Banbury wellbeing hub helping people through Covid-19 lockdown

A Banbury wellbeing hub, Banbury Safe Haven, has continued to grow and develop its services over the last year during the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Matt Elofson
Thursday, 25th March 2021, 1:02 pm

Throughout the year Banbury Safe Haven has continued to grow and develop their services, providing both phone support and face to face sessions.

Banbury Safe Haven remained open for face to face and phone support throughout the lockdown. Support and guidance are offered which has been vital to so many, through these challenging times.

Since March 23, 2020, they have provided 538 support sessions which have been carried out over the phone, face to face or on Zoom. In total, up to date, they have supported 64 individuals that have been suffering from a mental health crisis.

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The Banbury Safe Haven is located at The Banbury Wellbeing Hub, Britannia Road, Banbury (Image from Oxfordshire Mind)

Banbury Safe Haven provides confidential support to anyone over the age of 18, who is struggling to cope or experiencing a mental health crisis during out-of-hours on weekdays and on weekends.

It is an alternative to A&E for people who do not have physical medical needs, but feel they need to keep themselves safe in a welcoming space with others and a friendly mental health team.

They offer one to one support and can focus on supporting you in a mental health crisis through exploring coping strategies, adjusting to the new situation, planning for safety, and exploring additional support.

“Before coming to the Safe Haven, I was planning to take an overdose. I came here instead and now I am leaving; I feel less like taking an overdose and OK to go home.” one Safe Haven service user said anonymously.

Dr Deon Louw, lead for Mental Health at the JR Hospital’s Emergency Medicine Department, said: “Safe Haven provides a unique service to which the emergency department can direct patients who are experiencing mental health crises without physical needs.

"It is especially valuable for individuals who frequently attend our department after hours, when other services are unavailable.

"By accessing Safe Haven in the case of future crises, they are able to get appropriate support based in the community. The opportunities provided by this service benefits patients as well as healthcare providers.”

If you would like to attend the service face to face, you must confirm that you do not have any symptoms of flu and that you do not have any physical conditions making you more vulnerable to Covid-19. All appointments are time limited, and after explaining the service, and confidentiality you will be offered 20-minute support session.

If you or anyone else you know needs support, please call ahead using the referral line (open from 5pm, last entry 9pm) on 01295 270004 or 07851 246546. You can also dial 111 to access the 24/7 Oxfordshire Mental Health Helpline.

The Safe Haven is located at The Banbury Wellbeing Hub, Britannia Road, Banbury, OX16 5DN, and is open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday from 6 to 10pm.

Alternatively, you can email the team at [email protected] to get in touch with a member of staff to find out more about the Banbury Safe Haven services.

Oxfordshire Mind also have the Information Service which provides advice, signposting and support Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm and can be reached on 01865 247788 or by email at [email protected]