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Safe Haven service opens in Guildford to support people with emotional and mental health needs

Oakleaf is pleased to announce that it has been confirmed as the location for the new Safe Haven in Guildford which opened on Monday 4th April 2016.

The Safe Haven will offer a safe, calm and therapeutic environment, promoting independence and recovery for people and their carers in need of support in a mental health crisis. The Guildford service builds on the success of the Aldershot Safe Haven which has been running for over a year and those in Camberley, Woking, Redhill and Epsom.

The aims of the Safe Haven service are to reduce emotional and psychological distress and offer an alternative to attending A&E when people are experiencing or at risk of escalating to a mental health crisis.

The service is a partnership between NHS Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group; Surrey County Council; Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SaBP); Community Connections The Welcome Project – Catalyst and Oakleaf Enterprise.

The Safe Haven will be staffed with skill-mixed, appropriately trained mental health professionals with capacity to work with people in emotional/mental health distress. Operating as an out of hours service, with signposting from other organisations including GPs, Citizens Advice Bureau, police and ambulance services, NHS 111 and emergency departments, supporting individuals in preventing and during crisis. It aims to provide a safe, comfortable and sociable environment, which encourages informal buddying and peer support. An outreach link worker will also be available for A&E and people in the Waverley area who may be unable to physically attend the Safe Haven.

“This is a tremendous opportunity not only for Oakleaf, but for Guildford and the surrounding community,” says Clive Stone, CEO of Oakleaf Enterprise. “It not only allows us to develop better relationships with other mental health professionals but also increase the provision of support offered to beneficiaries, especially those facing or in crisis situations. Oakleaf is pleased to have been chosen as the base for the Safe Haven in Guildford and we look forward to working with our partners to make mental health services more accessible.”

Hannah Marshall, a GP at Dapdune Surgery, Guildford and the new Mental Health Lead at G&W CCG said, “We are really excited about the Safe Haven in Guildford. As the Aldershot Safe Haven has already demonstrated, this will be a place that offers invaluable emotional or mental health support for anyone that feels that they need it. They can visit in the knowledge that their wellbeing is a top priority for all the trained staff that will work there.”

Safe Haven at Oakleaf will be open 7 days per week (including Bank Holidays) from 6pm-11pm. For further information, contact 01483 303649 or safehaven@oakleaf-enterprise.org.

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