Christmas is an exciting time of year for many but for some of us it can be one of the loneliest and most challenging. This is especially true in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on all aspects of our lives and the fact that not everyone will have a ‘Christmas bubble’ to turn to for support.
Joy Bagshaw, a mental health nurse at the Safe Haven, which provides evening and weekend support to adults in mental health crisis, said: “We tend see more people over this period experiencing family and relationship breakdowns and feeling overwhelmed by the additional pressures Christmas can bring.
“We also see people who are experiencing social isolation and loneliness which can be even more challenging at this time of year when there is such a focus on spending time with loved ones.”
If you need urgent mental health support over the festive period, local services are open and here to help. This includes 24-hour telephone support via the Mental Health Crisis Helpline as well as in-person support from the Safe Havens and online support from the new Virtual Safe Havens.
“Safe Havens provide a safe space for people to share concerns in a relaxed, non-clinical environment and are open 6pm-11pm every day throughout the festive period.
“We have also expanded the service so as well as offering in-person support at our five town centre locations, you can also get support from our Virtual Safe Havens online via video call from your own home.”
Where to get urgent help in Surrey and NE Hants
Safe Havens provide out of hours help and support to people and their carers who are experiencing a mental health crisis or emotional distress. There are five Safe Havens open in town centre locations across Surrey and North East Hampshire. They are designed to give adults a safe alternative to A&E when in crisis.
- Safe Havens in Redhill, Epsom, Woking and Guildford are open 6-11pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- Aldershot Safe Haven is open 6-11pm Monday-Friday and 12.30-11pm on weekends and bank holidays.
- See www.sabp.nhs.uk/safehaven for addresses
- Peer support is no longer available due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Virtual Safe Havens
- Support from the Safe Havens via video call.
- Open 6-11pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- To access the service go to www.sabp.nhs.uk/safehaven and scroll down to ‘Virtual Safe Havens’.
Safe Havens are provided in partnership between Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and third sector mental health specialists, Catalyst, Oakleaf Enterprise, Andover Mind, Mary Frances Trust and Richmond Fellowship. They are funded by Surrey and North East Hampshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Mental Health Crisis Helpline: 0800 915 4644
The Mental Health Crisis Helpline is a telephone service offering support people over the age of 18 and their carers in Surrey and North East Hampshire who are experiencing a mental health crisis.
- Lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day. Calls are free of charge.
- If you have hearing or speech difficulties dial 18001 0800 915 4644 from your Textphone or smartphone app. You can also contact us by SMS text: 07717 989024
Children and young people
CYP haven virtual service
CYP (Children and Young People’s) Havens are safe spaces for children and young people aged 10-18 to talk about worries and mental health in a confidential, friendly and supportive environment.
- In-person support is currently unavailable due to Covid-19 restrictions however telephone support is available on 01483 519436 every day during the festive period apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
- Lines are open 4pm-8.30pm Monday to Friday and 12pm-6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
CYP crisis lines
Evening and weekend mental health crisis support for those under 18 is available seven days a week via telephone. Call:
- The Extended Hope Service: 01483 517898, 5pm – 11pm
- The Mental Health Crisis Helpline: 0800 915 4644, 11pm – 9am
You can also call your GP for an urgent appointment or in a physical emergency always call 999.