Mental Health Matters Ramsgate Safe Haven one of seven officially launched today

Kate Langford, Chief Medical Officer, at NHS Kent and Medway, at today's launch

Mental Health Matters has officially launched additional Safe Havens in Kent and Medway, including one in Ramsgate.

Safe Havens offer walk-in emotional, social, and practical mental health support, seven days a week, with no need for an appointment.

Over the past year, Mental Health Matters’ Safe Havens in Kent and Medway have helped more than 1,800 people from four locations.

Now, following investment via NHS Kent and Medway’s Mental Health Urgent and Emergency Care Transformation Programme, Mental Health Matters has established Safe Havens on nine sites across Kent and Medway.

Community-based Safe Havens are available 6pm to 11pm in seven towns (Ramsgate, Folkestone, Canterbury, Gillingham, Dartford, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells) with a further two 24/7 Safe Havens already in operation in Medway and at Margate’s QEQM Hospital. The QEQM Safe Haven will be open 24/7 from 15 July.

The Ramsgate Safe Haven is at the former House of Dawg site at 42 High Street.

Kate Langford, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Kent and Medway, said: “We consistently hear from people with lived experience of mental health services that they prefer to have community-based support to stay well and prevent a crisis escalating.

“We are pleased now to have more Safe Havens across Kent and Medway, as we continue to work towards transforming and improving mental health care for all.”

Safe Havens can help people struggling with a range of difficulties that can cause distress, including loneliness and isolation, financial worries, and relationship issues and work closely with other support services to get people the right help.

Peter, a resident who accessed support from the site in Thanet (QEQM), said: “I’ve been going to the Safe Haven for three years now. The team has been my emotional support when I’m really anxious. They listen to me and have helped me come to terms with how I am feeling. Not once have they let me down.”

Thanet Safe Haven moved from its base at Holy Trinity Church in Dane Valley to the QEQM Mental Health unit last November.

A launch event in Maidstone today (11 July) brought together more than 50 people from across NHS, emergency services, and community organisations to raise awareness of the new Safe Havens and the support they offer.

Events are planned at each of the nine Safe Havens to raise awareness of their location and the support they offer with local people

To find your local Kent and Medway Safe Haven site, please visit mhm.org.uk/kent-safe-havens

To find out what other mental health services and support are available to local people, please visit the Kent and Medway Mental Wellbeing Information Hub.

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