10 March 2014
People struggling with mental health problems have access to more support after a new crisis house for people in Camden officially opened on Monday 10 March.
The crisis house has six beds and is for people who are very unwell and who might otherwise need to go to hospital.
Clarke Carlisle, former Chair of the Professional Footballers Association, who last year presented a documentary for BBC Three, Football's Suicide Secret, on the issue of mental health in football, officially opened the house along with trust chair Leisha Fullick.
Clarke attempted suicide in 2001 following a career-threatening injury and was diagnosed with depression four years ago. He said: "This is such a fantastic facility, developed by an organisation that is working hand in hand with their community. It is so important to have services like this that are conducive to people getting better."
Chief Executive Wendy Wallace said: "This crisis house will help more people in Camden get better quicker. We particularly want to encourage more men who may be struggling with mental health problems to come forward and use our services."
C&I worked with Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to secure the funding for the crisis house at a time of increasing financial pressure in the mental health system.
Dr Caz Sayer, Camden CCG Chair and a local GP said:
"We know there is a high prevalence of mental health in Camden, and the CCG is committed to ensuring residents with mental health needs have the support network and care they need when they are at their most vulnerable. The opening of this additional Camden Crisis House is a positive step forward for the borough to provide this support to our local residents."
The Rivers Crisis House, based at St Pancras Hospital, is based on the recovery model and aims to help people build their skills, confidence and self-esteem.
It is a crisis service which offers a short-term residential alternative to hospital admission as well as providing support for people leaving acute mental health hospital care.
People staying in the Crisis House have access to professional care and support for up to two weeks. There is also links to the Recovery Centre at Jules Thorn, also based at St Pancras Hospital, where patients can take part in therapeutic activities such as yoga and pottery as well as talking therapy groups.
People can refer themselves, or be referred by a GP or carer, and can then be put in touch with other mental health services in Camden.
The Crisis Team is also based there and supports people in their own homes, to give them the best help possible, when they need it, to speed up their recovery.
The other crisis house in Camden is based at Daleham Gardens.
The trust has an excellent background in crisis services. C&I hosted the second crisis team in the country in 1999 and has an on-going programme of study into crisis and home treatment teams. Our innovation has led to a reduction in inpatient admissions and now 97% of our service users are treated in the community.