Open 365 days a year, the Sutton Crisis Café is a safe, calm and supportive non-clinical place for people experiencing a mental health crisis, and an alternative to attending A&E.
The café, on Downs Road in Belmont, is run by the Sutton Mental Health Foundation, a community mental health support service for anyone over the age of 18 living in the borough of Sutton.
The café employs four crisis support workers, including two with specialist expertise in dealing with substance misuse, and six peer support workers, a manager and a deputy.
Since its launch in August 2021, over 100 people have been supported by the café and almost 300 one to one crisis support sessions have been held. Some 75% of visitors to the café are self-referred. The Sutton Mental Health Foundation’s Acting Chief Officer, Lisa Lancefield, told us: “We are here to help adults in Sutton who feel they are in, or might be moving towards, a mental health crisis that doesn’t require medical intervention.
“Our staff have experience of mental health issues and have trained in Intentional Peer Support. We have strong links with other mental health services in the borough, so we make sure anyone using our services can access all the support they need.”
“We designed this service with service users, carers, mental health clinicians and other health and care professionals. We are focussed on supporting individuals to help themselves to self-advocate and draw on their own strength to better manage their own care leading up to and during a crisis episode.”
One of the recent Service Users, who visited the Café in late 2021, said:“I was amazed to find such a facility available and accessible. It makes such a difference knowing that there is a clean, safe, comfortable place I can go to talk or just be. That I can bring my dog has also been great. I am so grateful to everyone involved in this. I don’t know how my story will end but, just for today, Sutton Crisis Café has made a very significant positive difference for me. Thank you.”