We celebrate the official opening of The CYP Haven

The Haven, a new mental health drop-in centre for young people, was officially opened on Thursday 20 July.

On Thursday 20 July, a new service which offers 10-18 year olds in Surrey a safe place to go and talk about their worries and mental health in a confidential, friendly and supportive environment was officially opened by the Chairman of Surrey County Council, Mr Peter Martin.

The CYP Haven, located at The Discovery Centre in Guildford, is run as a partnership by our Trust, Surrey County Council and Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group. The service opened its doors to young people in May and has received really positive early praise. The official opening, which was attended by Worshipful the Mayor of the Borough of Guildford, Mr Nigel Manning, was an opportunity to raise awareness of the service, and celebrate its success so far.

The service is a pilot, and the first of its kind in Surrey to deliver a multi-agency approach to meet the needs of young people. There is a youth support worker, mental health practitioner and peer support worker present during opening hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 4-8:30pm and 12-6pm on Sundays. These days of the week have been identified as times when mental health crisis attendance to Surrey A&Es is most frequent.

Mary Lewis, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, who also attended the official opening, said: “This new service will be a great source of support for young people when they need it most. By working together as one team with health services, we can make sure support offered at the CYP Haven is closely tailored to young people’s needs, helping to prevent difficulties escalating and reducing the need for them to go to hospital for the assistance they need.”

Sharon Dean, Mindful Service Lead at the Trust, said: “We are extremely excited to officially launch CYP Haven, which is adding a new dimension to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Surrey.

“With our open door policy, young people in crisis are able to access mental health support in a relaxed and safe environment that is conducive to social inclusion, promoting their self-worth and self-esteem. Whether the person attending just wants to come in for a friendly chat about their mental health over a cup of tea, or they are experiencing a crisis, there will be someone on hand to support them.

“It will also give parents and carers a place to go if they have any concerns or queries they would like to discuss.”

CYP Haven follows the same format of the award winning Safe Havens, which, since launching in 2014, have offered out-of-hours specialist mental health support for people over the age of 18 in an informal and relaxed environment.

Sharon continues: “In 2016 there were over 580 attendances to Surrey A&Es of people under the age of 18 in mental health crisis. For a young person in crisis, A&E is not always the most appropriate setting, however it can often feel like there’s no alternative. We will now be able to provide an alternative through CYP Haven and we are already seeing a difference. Since May, 51 young people have visited; 21 of them told us if our service wasn’t available they would have gone to A&E and 21 would have self-harmed."

The service has been setup in collaboration with Surrey CAMHS Youth Advisors (CYA), a group of young people who have accessed mental health services and contribute to various elements of CAMHS, including recruitment and service development.

*Charlotte, a young person who has used the service said: “The Haven has given me the courage to carry on and has allowed me to access a larger network of professionals and the support that I need. It has given me a space where I can speak openly about my feelings as well as get away from what is bothering me.”

*The young person’s name has been changed.

Full opening days and hours:

Monday: 4-8:30pm

Wednesday: 4-8:30pm

Sunday: 12-6pm

The CYP Haven full address is:

The Discovery Centre

7 Ward Street