New mental health resource centre for Cheshire
A new wellbeing resource centre is set to open in Chester city centre early in the New Year.
Designed in collaboration with people with lived experience of mental ill-health, ‘Number 71’ will provide early intervention support and treatment for people experiencing a mental health crisis, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Centrally located on St Anne Street in Chester city centre, Number 71 is a result of NHS West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) working together with mental health interest groups following a successful award from the national Beyond Places of Safety grant scheme.
David Bull, chair of the West Cheshire Mental Health Forum and lived experience volunteer, said: “This project will enable improved community access to help people cope with challenging times in an environment which will give practical support from people who understand - both professional NHS staff and people who have personal experience of mental health challenges.
“Many people with lived experience have been involved in guiding the planning and I know that advice has been valued and listened to. Number 71 will be a great asset for all of us, and it will develop as we go along so as to continue to meet the needs of local people.”
Suzanne Edwards, CWP acting director of operations, said: “Number 71 will provide local people with an alternative option for mental help support in the community in a purposefully designed environment to ensure a warm and friendly welcome.
“The development has provided an exciting opportunity for local stakeholders including West Cheshire Mental Health Forum, representatives from the local voluntary sector, the Police and local authority to work together to shape and influence the new service to ensure it meets the needs of local people helping them to be the best they can be. The vision for Number 71 is that it becomes a thriving community resource and a central hub for help and support within our area.”
Tracey Cole, Executive Director of Strategy and Partnerships for the Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “It is vitally important that people who experience a mental health crisis or feel they are about to are able to access assessment and support as soon as possible – in a place that is welcoming, accessible and best-placed to offer the right support. That is what Number 71 will do.
“This is a fantastic example of partnership working to not only secure funding for a better service, but co-design the service with people with lived experience.”
Number 71 will also become a one-stop shop for self-help, advice from care professionals and signposting to other services and wellbeing activities.
Building is due to commence shortly with Number 71 scheduled to open in January 2020.