published.
Young woman alone on a street in the dark

Plans are shaping up for a mental health crisis café in Reading to be known as ‘Breathing Space’.

It is expected to be launched in the summer of 2021 according to documents published by Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which funds local services. It would cost around £160,000 a year to run for an initial three years and the CCG says it hopes the service will reduce the number of people needing to go to A&E at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

How the service could work

Name: Breathing Space

What: ‘A safe, comfortable, homely and sociable’ environment

Where: A town centre location in Reading

Who: For up to 12 adults in a mental health crisis at any one time

How: Self-referral via phone or referral by 111, GPs, police & others

Opening hours: 5pm-11pm, Friday to Monday (including Bank Holidays)

Staff: Qualified mental health practitioner, peer support workers, team leader, supported by trained volunteers

The CCG wants a voluntary sector organisation to run the service, working in partnership with the NHS and other services.

It hopes the café will give service users ‘the opportunity to identify their own needs; make their own choices about what will help them; develop their own coping strategies and tools, recognise their own strengths and talents; encourage hope and to work towards improving their own emotional wellbeing’.

Details are set out in a ‘market engagement’ notice which seeks interested organisations to send back a questionnaire by 6 November.

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